Your Unplugged Wedding
Your wedding needs to be a big deal. It's such a significant event, that you've planned for it a year or more in advance, making sure every aspect down to the last detail could be as perfect as possible. In your mind is the moment you begin the ceremony, walking down the aisle, saying your vows, committing your lives to one another in the presence of your beloved family and friends. With hearts full, they wait patiently for your first kiss, and you turn around to applause and the full attention of their joy and happiness.
Not once in your vision for this sacred moment did it include a sea of iPhones, iPads, and cell phones blocking the faces of your loved ones, intent on capturing the moment instead of actually living it with you.
Weddings bring out the amateur photographer in so many of us, without any consideration of what they're actually missing by focusing on the screen and the task at hand. As photographers and filmmakers, we do everything possible to have the right position to respectfully and unobtrusively document your day for you, only to often have Aunt Mary jump out into the aisle during the processional or the first kiss so she can be sure to take a picture with her iPad. Multiply this by 10, and not only are they missing what's happening, but it can ruin the work of the team of professionals you hired for the day to capture this for you. Your imagery may not be blocked by the collection of devices, but all those devices will show up in front of the faces of your guests.
How to be Unplugged?
- Your family and friends aren't trying to be disrespectful, and it may even feel like you'd be taking away their fun if you asked them to participate by putting their phones down. It's YOUR wedding day, and there are no do-overs, so include this as one final detail in the planning- having it unplugged.
- Start by telling your family and wedding party that you want the event unplugged, at least until after the ceremony.
- Remind wedding party no posting pictures of the bride and groom until everyone's had a chance to see one them either at the First Look or the Ceremony. There is so much value in the wow-factor, no bride and groom wants that taken away via Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.
- Note it in your ceremony program or itinerary given out for the day.
- Post a sign for all who are entering the ceremony space. It can be beautiful and match your decor, and will get the message out clearly.
- Have your officiant announce your desire to have all present be fully present.
Not everything needs to be recorded on an iPhone, especially if it jeopardizes the intent of the moment. As with etiquette for any special event, there should be no talking, phones off and put away, all out of respect for what's happening, and to be supportive for the couple who have asked you to be there to bear witness to their marriage ceremony. Not too much to ask, at all.