April 24, 2019
Have you seen those photos on the internet of guests holding their phones and iPads out into the aisle and taking photos or videos as the groom watches the bride coming down the aisle, as they light their unity candle, or even for their first kiss as husband and wife? I see this happen all the time, both as I’m scrolling through Facebook and also when I am shooting a wedding! Thankfully, I haven’t experienced this to the extreme that other photographers have. Most guests don’t even realize that their phones are interfering with the couple’s professional wedding portraits and video from the photographer and videographer, but that is why I realized this is an important topic to talk about! It breaks my heart when this happens for many reasons, and that’s why I want to tell you about the “Unplugged Ceremony”!
An unplugged ceremony is when you remind your guests in some way to keep their phones and cameras put away until after the ceremony. You can share about it on your wedding website, make note of it on your program, have the officiant mention it at the beginning of the ceremony, OR the most common option: have a sign at the entrance to the ceremony aisle! By doing this, it allows your photographer and videographer to not be limited on angles to capture the ceremony the way the bride and groom always dreamed of. There’s been instances where the photographer can hardly see the bride coming down the aisle, or even worse, the GROOM can hardly see his beautiful bride coming down the aisle because there are multiple phones/cameras blocking his view. I never want to deliver portraits of a ceremony like this to a bride and groom but it’s happened before. Here are two reasons I recommend having an unplugged ceremony!
1. When you remind your guests to keep their phones put away, you’re encouraging them to enjoy this special moment with you and to truly be present during your ceremony. They aren’t distracted, and there’s also less of a chance that their phone won’t suddenly make a noise if they’re not using it!
2. Wedding photography is an investment you made so that you would have photos of literally EVERYTHING. You have expectations on what kind of images your photographer will be delivering because you paid them to be there for that reason. Let us, the hired professionals, take care of capturing all your memories of your ceremony; it’s our job because we love doing that for couples.
If you are a wedding guest: I see absolutely nothing wrong with taking photos and sharing them with the couple, especially for the reception! It’s so fun for the couple to see the wedding from a guest’s perspective, and sometimes, guests can get photos of things that I wasn’t there for! But for the ceremony, keep in mind the bride and groom’s wishes for how they want the ceremony to be photographed. Next time you’re thinking about pulling your camera out, be conscious about how visible it is to everyone else just for the sake of their wedding portraits. They would much rather see your beautiful faces than a camera in front of it!