I am reading more and more about Unplugged weddings. I have previously blogged about turning off your phone at the wedding ceremony, but this blog is about taking it a step further. Obviously people are going to set their phones to silent. (Well you hope that it is obvious) but in unplugged weddings there is a blanket ban on photography too.
On pintrest there are all sorts of examples on how to word this. Maybe using a chalk board at the ceremony or something extra that goes in with your invitations or your order of service booklets. It’s not because the couple are shy or don’t want photos of their special day, it is about being present in the moment. Coming from a photographic background I can understand how people can feel this way. A camera definitely puts a barrier between yourself and anything that you are photographing. It removes some of your concentration, when you are busy photographing you are thinking about composition, flashes and camera settings.
There has also been a lot in the media about living in the moment, not always photographing it, making actual memories rather than taking photos. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I get it, I understand that we spend all too much time on our devices when we should be spending time with our loved ones and the people that we are with at that moment. I understand wanting people to be immersed in the moment of your wedding, but shouldn’t it be their choice? Is the wedding ceremony the right time for this? Thankfully they will most likely have a professional taking photos. The wedding ceremony can be an extremely surreal moment, especially for the bride and groom. I agree with living in the moment, but there are times too where photos are a must.
I’m a highly visual person and I use photos and objects to prompt my memory a lot. I would have been devastated if there had have been no photos taken when my son was born. I can’t imagine how that would feel. I won’t ever forget the first time I laid eyes on him, but I’m glad that I have it recorded too. I must admit, I’m a sucker for a good photo, I have to have photos of everything. I use photos for bookmarks.
It’s been a while since I have been a guest at a wedding ceremony, and I don’t think I can remember the last time that I was a guest at a wedding and didn’t take a stack of photos. I don’t know how I would go. For me now I would be paying attention to all the details as a celebrant and don’t know if I could give an objective opinion on an unplugged wedding.
I love that as a celebrant, photographers are usually happy to provide me with some images to use here on my blog, so I feel lucky in that respect to have lovely photos from each wedding that I am privileged to conduct. Although I don’t ‘need’ photos to remember, I have a marriage register, the photos are oh so lovely to have.
I haven’t spoken to a lot of my photographer friends about this yet, but I am interested to see if they welcome the idea. I imagine that they would. No one getting in the way when the bride is walking down the aisle, no competing for spots in the chapel or having someone step into their shot trying to get their own. Parents both enjoying the moment of their children’s wedding.
I like the idea from the stand point that everyone is paying attention to the vows that the bride and groom are about to make to each other, and somehow maybe it would give the ceremony a little more of a sacred feel. What do you think? Could you go to a wedding and not take photographs or have your wedding and ask for it to be ‘Unplugged’?