How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
Your first question might be why should you have an unplugged wedding ? What’s wrong with your guests taking their own snaps if they want to ? Hasn’t everyone done that ?
I think that if you’ve invested in a professional photographer whose sole aim is to capture those spontaneous moments of your wedding day that cannot – I mean literally, cannot – be authentically recreated, then you’ll probably be disappointed to see selfie sticks, lit-up phones, iPads, tablets and guest cameras held aloft and in your photos. This will happen. Ditto the videographer. But it’s something that the majority of brides to be aren’t aware of, which is why I want to delve into the detail so that you are.
What your photographer does
It’s not your photographer’s job to photoshop out selfie sticks, phones etc from your images. You may have 800 processed imaged (depending on the length of photography coverage) and the post-production costs would be prohibitive. It’s the same scenario as if you have visible tan lines on your wedding day – post production time does not include making those adjustments; it would simply cost too much – most likely you are in most of the images!
I’m not just talking about the ceremony here either. That is most likely the part of the day where you least want any distractions at all – flash (if it’s allowed), noise – but the abundance of guestographers can hamper proceedings with your family formals too. What do you want your family photographs to look like ? Everyone looking at the photographer ? Yes. What happens when you have your photographer and a group of guestographers in front of you ? No-one will know where to look and probably, your formal shots – the ones your family place on the mantelpiece – will have your wedding party looking all over the place as a result.
Sometimes a photographer can ask the guests to refrain from taking photos until they have done their work, but this inevitably leads to delays – and you want to get to your party too!
Then there are the guestographers who actively get in the way of the official photographer – the person you’ve paid to take your photographs – potentially leading to missed shots.
I think it boils down to this : as a bride to be you’ve got a lot on your plate and considering an unplugged wedding probably isn’t high on your agenda. Why should you be concerned of the potential problems with selfie sticks and their ilk ? But now that you are aware, your photographer will thank you if you can see the benefits of asking your guests to enjoy the day with you, to be present, and to unplug. Some photographers offer discounts to couples willing to have an unplugged wedding because it’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage expectations and no-one wants you to be upset with your wedding day images.
How do you go about having an unplugged wedding ?
Be prepared to repeat yourself! The most successful approach is to ask your guests several times – both in the lead-up to your wedding and on the day itself. Suggestions include :
- At the pre-planning stage, you could ask your photographer whether they offer the option of a photo booth so that your guests can still have the fun of taking their own photos without it getting in the way of your ceremony/reception.
- Make a note on the invites (which no-one will remember on the day). So :
- Follow that up with a reminder from the ushers as guests arrive.
- Print a line on the order of service asking guests to unplug.
- At the venue, put up a sign reminding your guests that you have hired a professional photographer and that you’d like your guests to be present and enjoy your day with you, as opposed to an Instagram hashtag.
- Ask the Officiant to mention your unplugged wedding before the service begins.
The Wedding Photographers Kit That Has Nothing To Do With Gear
Some of you know that since last year I’ve followed a fork in the road that has led me towards wedding photography. It’s such an interesting journey and there are, and have been, endless surprises! For example, as a fully fledged wedding photographer I know that I want to offer my clients an experience. After the wedding, I don’t want them to simply acknowledge that I’ve done my job; I want them to be evangelists for my brand, to spread the word and refer clients back to me, and for that to happen they must be aware of my brand on an experiential level.
One of the surprises I discovered was that delivering an experience that my clients would love involves me packing a tote bag filled with a myriad of things that the bridal party, guests (or I) might need on any given wedding day. Not all photographers do this – so when you’re booking and if you’re looking for someone who demonstrates how they’ll go the extra mile for you, ask what they pack and see what transpires.
Now, this is no ordinary tote bag. The list is incredible and I’m going to share it with you here. Seriously, would you imagine that your wedding photographer would be able to step in if you needed first aid, or a needle and thread, or an emergency manicure ?
Well, I want my clients to know that I have their back, and here’s how it happens.
The Kit List
A gorgeous hanger to photograph the dress on
Jewellers posing wax
White clothes peg (to secure the veil on a windy day)
Hair grips/hair band
Tide stain remover stick
Mini water bottles
Small hand mirror
First Aid Kit
Wedding Sparklers (the very long ones)
If you’re getting married and like the idea of working with a photographer who has your back, let’s innovate and talk about creating authentic, custom photography for your wedding day.