Why you Should have an Unplugged Wedding (Or AT LEAST the Ceremony)!

Consider this a wedding PSA.  It is time to talk about wedding photo etiquette. We are attached to our phones. I work as a social media professional – I’m the most guilty of this addiction. We need to step back and remind ourselves that weddings are a special day and the Bride and Groom have hired a (probably expensive) wedding photographer or serenablogpostvideographer.  As a social media coordinator you would think that I would be encouraging phones but (I never thought I’d say this) they are ruining some great life moments. I have seen too many great photographers dodging smartphones and many precious wedding moments ruined because a guest or bridal party member were trying to get a shot for their social media or on their personal camera. I’ve heard one too many ceremonies where a phone has gone off with a cheesy ringtone. I have seen too many guests streaming something – a football game, a funny youtube video – on their phone during vows, speeches or dances. So its time to say it – when we are on our phones (for whatever reason) we are not present. If you absolutely must take a photo at least do it during or after dinner, by then most of the “critical firsts” are through. We have teamed up with some of our photography vendors to make suggestions on how to have an unplugged wedding and what you can do to be aware and helpful as a guest:

Reasons why you Should Seriously Consider an Unplugged Wedding:

1.)    Guests are fully present and enjoying your special day.

2.)    No unwanted ringing of phones during your Walk up the Aisle, I Do’s, First dance etc. I have heard some awkward ringtones (Supertramp, anyone?) go off at the worst times…

3.)    A photographer cannot combat the flash of another camera. If your personal DSLR or iphone flashes while they are trying to capture the moment on their DSLR – there is no great way of recovering that in photoshop – especially against a white dress. This is especially detrimental during the ceremony or first moments: dance, entrance etc. Please refrain.

4.)    Guests stepping in the way of the photographer – the photographers are not always right next to the couple. Sometimes they are on a riser, at the back of the room capturing a whole shot and when you step into the aisle or have the camera up against your face you may be pulling focus from what they are trying to capture. Candid photos are popular, just because you don’t see the photographer, doesn’t mean they aren’t snapping pictures.

5.)    The  red button/flash before certain smartphones or cameras looks like a nightclub, reddotofdoomsniper beam or laser pointer and is probably not the feeling they are going for.  Photo Credit: CoreyAnn Photography.

6.)    Couple may not want certain photos posted to social media for privacy reasons or safety reasons. They may not have invited someone for reasons unknown to you.

7.) Smartphones can blind the Bride or Groom before an important shot. I thought about posting these photos but I am pretty sure the couples don’t want these photos online. 😛

8.)    Smartphones mask faces. When a guest takes a picture on their smartphone they usually raise it to their face to get the perfect shot – thus making them unrecognizable in any photo.

Some weddings encourage the use of phones during the reception with an event hashtag but other couples choose to hire a really great photography company and have more than one photographer to capture those moments. If you are getting married soon, we recommend you have a family member or officiant make an announcement about phones and photography before the ceremony. This sets a precedent for the rest of the day. If you are a guest we are aren’t telling you to ditch your phone at the doors – just be aware that you are on camera too! So smile! The photographer’s camera is better than anything that your smartphone could produce anyways!  If you must, take one or two quick snaps, but don’t stay on your phone the whole event.  Your Instagram account will be sufficient with a selfie with the newlyweds during the reception at an appropriate time.

Cheers everyone!

Tina Pirkas – Social Media Coordinator –  Liuna Station

Featured Photo: Serena Swan Photography.