Unplugged weddings are my new favorite trend. I recently photographed my first EVER unplugged wedding and it was even more glorious than I ever could have imagined.
There were no uncle Bobs standing in the aisle with their 2 mega pixel cameras. No iPads hovering over guest’s heads. No obnoxious flashes. No ringing cellphones. No distracted guests. No blocked images… Just a group of the bride and groom’s family and friends, allowing us to capture how the ceremony looked while they sat and enjoyed how it felt to witness such a sacred profession of love. You guys. Why doesn’t EVERYONE have an unplugged ceremony?
I have been photographing weddings since 2013, and every single wedding I’ve photographed has had at least one rogue guest on a mission to get in the way for the sake of a mediocre picture. Harsh, yes, but it’s the truth. Thankfully we have never EVER missed a shot, but we’ve spent a lot of time editing out iPads and navigating around hobbyist photographers using iPhones and point-and-shoots on auto; none of which produce an image that could match the quality of HJP.
So, why have an unplugged ceremony, you ask?
Because you’ve paid my team to capture your wedding.
If you’ve booked your wedding with me, that means we have probably gotten coffee together, we’ve chatted about your wedding and you’ve seen my portfolio. You love my work and you want to see your wedding from the HJP team’s point of view. We are great at what we do, and you trust us to freeze your special moments in time so you can remember them forever. Of course, we are professionals and we are capable of maneuvering around your plugged-in guests, but I guarantee you will be happier with the quality of your photos if we don’t have to do that.
Because guests’ flashes ruin everything.
No really, EVERYTHING. We are experts of our craft; we assess the ceremony site ahead of time and have our settings adjusted so we can produce the best possible photos of your ceremony. My team is made up of mostly natural light photographers, and we prefer not to use a flash unless absolutely necessary (like at the reception, for instance.) Most ceremonies are outside and during the “golden hour” which typically does not require us to use flash, and we adjust our settings accordingly, but when a guest’s flash goes off unexpectedly and washes out our shot, all of the post-processing in the world won’t be able to restore what that image would have been if the unexpected flash didn’t go off. You’ll end up with a relatively grainy photo, or worse, no photo at all.
We all need to unplug, sometimes.
We spend the majority of our days plugged into some type of device. After all, we have the world at our fingertips! But the grandeur of weddings is not lost on me. You’ve invited your family and friends to witness you professing your love and commitment to another human being for the rest of your life, and it’s so important to be intentionally present in these moments, because they matter. They matter a lot. Wouldn’t you hate to know that one of your guests was watching DJ Khaled’s snapchats while you exchanged your vows?
So, how do you tell your guests you’re having an unplugged wedding, and how do you get them to stick to it?! Besides including it in your invitation, you can share an article or blog (like this one!) on Facebook to show your family and friends just how important it is not to whip out their devices during the ceremony. You could also include it in your wedding program, or set up a really cute sign at the entrance of the venue, or have your officiant make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony.
Did you have an unplugged wedding, or do you plan to have one? We’d love to hear how you’ve handled this with your guests!