If you are just beginning to plan your wedding and you haven't been greatly involved in a wedding of any kind over the past few years, the concept of the "unplugged wedding" may be new to you. Believe it or not, this is an actual thing and it boils down to having a wedding where technology is present and in use or one where there are no cell phones and cameras operating and capturing every possible moment.
Instead, the unplugged wedding is one in which the only person(s) capturing images would be the professional photographer hired for the day and/or a videographer also hired to do all of the work of documenting the event.
So, why should you consider an unplugged wedding? We have ten very solid reasons for opting to use this approach:
1. Everyone has to remain present
One of the biggest reasons for and benefits from an unplugged wedding is simply that every single guest has to remain in the moment with you. There is no one watching the vows or the reception through the screen of a phone or camera. Instead, they are registering every moment with their own eyes, and they are all truly present in those few precious moments.
2. You hired a photographer
There are no photographers that work for free, and because you paid for their services, you want the work they do to be as valuable as possible. This can often be a problem if the photographer has to position themselves in a way that cuts out people with cameras and phones in the background of every shot. The paid photographer really shouldn't compete with the guests or have shots ruined by badly time flashes or flares from lenses of other devices. Also, do you really want to see a lot of photos in which your family and friends are looking down at a device instead of at the real-world action? No. So, one of the greatest reasons to have an unplugged wedding is that you will get the most value from your professional photographer.
3. It forces real world socialization
We all know how easy it can be to zone out or avoid conversation with others if we have a device in our hands. Just go to any restaurant and you see entire families or groups of friends all looking at their phones rather than conversing with one another attentively and sincerely. Make your wedding day even more significant by forcing everyone to interact. Not only is this good for them, but it lets the photographer have many more opportunities for great candid shots.
4. Only the best images are seen
Everyone cringes at unflattering photos of themselves, and nowhere is this more upsetting than your own wedding photos. If you would like to avoid having shots that make you feel horrible about how you look, then it is one of the main reasons to have an unplugged wedding. Your photographer will never make you look at unflattering shots and you can then make everything available to your guests online, knowing that only great images are present.
5. It eliminates the risk of problems
One of the biggest reasons for an unplugged wedding is that the no phones policy guarantees that the ceremony and reception are not ruined by phones ringing or humming, flashes going off unexpectedly and lots of odd dings and pings occurring at all times.
6. Your guests never miss a moment of fun
We've all done it - we've been waiting to see something in the real world and then become so engrossed in the phone that we miss it. Imagine the disappointment of your guests if they miss cake cutting, toasts, dances or other important moments because they were texting someone not at the wedding, answering an email and so on. Banning devices means freeing everyone to really engage in the activities and savor the big moments.
7. Your wedding remains private
Devices allow even the most private events to go public. Fortunately, by banning them from your wedding ceremony and reception, your day remains 100% private without any tweets, Instagram images, or Facebook posts giving away details that you may want for yourself.
8. Nothing goes online without your approval
This may sound petty, but you probably don't want guests posting things to Instagram, Facebook and other social media as the wedding occurs. There are a million and one reasons that this is unadvisable, and it also reduces the sense of genuineness about the importance of the day if people have both the time and desire to do social media while attending your event.
9. The important moments are captured in the best images
You can go online and read countless tales from professional photographers explaining how key moments of a client's wedding day did not get photographed because guests had cameras and devices. From a child using a noisy Nintendo device in the ceremony to people ruining shots by leaping in front of the photographer, using flashes that destroyed the image and getting in the way when a special moment occurred in a small space. In fact, some photographers have stories of first kisses, ring ceremonies and other key moments never photographed because guests used their devices and somehow ruined the image.
10. No hurt feelings
Because the standard "plugged in" wedding ends up with a nearly real-time stream of photos appearing in social media, it is not unusual for those not invited to see the images as they occur. If your budget limited the number of people you could invite, or some issue led to a friend or family member not being included, the unplugged wedding prevents them from ever seeing images online or in real time.
These are but a few of the main reasons to have an unplugged wedding. If you have gone to any effort to hire a professional photographer, an unplugged wedding is one way to guarantee the very best images and footage of your big day.