Nik_McAwesomepants
Master October 2011

The case for unplugged weddings.....(spillover post)

Nik_McAwesomepants, on November 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM Posted in Planning 0 48
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I realized I was hijacking another post so I thought I'd move the comments over here.

An unplugged wedding is when the couple RESPECTFULLY requests that guests refrain from taking photos during either the ceremony, reception or both.

There are many reasons to do it and as long as you let guests know in advance it's usually not a problem. My photographer was so happy I did this and I've ever heard of some photogs offering discounts to couples who do it.

1- Camera flashes wash out pix if taken at the exact same moment as the professional's. The auto focus can also cause red or green lights on faces.

2- You'll end up with pictures of people taking pictures.

3- Some guests will be more focused on taking pix/video than paying attention and being present with you in that moment.

4- Some guests (there's usually always 1) fancy themselves photographers and have been known to stand in the aisle, on a pew, behind the Bride and Groom or even behind the officiant to get a shot.

(cont.)

48 Comments

  • Nik_McAwesomepants
    Master October 2011
    Nik_McAwesomepants ·
    • Flag

    I first came across the idea at http://offbeatbride.com/2011/06/unplugged-wedding

    People have very strong opinions about it but I actually had 0 issue with it at all. I put a tab on my wedding website explaining it, spread it by word of mouth and put a little blerb in the program. Most photogs I've spoken to about this recommend at least an unplugged ceremony.

    That blog link offers wording suggestions (mine was a modified version taken from there) to let your guests know without pissing people off. You can also google unplugged wedding to see some examples of pix that have been ruined by guests taking pictures.

    • Reply
  • Justine
    Master August 2011
    Justine ·
    • Flag

    And if you don't, you might just end up with this:


    • Reply
  • Shannon S.
    Master March 2011
    Shannon S. ·
    • Flag

    I kind of wish I'd had an unplugged ceremony, just because in pics when guests were supposed to wave ribbon wands, there was a sea of cameras.

    I think a fully unplugged wedding is a little over the top and controlling, though. Especially when there's a 'no posting to FB' rule. Brides, you're not Angelina Jolie, and you don't need THAT much control over your image.

    • Reply
  • Christina
    Master October 2017
    Christina ·
    • Flag

    Thanks to many of you ladies, I actually kept this in mind at the last wedding I attended. I found myself pulling out my phone as the bride was walking down the aisle, said to myself 'am I really taking in the moment?' put it back away and enjoyed the ceremony!

    The photographers photos were beautiful, and worth the 2-3 week wait Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Glenn
    Master February 2012
    Glenn ·
    • Flag

    Shannon, the only time I'm cool with the "no posting to FB" rule is before the ceremony. I've seriously seen some people post some of the "getting ready" pics to FB that the FH ended up seeing before they did a first look/touch or she walked down the aisle. That to me was just very messed up.

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  • Ashley
    VIP December 2011
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    I'm perfectly OK with guests taking pics, but we are asking my mom's boyfriend to not take any during the ceremony. He's a "hobby" photographer, and while he takes great pics, we don't want him to accidentally get in the way of the pros we've hired. He gets so focused on taking pictures, he kinda forgets where he is sometimes. Smiley smile But, we've asked him to take pics at the rehearsal which I'm very excited about. I know we'll get some great pics!

    My friends/family don't normally take any pics (or very few) during the ceremony of weddings we've been to in the past, so I'm not worried about them doing anything to disrupt the pros. Our ceremony is outdoors anyway, so even our pro isn't worried about rogue flashes getting in the way. As for things ending up on FB - I think that'll actually be kinda fun to see what pops up since I won't get to see the pro pics immediately. Smiley smile

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  • Nik_McAwesomepants
    Master October 2011
    Nik_McAwesomepants ·
    • Flag

    I agree a completely unplugged would be a bit much. I think an unplugged ceremony is enough. I liked having some reception pix from guests the next day or so.

    @Christina my love, When I went to my cousin's wedding I was so focused on getting it on video (for my sister who couldn't make it) that I wasn't even really paying attention to what was going on :-(. I truly regret that.

