We are going to take a very unpopular stance on why you should NOT have an Unplugged Ceremony. We’ll share with you our biggest reasons why we think you should rethink having an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony below.
Photographers, please don’t hate us!
Having an “Unplugged Wedding” has become the thing to do lately. Keeping your family and friends out of the way so they don’t ruin your professional photographers perfect shot is a great reason to do so. However, there are many reasons we believe you should think twice before having an unplugged ceremony.
What is an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony?
Having an Unplugged Ceremony is when you ask your guests to refrain from taking photos or video during the ceremony. This can typically be done with an Unplugged Ceremony Sign where you ask your guests to please be present in the moment and keep your cameras put away, or you can have someone announce this before the ceremony begins.
Pros to an Unplugged Ceremony
While having all your guests refrain from taking photos during your actual ceremony, you will find there are some pros to doing this.
Your photographer is probably the person who would prefer an Unplugged Ceremony the most. This allows them to do their job and not have any problems trying to get the shots you have paid them to get.
The pros for opting for an Unplugged Ceremony are:
1. Your Pictures Will Be Free Of Cameras In The Shot
Asking your guests to keep their cameras away will ensure your photographer won’t have any photos with random cell phones, cameras, and iPads in it. You’ve probably seen the photos where guests have ruined pictures by having their cameras out that show how tacky it may look.
2. No Interference With Your Photographer
Not only will this allow you to have nice photos without lots of people holding their phones, this can also help clear the way for your photographer. That way, you aren’t missing out on a shot because your second cousin decided to step in the aisle to snap their own photo.
3. Your Guests Can Be Fully Present In The Moment
Another great reason to have an Unplugged Wedding is so that your guests can be fully present in the moment and be involved in everything that is going on. Have you ever tried to snap pictures or video of something going on, but you seem to miss what is actually happening? It takes a bit away if you are watching through the lens, so if no one is taking photos, they can just enjoy the ceremony.
While these are all really great reasons to ask your guests to keep their cameras away…we have a bit of a different take on it, and would love to share why we think you should NOT have an Unplugged Wedding.
Reasons to NOT have an Unplugged Wedding
We decided we did not want to limit our guests to not taking photos or video because we knew our guests were not going to be overly obnoxious about taking photos, and trusted them to be sneaky in doing so.
We had absolutely no problems with people using phones or cameras, and have no evidence of anyone taking photos, other than the actual photos they took.
Here is why we decided not to have an Unplugged Ceremony…
1. You Will Get More Photos
I am a photo girl. I feel I can never have too many pictures. When the sun is setting, I’m snapping photos every couple minutes because it changes. The photos look different, the colors change, and it can be a completely different photo than the one you snapped 10 minutes ago.
Same goes for our wedding. As good as your photographer may be, and even if you have two or multiples, they aren’t going to capture everything from every perspective, every angle, and every moment.
Your photographer is most likely only looking for key moments, as they should, but if they aren’t prepared for something that happened in the moment, you might miss out on that special moment.
Case in point…my sweet 18 month old niece came right up to me to say hi during the ceremony. The only photograph I have of that moment, is from a dear friend who was snapping away. And I can’t tell you how much I treasure this photo!
Also, your photographer most likely will give you a certain set amount of photos. They aren’t going to give you every single shot they snapped. (And most for good reason, since people’s eyes will be closed, it will be blurry, etc.)
So as many photos as I could get of the biggest day of our lives, I was all for it!
2. You’ll Get To See Your Wedding Photos Faster!
It is HARD to wait for your wedding photos after your big day. You get so excited that you want to see them all. Our photographer was great and got us some sneak peeks within a day, but it just made me want more and more.
Luckily for us, she would drip upload them, meaning every few days there were a few more pictures. But, it was so fun seeing all of our friends post photos from our wedding and some send them to us as well.
I was recently a bridesmaid in a friends wedding, and they started asking everyone they knew about if they had any photos cause they wanted to see them too…so I know I wasn’t the only one.
3. A Guest May End Up Taking Your Favorite Photo Ever
The main reason I didn’t want to do an Unplugged Ceremony was because of one couple of friends. They used a guests photo for their Thank You Cards, used it for their Profile Pictures on social media, and every year, they show that photo.
It’s obvious that’s their favorite photo, and that photo was actually taken by a friend of mine who was sitting right next to me.
Knowing this, made me realize that having different points of views and different perspectives can give you a brilliant treasure you will love forever.
Of course their photographer was awesome and got some amazing shots, it’s not anything against the photographer. It’s the moment that was captured, at the right angle, the perfect moment of laughter, just a glimpse that brings you back to the feeling of that day.
4. Get A Feeling From A Guest’s Perspective
Obviously you aren’t able to be a guest at your own wedding. You’re standing up at the front and everyone is looking at you. But when you get to see photos that were shot from the crowd, it’s like you get a little glimpse into what the day looked like.
You get to live and feel what your guests did, and get their perspective to see what they were seeing. It just makes it feel a little more personal knowing that they shared their own view of the day.
5. Things Can Happen
Now the entire point I want to make of my whole opinion, is what my worst nightmare was…that actually happened.
Being someone who treasures photos as much as I do, the worst thing that could have happened on my day, happened.
Some of our photos were lost, and gone forever.
I am still devastated, and praying for some kind of miracle, but in some random accident, some of our files were deleted from the memory card when our photographer was working with them.
And not just any photos…our family photos. The ones I was wanting and looking forward to the most.
This is not a reflection on our photographer, and not something she did wrong. But things. can. happen. You never know.
You can have a photographer shooting your ceremony and all of a sudden their camera breaks, they forget to put in a memory card while switching them out…we’ve heard the horror stories from so many brides, and I never thought that would happen to us, but sadly it did.
My biggest regret during our day, is that I don’t have a decent photo with my mom. And that kills me every time I think about it.
We were so lucky that our videographer happened to come back and shoot a little bit of us taking pictures of us and my husbands family, and I was able to get 2 stills out of that but still nothing from my family.
I’m very thankful I have several photos of me and my sisters, since they were all my bridesmaids, and my dad walked me down the aisle and performed the ceremony since he’s a pastor…but no photos with my mom…and that is just devastating.
I know you might be thinking if that’s the worst thing to happen, it’s not that bad. But to me, that’s everything.
Having some of the photos that friends and family had snapped throughout our ceremony saves some of the lost moments we had from that memory card.
But my biggest take away to not having an Unplugged Ceremony would be that.
Yes, having an Unplugged Wedding can be a great idea, I just want to caution everyone to think about it for themselves, and not just do it because it’s the recent trend.
Sometimes you have to take an unpopular stance, and this is mine.
Even if nothing happens to your photos, I want you to think about all the other reasons to having a “plugged event”, and get all the photos you can!
No matter what you decide with an Unplugged Ceremony or not, do what is best for you. We’ve had friends who have done unplugged and loved every shot they got…a friend who did unplugged and people still took and posted pictures during the ceremony.
Every wedding is different, we just recommend you do what is best for you. Don’t feel pressured from anyone else to do or don’t do an Unplugged Ceremony. We just want you to take both sides and make the decision for yourselves.
We love our photographer and have no hard feelings about what happened. It just sucks, and having these random extra pictures from our guests help make it a little bit better.
Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.