Just imagine this, you are standing on the altar, your bride is walking down the aisle for the first time. You start to cry (you ARE going to cry, right?), she’s crying, barely holding on to her dad.  Pachelbel Canon in D is blaring, and right before you lock eyes with your lovely bride……the high school classmate you haven’t seen in 10 years leaps up from his seat, jumps into the middle of the aisle, and blocks your view.   Romantic, huh?  You think that doesn’t happen? Think again. One of the biggest complaints since the explosion of iPhones is the hostile take over of cell phone cameras, iPAD cameras, and personal digital cameras at weddings.  Instead of sitting down and actually being part of the moment, everybody becomes an amateur photographer.  There are many, many, many reasons why there are cameras at weddings. This is a once in a life time event, and we want the ability to document it.  But honestly, if you were a guest, what are you going to do with that photo you just took of the bride walking down the aisle? Print it? Never. Put it on a canvas? Not a chance. You will put it on Instagram, hashtag it, and delete it forever from your phone.  Now the moment lives in a technology that most likely won’t be around in 5 years, and not in your mind.  But most importantly, you probably just ruined a very important shot for the photographer & videographer that were hired to document the wedding.

The bride & groom most likely have paid thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars to hire a professional wedding photography & videography team for this momentous occasion. They are the only ones getting paid on the day of the wedding to take pictures & videos.  The job of a guest is to be there, both mentally & physically, to celebrate the day with the couple. By constantly snapping away, the guests change from an active participant of the festivities to a passive observer.  Many couples have elected to post signs around the wedding to give the guests a heads up that this is an ‘unplugged’ wedding.

via PInterest
via Pinterest, Rustic Wedding Chic

As the bride & groom, how do you ensure guests will cooperate on this policy? Here are some ideas;

  1. Include the unplugged wedding policy in the invitation. That way guests know ahead of time that they can minimize camera use.
  2. Have the officiant announce at the beginning of the ceremony that please refrain from snapping pictures.
  3. Ask your buddy to collect all cell phones & cameras before guests enter the ceremony area.

A well known wedding Photographer, Ryan Brenizer Photography posted this on his facebook page. Apparently one of his couples had inserted this into the invitation. Here is the exact verbiage if you would like to use it for your own wedding!

“We want you to be able to really enjoy our wedding day, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We’ve hired an amazing wedding photographer who will capture the way the wedding looks, and we invite each of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy how the wedding feels. We respectfully ask that everyone leave all cameras and cell phones off during the ceremony and the ‘ceremonial parts’ of the reception; including the first dance, parent dances, and cake cutting. We ask you to refrain so that we can see your face, and you can see ours, both now and forever in the photos that our photographer will capture. Of course we will be happy to share our wedding photos with you afterward!” 

Still think a guest can’t ruin an important moment? Here are some examples for you!

photo by Ning Wong Studios
Unplugged Wedding
photo by Ning Wong Studios
photo by Jeremy Chou Photography
Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 9.49.11 AM
photo by Kaitlin Noel Photography
Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 9.49.22 AM
photo by Kaitlin Noel Photography
unplugged wedding
photo by Ning Wong Studios
photo by Alan Abrams Photography
photo by Jeremy Chou Photography
photo by Corey Ann Photography
photo by Jeremy Chou Photography
Photo by Nathan Nowack Photography

So for your wedding, would you consider an unplugged wedding? We’d love to know! Feel free to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on this!

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