5 Reasons to Have an Unplugged Wedding

Photo by Nyana Stoica on Unsplash

Something’s happened over the years with digital photography and the rise of camera phones, tablets, and social media access – everyone’s become a photographer and everyone wants to share the moments they’ve captured. There’s nothing wrong with that in everyday situations, but when it comes to special, once-in-a-lifetime moments, like a wedding, witnessing life behind a screen causes more problems than it solves, especially for the bride and groom footing the bill for a professional wedding photographer. That’s why many couples are now opting for an “unplugged” wedding, or at the very least, an unplugged ceremony. Here are a few reasons why…

Guest in the way of a professional wedding photographer Photo by: Kirstie Tweed

Reason #1: Interrupting Flash

Professional photographers rarely use an in-camera flash. They know how to use natural lighting and set up artificial lighting in a way that is controlled and will allow them to snap the best photos. But when you have guests pulling out their phones and clicking away with their flash on, it completely disrupts the controlled environment the photographer has created. The result is a washed out photo, and nobody paying thousands of dollars for a photographer wants bad wedding photos because a guest just had to get their own shot.

 Why you need an unplugged wedding Photo by Corey Ann

Reason #2: First Look Disasters

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to wedding photos. Some couples might balk at the time it takes to receive their photos from the photographer because they want to share them with friends and family, but the wait is worth it. You don’t know what a guests’ photos look like and nobody wants the least flattering photos to hit Instagram. You’ve spent months planning your wedding and hired a photographer to capture it in the best light. Photos should be released on your timeframe and after you’ve seen them, ensuring that friends and family see your wedding in the most beautiful light possible.

Reason #3: Blocked Images

Snap-happy guests will do just about anything to get their shot, from stepping into the aisle to shoving the professional photographer out of the way. It’s understandable that they’re excited and want to capture the moment, but it can wreak havoc on professional images. Photographers know where to stand and what angles to use for different moments. Plus, they only have a split second to capture those special moments, like the first kiss. So when a guest jumps into the aisle at the last minute or holds up a tablet, it can block the photographer’s view. The result might be a whole lot of photos of Uncle Joe standing in the aisle with his iPhone or the bride’s head blocked by someone else’s head.

guest blocking photographer shot at wedding Photo by: Alicia Williams of Cordele Photography 

Reason #4: Bad Portraits

Of course everyone wants to get a photo of the family standing together or maybe one of the bride and her bridesmaids, but doing so can disrupt the professional photographer’s photo. Let’s say the photographer is gearing up for a shot of the bride and maid of honor, then some guests get in on the action and start snapping photos. The bride and maid of honor’s focus is naturally going to be all over the place, so the photographer might get pictures of the bride looking one way and the maid of honor looking another. To get quality portraits, keep the focus on the professional photographer.

Reason #5: Preoccupied Guests

An unplugged wedding takes the pressure off of guests to document the experience. Not having that pressure allows everyone to actually enjoy the moment. When the screen goes in front of the face, seeing and experiencing those precious moments with one’s own eyes is lost. Plus, it’s disruptive to the photographer and everyone around. And heaven forbid if a cell phone starts ringing during the ceremony! Do yourself and your guests a favor by unplugging for a few hours.

Sign for guests for unplugged wedding via Wedding Bee

So how does a couple inform guests of an unplugged wedding and get them to stick with it? Besides including it in your invitation, you can post an article about unplugged weddings on Facebook a week before your wedding to remind guests how pulling out their tech devices can cause problems. You can also include a notice in the program, set up an entrance sign, and have the flower girls carry signs saying, “No electronic devices, please!” or something similar. You might also have the officiant make an announcement before the ceremony, letting guests know that you’d be ever-so-grateful if everyone would be present and share this special moment without technology.

Did you have an unplugged wedding or plan to have one? Share with future brides how you handled this with your guest.


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