An Unplugged Ceremony…. | North Georgia Wedding Photographer

© Capture Thirteen Photography

An unplugged ceremony… have you thought about it?

We know, this can be a touchy thing to talk about for brides and guests but in today’s time, it’s an important thing to consider and communicate to your guests your wishes for your wedding day.

We encourage all our Capture Thirteen couples to have an unplugged ceremony because we believe the wedding ceremony time is a sacred time. A time for which, you’ve given careful thought and consideration as to who you want to be there in that moment with you as you make lifelong vows to each other.

If you’re on the fence and not sure if an unplugged ceremony is right for you, we’re letting you in on all the reasons we think unplugged ceremonies are the way to go.

So take a deep breath, because we’re diving in!

We know asking your friends and family to put the phones and cameras down can seem like a daunting task and worry over hurt feelings can get the best of you, but friends, your day is worth it! We promise, we haven’t had a couple yet, who said they regretted making the choice to go unplugged. If you let your guests know ahead of time and tell them in love your reasoning most will understand and put their picture taking devices away.

We can’t even begin to tell you how disheartening it is for us as photographers to pull up your ceremony photos to cull through the images and see cellphones, and cameras where faces should be and if it makes us feel this way we can’t even begin to imagine how our couples feel. If we could go into pictures and erase cellphones, cameras, and big ole ipads… (yes it has happened)… we would totally do it for you! We understand your friends and families desires to capture memories for themselves, but that’s what you’ve hired a photographer for. To capture the memories and moments and you’ll be able to share those moments with them.

Honestly, most wedding guests do not mean any harm by breaking out their phones, ipads, and cameras… we know this. However what most guests don’t realize is that they’ve missed out on being fully present and in that moment with you. Plus there’s a good chance you won’t remember or know if that’s cousin Sally or your college friend Anna hiding behind that cellphone as you walk down the aisle. I don’t know about you but I would much rather see smiling faces, happy tears, laughter and the beautiful faces of my guest than their picture-taking devices.

By asking your guests to unplug for a few moments on your special day, you’ve let them know that you value their presence there with you on your wedding day. You’ve let them know that they are important to you, and you’ve let them know that the ceremony time is a sacred time to you. By asking guests to unplug you’ve also taken steps to protect your wedding photography investment and prevented social media headaches.

You’ve made an investment in your wedding photography, and while your photographer(s) are doing their best to ensure you get the best photos possible from your day, we photographers also need a little help from our couples and wedding guests. We know no guest is intentionally trying to ruin your wedding photos…at least we sure hope not, but often times that’s exactly what they are doing. A pop-up flash on a camera or phone can completely ruin your photographer’s image and with a wedding ceremony there is no…oops could you hold on a minute… let’s do that one more time. Or a guest getting caught up in the moment of capturing their own image, can cause a photographer to miss a shot because they unknowingly and sadly sometimes knowingly stepped out in front of the hired photographer to get their shot. And then there are the other guests to consider who are missing out as well because the guest in front of them is holding up or standing up to take a picture right in front of their view.

It seems silly that social media should even be a concern for our couples on their wedding day but because of the social media driven world we live in, its something to take into consideration. We have a love/hate relationship with social media around here… we love it because that’s how we connect with so many of you! Just like you guys it has brought new friends into our lives. On the flipside, it has created an I’ve got to post it first or show that I was there or get that perfect artsy Instagram shot that will get me thousands of likes mentality. A mentality that’s become so second nature to us that we forget to just be there with the people we love. We miss out and lose moments and memories with people because we’re too caught up trying to create the perfect memory. We forget that our presence and full attention are valued and important to others.

With going live features on social media it can turn what a bride and groom intended to be an intimate gathering of friends and family into a public streamed event. We know this sounds extreme but again friends, we’ve seen it happen more than once. We’ve seen brides crushed because they found out their groom saw a picture of them online when she wanted him to see her for the first time coming down the aisle. It breaks our hearts for our couples when these types of things happen on their wedding day.

Sweet wedding guest friends, if a couple has asked you to put away your devices, we implore you to please just put it down! Allow yourself to be in the moment, and for this moment in time allow someone else to capture memories for you! Let us photographers capture your beaming smile as your best friend walks down the aisle, let us capture your tears as you get caught up in the beauty of vows being made, let us capture your laughter and crazy dance moves. Most importantly… allow your newlywed friends, the beauty of being in a moment with you, and memories made with you, we promise you they will treasure that more than any cell phone, picture perfect, Instagram shot you could ever take!

So how do you communicate to your wedding guests your desires to have them unplug during your ceremony or wedding day? Ask them! Really, almost all guests will respect your wishes if you make it known. You may still have that one guest who pops out there cellphone but it won’t be a sea of devices as you come down the aisle.

How do you ask your guests to put their devices away? Have a note printed and slide it in when you send out your invitations and then remind your guests by posting a cute chalkboard sign as they enter the ceremony site. Or before things begin, ask your minister to step in and thank your guest for attending your special day and ask them to be fully present with you by putting away devices, turning off their flashes and phones. Pinterest is a great resource for finding ideas on how to ask, we’ve even pinned some ideas for you! If its okay with you for guests to take pictures post-ceremony, then let them know by saying feel free to take a picture with your phone at our photo booth, or while you’re having fun on the dance floor.

Just don’t forget communication is key!

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