    • Reply
  • FutureMrsGarguilo
    Super July 2014
    FutureMrsGarguilo ·
    • Flag

    I totally agree and will be sure to let me guests know before my wedding. I just hope I remember since mine is in 2013...lol.

    • Reply
  • FutureMrsGarguilo
    Super July 2014
    FutureMrsGarguilo ·
    • Flag

    I clicked on the link above & I can't get access without a password...do you have it?

    • Reply
  • Nik_McAwesomepants
    Master October 2011
    Nik_McAwesomepants ·
    • Flag

    Whoops! I posted the wrong link :-P. I'll fix it

    • Reply
  • Justine
    Master August 2011
    Justine ·
    • Flag

    Drat, my stalker skills weren't fast enough to beat Nik to post the right link.

    • Reply
  • Sara
    Super June 2012
    Sara ·
    • Flag

    I think this is a great idea, I just added this info to the FAQ on my wedding website and I'm going to have my ushers remind people as they arrive (not sure if we are making programs yet).

    • Reply
  • ~*DesigningBride12*~
    VIP September 2012
    ~*DesigningBride12*~ ·
    • Flag

    I kinda of want to PREVIEW the pics before people post to FB... Is that a bad thing... :/ Sometimes I am not very Photogenic ( I think and I hate when folks tag me in unflattering pics...

    • Reply
  • Ashleigh
    Expert June 2012
    Ashleigh ·
    • Flag

    We've talked about this with the families and some of them are on board for it but i've heard other comments like "i might accidently forget about that rule"

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    December 2019
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    I love it. Love it. Love it. Be where you are when you're there instead of watching it afterwards.

    • Reply
  • Stephanie Hickerty
    December 2019
    Stephanie Hickerty ·
    • Flag

    Here is a prime example (I covered the faces for privacy). I would've preferred to get a centered shot, but the nice gentleman to my left prevented that during. Then the lady to my right stepped in. Also, look how distracting the gentleman to the left is...his face is reflected in his iPad. Your unsuspecting guests just want to capture photos to share with you, to post on FB, etc., and to be the first to do it. They don't realize they're impeding the photographer from capturing your day beautifully.

    Don't worry, I was able to get some shots of her walking with her dad...but I truly loved the expressions in this one, and sadly, the guests ruined the shot without realizing it. We know it's not malicious intent on the part of the guests. But there are serious consequences to your investment in your photography when your guests get camera, smartphone, or iPad crazy during your ceremony.

    Some officiants will also make an announcement of no photography if you ask them.


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  • Christina
    Master October 2017
    Christina ·
    • Flag

    @Nik - In that case, I'm sure your sister did appreciate the extra effort!

    • Reply
  • Nik_McAwesomepants
    Master October 2011
    Nik_McAwesomepants ·
    • Flag

    @EminDee Images, WOW! That's crazy! I feel like the couple is paying a lot of money for a photog, let the professional do what they were paid to do!

    • Reply
  • Stephanie Hickerty
    December 2019
    Stephanie Hickerty ·
    • Flag

    Nik...yes, it is crazy. I've had this happen at many weddings. I talk to my couples about going unplugged. Some really go for it. Others are more worried about making their friends and family unhappy...forgetting the huge investment they're making for their "Once in a Lifetime" photos...there isn't a "do-over" of dad walking you down the aisle, or your ceremony kiss, or walking with your new hubby back down the aisle. There have been times that I couldn't crop people out of those important photos, work around the guests so as not to include them stepping in front, or photoshop them out. Those are the times I am most sad for the couple because there was an opportunity to go unplugged for the ceremony.

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Clark aka Mrs Awesomepants
    Master November 2011
    Mrs. Clark aka Mrs Awesomepants ·
    • Flag

    I chose to do it simply because people don't think about the reflection on the giant wall of glass at our ceremony lol. I didn't have the WHOLE wedding unplugged, just the ceremony and it worked out well. I also didn't care if they posted to FB or not, wasn't a big deal to me. I had 2 signs printed up to display at the ceremony entrance and the front door and it worked out very well. I loved that all our guests were able to be in the moment with us!

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