Advice: Unplugged


The Pro's & Cons of having an 'Unplugged' Wedding Ceremony.

By Katie Williams Photography

What does 'unplugged' mean? 

- An 'unplugged' wedding ceremony means asking your guests to turn off any electronic devices: Phones, tablets, cameras etc. They are then able to watch your whole ceremony with their eyes and living in the moment with you, rather than watching it on their screens while they take a video or photo throughout your ceremony. 

- As your wedding photographer, the most frustrating thing is when 'I' get obstructed by someone wanting to take a photo of you, as newlyweds, walking up the aisle or if I am at the back of the church/ceremony room it's also frustrating seeing phones obstructing the aisle.


How can you make your ceremony 'unplugged' ... ?

- You have a number of options to do this in a kind manner to your guests. There are companies who make 'unplugged' signs for you to display at your wedding ceremony venue. You can ask your vicar/registrar to announce that bride & groom have requested the 'unplugged'. Finally, you could leave a note within your invitations. Remind your guests that you have booked a professional photographer (and videographer) who are going to be capturing all of the beautiful moments of your wedding and guests will be able to have access to a gallery at a later date. Before announcing the 'unplugged' ceremony, do make sure that your vicar/registrar does allow your professional photographer to take photographs (some vicars/registrars don't allow this during the ceremony - your guests could potentially provide you with your ceremony photographs). 


The Advantages

These are what I feel are the advantages of having an 'unplugged' wedding ceremony. 

1. Your guests will be able to enjoy watching you getting married, rather than focusing on taking a video or photo. 

2. Your professional photographer will be able to provide you with your guest's real emotions.

3. Your photographer (and videographer) will be the only two people pointing cameras in your face. You won't be distracted by flashing and beeping while you say your vows. 

4. Some brides and groom's don't want photographs on social media, which reduces ceremony photographs being posted online for your guest's friends and family to see. It also allows your photographer to post the next day as a nice surprise for you! (I love posting a few previews the next day for my clients!) 

5. Going 'unplugged' reduces your guests stepping into the aisle and blocking your professional photographer's key shots such as your first kiss and walking back up the aisle as Husband and Wife. (As a wedding photographer it frustrates me when phones get in my way of getting a specific shot my client might have asked for). 

6. Unplugged means that there will be no awkward phone noises (phone calls, text messages etc). 

7. Your guests will purely be connected to you becoming Husband and Wife! There will be no distractions. 

8. You'll get the shots you asked your professional photographer not to miss: first kiss, etc. 


The Disadvantages

1. From experience, I know that within weddings there is a member of your family or a friend who might be interested in photography so take their camera to take some shots for you. They could take offence if you say you are having an 'unplugged' wedding. However, they do have to respect your decision, especially when you've booked a professional photographer to capture your special day. 

2. You might not have a professional photographer. A lot of people can't afford to have a professional photographer, so they might depend on their guests taking some videos and photos for them to treasure. 


My opinion... 

I personally think it's a great idea to have an 'unplugged' wedding as then your guests can enjoy watching your wedding ceremony without distractions. It will also stop them distracting you. I do tend to see a lot of people trying to figure out their phone or camera and watching the ceremony through their screen instead of watching properly which is such a shame because it's such an important part of your whole day. Unless you decide to make your whole day unplugged then the guests will have plenty more opportunities for selfies with the newlyweds throughout the day. 



Below are examples of some photographs I've taken from my weddings which weren't unplugged and restrected me,