Wedding Day Tips : An Unplugged Wedding?02  Jul 2014         Jessica Ratty

Unplugged weddings are becoming quite popular and for very good reasons too! Stuart and I decided to have an unplugged ceremony and we are so glad we did! So what is an unplugged wedding? It is where you ask/tell your guests that during the ceremony (or some people like it during other parts of the wedding as well), they do not take any photos at all - no phones, camera, iPads nothing. This may seem strange, but there are so many reasons to have an unplugged wedding:

1) Your guests will actually be able to watch and enjoy your ceremony and share the moment with you, instead of trying to take photos, get the best angle, figure out why the cameras flash isn't going off etc. 

2) You have paid a professional photographer to capture all of the special moments on your Wedding Day, so you want them to be able to do their job, the best they can. Your images will be so much more beautiful if your photographer has more flexibility and doesn't have other guests trying to compete for the best "photo spot".

3) Most professional photographers don't use flash during a ceremony as their cameras are professional enough and high enough quality, they can use a lot higher ISO - which means they can shoot in darker areas without using flash. But most guests have the flash on their camera and always use it. There are some churches and priests that do not allow flash photography inside a church... If the guests are taking photos with the flash on, this can cause issues as the priest may believe it is the photographer. It also means that during your ceremony you will have flashes of light going off. If your photographer happens to take a photo exactly when a guest takes a photo with a flash, it will completely overexpose the professional photographers photo and blow everything out to a white light. What happens if this is a crucial part of your ceremony? The kiss? Your Dad giving you away? Or even just a little look from your Groom. The moment is missed.

4) The main parts of the ceremony that have the real issue with the photography by guests, is when the Bride and her Father walk up the isle.... The photographer and videographer are usually behind the Bride, so they can capture her walking up the isle, her gown and veil trailing behind her and to see the Groom's reaction... A lot of guests don't realise this and they lean out of their isles to get a better shot... or even worse which there is nothing we can do about, is when a guest completely steps out of their row and stands directly in the centre of the isle "to get a good shot"... the only issue is they step right in front of your professional photographer or videographer, blocking our entire shot. By the time we can get to them and tell them they are blocking the isle, it could be too late, you have missed the moment, your Dad has already given you away and we have missed the handshake with the Groom and the entire beautiful moment. The next main issue is when the Bride & Groom are officially married and are walking back down the isle - it is the first images of them as a married couple, they are usually beaming with excitement and love and the images are gorgeous... But again your photographer will be photographing you as you walk towards them... Guests often step out in between so they can take a shot as well.

5) The other downside to all of your guests bringing along their cameras, phones and iPods, is when you have this amazing full wide shot of the entire ceremony with the guests and setting - the first thing you see is a sea of screens in the air and it unfortunately really ruins the image and takes away from the Bride and Groom. 

But it is a completely personal choice and some couples like to do it, so their guests can enjoy the ceremony, or some couples prefer to let their guests take photos throughout the ceremony.

It is just something you need to consider before the day, as unfortunately those things cannot be edited out of your images later on.

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