For the Bride: The Unplugged Ceremony

For the Bride

February 6, 2015


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Let’s talk about something a BIT controversial… the Unplugged Wedding. What exact is an Unplugged Wedding? It’s when the bride and groom asks of their guests to not only shut off their phones but cameras too. No iPhone cameras either! More importantly, to be PRESENT on their wedding day and not watching behind a camera. It’s a tricky topic to discuss because in this day and age, EVERYONE is used to taking photos whenever they want! But when it comes to a wedding day, a very meaningful and important occasion… the lines are always being crossed and now taking photos at wedding can be crossing over the line of not being proper wedding etiquette! Today I’m discussing the idea of a Unplugged Wedding and the serious BENEFITS to it.


Okay… let’s get one thing clear. I think it might be a bit severe to do a completely unplugged wedding day. That means the ENTIRE wedding day! It’s hard for brides and grooms to wrap their head around that concept, especially with wedding hashtags and phones replacing real cameras as our way to save memories. So instead I am pitching to my Brides and Grooms the idea of an Unplugged Ceremony! You are simply asking your relatives, friends and guests to take NO photos during your ceremony and that’s it! And yes, this means NOT photographing the first kiss. I ask you this, sincerely… have you EVER seen a good iPhone photo from a ceremony?? Anytime I’ve looked back at hashtags from the day and see those photos, they are always a. Blurry b. dark c. far away… NOTHING is cute about those photos! And not only that, does anyone even clap anymore when couples kiss?? Lately it feels super silent and quiet because people are too busy snapping away at their phones to even get their hands together and clap. It’s NOT sweet or meaningful in anyway and it really pains me to hear it. ESPECIALLY when there are two professional photographers capturing the photos anyway!


My real concern in Wedding Ceremonies is not the pictures being taken but the lack of respect guests have for the professional photographers that are hired to do this job. We are there to take the pictures and capture the moments! So WHY do people stand in the aisle to get a photo for their phone and stand in my way?? Why do people NOT put their phones on silent?? Why oh WHY do people bring big, bulky iPads to weddings?? These tiny little instants are RUINING wedding days, not just for brides and grooms but for guests that KNOW better! And especially for photographers taking photos! I may be standing right in the center of the aisle, aimed perfectly to get your first kiss BUT if someone suddenly stands in the aisle to get the shot solely for themselves… guess what? Your professional memory is now ruined! You have no idea how much it KILLS me to see this happen! 🙁 Take the photos below. The bride and groom kissed up at the alter than stepped down and I asked them to kiss again. I also asked the guests earlier in the ceremony to NOT use flash… I delivered this photo to my bride and groom, which looks nice in black and white, but in color? Completely blown out and ruined. The flashes are blinding and not only that… none of the guests are actually looking at the couple with smiling faces and clapping for them. They are serious, staring at their screens and not even applauding the happy new married couple.


You’ve worked with your officiant or priest for months creating the perfect ceremony, you’ve both worked long and hard on your vows and chances are you’ve practiced that first kiss a few times too! Now let’s make sure you get the beautiful, flawless photos you’ve always dreamed of WITHOUT iPhones & cameras in the aisles and instead happy smiles and tears! 🙂 There are simple solutions to making an effortless and easy Unplugged Wedding!

1. Tell your Officiant or Priest! A good officiant or priest KNOWS what we are dealing with in this age of technology and the last thing THEY want is to be interrupted by a ringing cell phone. So they will have NO problem adding in that “the bride and groom have asked that all family and friends don’t take any pictures or videos during the entire length of the ceremony.” Simple! AND if someone does break the rule…. they will get another reminder from the Priest or Officiant 😉 I’ve seen this work many times at weddings and the pay off is WONDERFUL!!

2. Tell them with a sign! Once guests enter your ceremony space, have a big sign letting people know the deal! Tell them that you ask them to RESPECT your wishes and that you’ll gladly share your wedding photo and videos with them after the fact. I mean… how can people NOT respect the bride and groom’s wishes? That’s just straight rude! 😉

3. Tell your immediately family to LEAD by EXAMPLE! This goes for EVERYONE… including parents, grandparents and bridal party! If any of them are caught sneaking a photo, guests will absolutely follow suit! So be sure to let everyone know of the game plan ahead of time. And don’t worry! Everyone can take all the pictures they want during cocktail hour and the reception! 🙂


I am always trying to be extremely accommodating to guests and their wanting to take pictures at weddings. During family photos, if someone wants a photo on their camera… I’m more than willing to let them get it once I’ve taken mine! And Jose and I are always happy to take pictures for people with their own cameras or phones! There’s NO problem taking photos at weddings… we are living in the digital age and so let’s make sure we know how to work WITH it and not against it! But having guests just know the right and wrong times to doing so and making sure guests are PRESENT during the most important part of your wedding, the ceremony, is what should matter more to EVERYONE than a blurry/dark photo 🙂

  1. Meghan says:

    I was just at a concert where they announced that the performers wished for you to unplug and enjoy the show and not experience it in a 4 inch screen.

  2. Jenn says:

    I think the unplugged ceremony is a lot more realistic. I think people should be allowed to take as many pictures as they wish after the ceremony but what bothers me is when it gets posted onto social media, ask the bride and groom if they want that (i.e. hashtag) since they may not want everyone else to know their every move.

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