Lately, there's been a lot of talk about "Unplugged Weddings", and it may leave you wondering "What's the big deal?".

little blonde girl with heart shaped sunglasses wears a clown nose sitting next to young boy with silly sunglasses holding drumsticks

Here is our opinion:

It's not a big deal.


It's a big deal.

Let's start with "It's not a big deal."  For the most part, we don't mind other people taking pictures during your wedding at all.  We, of all people completely understand why they want to photograph all the love they see. (We also hope they print some of those beauties, as well. Not letting them live on a cell phone!)

You are a very important person to your guests, and they want proof that you don't always wear yoga pants and a messy bun! Your people are excited for you. They are wearing Spanx for crying out loud, it's a pretty big day.

They love you so much, they don't want to miss a thing.

And that's the thing. They are missing the whole thing. We want them to see your big, proud, nervous smile during the processional. We want them to be fully present so they can enjoy the moment and FEEL the moment. Hard to do when you are focused on your cell phone, rather than the moment.

The same goes with you. Having an unplugged wedding lets you see THEIR big, proud smiles. That's hard to do when they are behind a camera or phone.  It makes us sad that so many couples have taken the aisle lined with cell phones and cameras instead of gaining confidence to get through this thing by seeing the faces of some of the most important people in their lives that are there to cheer them on.

Let's move on to "It's a big deal." As photographers, there are times when not having an Unplugged Wedding ends up being kind of a big deal. Times that make us sadder than our dog looks when we are eating ice cream and he wants some.

God loves your Uncle Bob, but when we are at war with his flash, we do not. We prefer not to use flash during a wedding ceremony, so we set our fancy cameras accordingly. So many great shots have been ruined for us by other people's flash going off. We cannot control it, and it's rare that we can save an image ruined by another person's flash. Thumbs down.

Church ladies are strict. We have photographed weddings at churches where we were not allowed to move. We have heard horror stories from photographers who were embarrassingly reprimanded from priests during the ceremony for moving. David went to Catholic school most of his life and has put the fear of the church lady in me. When she tells me not to move, I become a statue. So when we are locked in place anxiously waiting for you to seal the deal with a kiss and Uncle Bob steps into the aisle in front of us with his fancy ipad camera, there is nothing we can do. We now have a great shot of the back of his head and now everyone knows how big his bald spot is. Losing that shot is like daggers to our hearts. We hope he got a good one for you. Side note: we once shot a wedding where the best man pulled out his phone to take kiss the bride pictures. His phone was in front of the kiss in every one of our photos. I ugly cried.

groom in black suit dips bride with long veil at alter during unplugged wedding ceremony

So glad Uncle Bob didn't get in the way of this kiss!

We love group shots! But guests wanting in with their camera should wait. Wrangling up all those happy people is something we are pretty darn good at. However, eyes and attention tend to wander when there is a three ring circus starring guests with cell phones going on behind us. During group shots we kindly ask for guests to wait for us to finish before lifting their cameras.

large group of guests at unplugged wedding wearing clown noses posing in green grassy field
And sometimes, it really is a three ring circus!

All this being said, we want you to know that we are totally okay with people taking photos. We embrace it, expect it, and we want them to have lots of great snapshots to look back on. But sometimes you just have to put that stuff away, enjoy the moment, and not be the cause of a big time bummer to the photographers you've invested good money into.

So what are you Lovebirds to do? Let people know when it's a big deal and when it is not.

Here are a couple of easy ways to get everyone on the same page:

Hire Special Ops to confiscate all mobile devices and cameras within a two mile radius of the ceremony.

guest at wedding pose with hands like guns pretending to be Special Ops so no cell phones are used
Special Ops for hire.

Share this post with your guests by putting a link to this post on your wedding website if you have one.

Or, post a friendly notice at the entrance to your wedding ceremony. You can find some great ways to present it on one of our Pinterest boards by clicking here.

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