What is an unplugged wedding? An unplugged wedding is where you ask your guests to turn off their phones, cameras, tablets, and other mobile devices during your ceremony. As a Quad Cities wedding photographer, I always advise my brides of doing this. It only takes a little, delicately framed piece of paper that says you want your ceremony to be unplugged to stop all your guests interfere with your hired photographers in a number of different ways and to simply just enjoy the ceremony and be present in the moment with you.
What are the benefits? There are many benefits to having an unplugged wedding. For example:
- When guests use their own cameras, there are many ways that this affects the photography that you’re actually paying for. Guests oftentimes are taking photos at the same time we are, and their flashes interfere with our cameras, leaving you blown out completely (and unsalvageable) or having weird shadows or lighting throughout the photos.
- Guest cameras can leave a red or green dot from their focusing mechanisms. These will show up in our images.
- If guests don’t turn off the noise on their cameras, they could be very loud when taking the photos. This can be very distracting to you and your guests.
- Speaking of distracting – let’s talk about iPads and other tablets used to take photos. They are HUGE and are very distracting. If we are taking a wide photo of your ceremony, your eyes go straight to the tablet and completely ignore the beautiful couple exchanging vows.
- Guests will often get in the aisle or stand in front of the professional photographers, blocking their shot. Sometimes, it’s too late for us to be able to get them to move, and we certainly don’t want to upset your guests by making them move.
- During family formals, guests will often stand around photographers to get shots of their own, which can create harsh lighting if they use their flash. Even if they don’t use their flash, it causes the group to constantly be looking around, leaving wandering eyes. It’s hard for the photographer to get a good photo with everyone looking at the camera when there are multiple people taking photos around you.
- Most importantly, if your guests are taking photos, they are not fully able to enjoy the moment. They are absent and distracted by their picture taking and posting.
As a professional wedding photographer, it is my job to ensure my couples are more than satisfied with their photos from their wedding day. I spend a countless number of hours studying and learning and growing and ensuring my equipment is the absolute best equipment on the market to provide my clients absolutely the most stunning images I’m able to. So as much as I can completely understand guests wanting to have their shots of the happy couple or the bride looking amazing, please just wait until the reception. Pull the bride and groom off to the side and request your photos. Please don’t do it during the ceremony. It’s simply impolite and really taking away from the magic that surrounds the couple in that very moment.
I highly recommend having your wedding unplugged, but I respect your wishes if you choose not to. If you have any questions concerning this or how to unplug your wedding, feel free to contact me and we can chat.
Here’s an example of a cute little framed message for guests to review as they arrive. This couple had the great idea of putting their programs and bubbles right next to the sign. So as guests arrived, they picked up their keepsakes and read the sign asking for an unplugged wedding. It’s delicate, polite, and gets the job done.
Here is an overview of a ceremony where there is no guest holding up an iPad or a cell phone. Everything looks clean and organized and everyone is simply enjoying the ceremony. This creates much nicer portraits for the bride and groom.
Here is an example of a bride and groom right after they were announced husband and wife. As you can see, there’s no one that is holding up an iPad or cell phone or camera to take pictures of this great moment. These lovely guests allowed us to capture this sweet moment for the bride and groom to treasure forever.
Amanda Oakes Photography is a Quad Cities wedding photographer who also specializes in engagement, newborn, family and children photography, and maternity photography. This includes photography services in the Moline, IL, Rock Island, IL, Davenport, IA, Bettendorf, IA, Muscatine, IA and the greater Quad Cities area.