Having an unplugged wedding has been a topic of discussion for the last few years and it is something that many couples are opting for. However, like most things, it's not for everyone.
An unplugged wedding is where the couple requests that all guests leave their cameras at home and keep their mobile phones in their pockets and purses. The reason is so the guests can be in the moment and connect with the wedding as it happens. In recent years, the need to remotely stream a wedding has risen and the need for connectivity through devices has changed.
Let's look at some reasons for having an unplugged wedding and/or maybe why it isn't for you.
Guests get to be in the present moment.
This is 100% the biggest reason why couples are choosing to have an unplugged wedding. I think people are striving for real connection. I saw a post from a restaurant the other day where they would offer a 10% discount if you stayed off your device. It is a fascinating concept, but it shows how we strive for connection even between servers and customers. So I completely see why couples need and desire to want their guests to see the commitment they make to each other fully.
2. You have hired a professional(s), let them do their job.
As a photographer, I get to go to weddings and capture incredible memories and moments. Wedding photography is an investment and why not let them document our day as it unfolds. The last thing you want to see is someone with their phone in their hand the whole time, and that has happened before.
3. To enjoy the party
Weddings are a celebration, and as guests, we are there to celebrate. Can we really do that through our phones?
One of the big changes we have seen and why people are opting for an unplugged wedding is because it isn't uncommon for a bride/groom to be walking down the aisle into a sea of phones and cameras, everyone attempting to capture 'that' photo. Sadly, these people are missing out on actually experiencing the beautiful moment and connecting emotionally with your wedding day.
Not to Unplug
1. Guests can capture personal photos for them to enjoy.
For some guests, a wedding is the first time they have dressed up in a long time and having the opportunity to capture you in your outfit and yourself is something special.
2. A different perspective
You may have a family member who loves capturing photos. My dad is like this. Although he doesn't edit a photo as I would, he has captured some beautiful and fun photos of my kids over the years. His doing this has allowed me to be in the moment more, which I am extremely thankful for.
3. Celebrating and sharing your celebration
Some would argue that having every guest share the photos that they capture on the wedding day is social media clutter. But I tend to disagree. Not only do you get to see and experience the wedding day from your guest's perspective, you get to enjoy the moments that they share. With reels and videos being such a heavy focus on socials, people are creating little snapshots of the day through their eyes, sharing in the celebration of your big day. And after the years we have had with postponing and the like, your day is worth celebrating!
Maybe you need to consider having elements of your wedding unplugged. For example, just the ceremony. Most people opt to have the formal part of the celebration unplugged, but I do know of couples choosing a location based on the fact that there is no reception.
As a photographer, I am not phased whichever way you decide to go. But I think it is something to think about. Think about the reasons behind your choice and make it with conviction, not because it is the 'done' thing. 'You do you!'