This blog was pretty difficult to write. I started with stock photography images because I didn’t want any of my clients to get upset but then I thought: that’s cheating you can’t do that. All of the examples are beautiful photographs and moments captured forever in time. I love all of you dearly. As a PSA, I know I will have to quite literally rip the camera out of my mother’s hand at my own wedding so I totally get the struggle. I also come from a family who has at least three cameras taking countless photographs at all times (I guess you could say I had photography in my blood). While it is so hard in this day and age to disconnect from social media and feeling the need to live stream every monumental occasion, I think this is a pretty important argument every couple should consider for their wedding day.
One of my new favorite wedding trends is the “unplugged” ceremony. I started seeing them about two or three years ago and wish every ceremony would be distraction free. Picture this: you are about to walk down the aisle and see your soon-to-be husband waiting at the front for you (big moment, right?) I am standing on the other side of him (getting those shots of you walking down the aisle) and my second photographer is in the back of the church getting his reaction looking at you. Just then, your Aunt Mary decides she sees the picture perfect opportunity and sticks her body out into the center aisle: blocking my shot of you and my second photographer’s shot of your hubs. WHATTTT. Oh yes, it happens all of the time. Guest’s cell phones, iPads, cameras and bodies end up in our photographs all of the time. While we shoot around them and politely ask them to stay in their seat or mind their reach, it is a distraction that can be completely avoided. It has never happened to me but I have seen online where a guest’s flash (from a phone or a camera) completely blew out a photographers professional photograph of the first kiss. If we are not using flashes, neither should your guests. I have seen so many cute signs on Pinterest for how to address this issue. You can even ask your officiant to make a quick announcement before the ceremony begins. My point is you hire a wedding photographer to capture every moment on your wedding day: you do not need your guest’s blurry iPhone photo, too. Invite your guests to be present in the moment with you and absorb the beautiful thing happening right before their eyes.
Oh, and I can’t forget to mention your parents! Let’s say you opt out of the unplugged ceremony, at the very least: please, please, please tell your parents to not constantly take photo/video. I promise to share every moment with them! Throughout the day we are capturing not only the bride and groom’s reactions and candid moments but also their parents’. Wouldn’t you love a photo of mom smiling up at you while you say your vows opposed to her looking at her cellphone? Again, I can totally relate, my own mother is going to have a very hard time with this. She was a wedding guest at one of the examples below and I may have had some words with her, warning her not to be THAT guest.
Last, but not least, is the Zapshot photographer! This is the photographer that may come along with your DJ: either complimentary or as an add-on. While I do not care so much about their images being streamed to the televisions (even though people ask me all the time if they are mine), I care more about them being in the way. Professional photographers know to leave space between themselves and the couple and to mind where the other professionals are standing. There have even been a few times guests have asked the Zapshooter to take a group shot instead of me (they grab the first photographer they see), I want to take those photos so I can deliver them to you! After working at a few weddings where I have spoken to the Zapshooter beforehand and they still did not respect the professionals I no longer allow them to be at weddings we shoot. If it is already in my couples’ contract with the DJ company I simply ask they do not shoot until after we leave/formalities are complete so we do not risk having any of our photos ruined. While this is not the case for every Zapshooter (there are always a few exceptions) it is one of those things that have gone wrong one too many times. As a very wise photog-friend once said, “We do not show up to the reception with our iPods expecting to play music.”
These informational blogs are meant to inspire you and give you some insight. Having it be your own wedding day is completely different than being a wedding guest, this is new for you! I want all of my couples to have a stress free, photo-ready, best day ever!
Just for a quick comparison, these two ceremonies were unplugged.