Most couples have no idea that at weddings, everyone becomes irritating paparazzi. I know everyone wants to have their own photo with the couple, but when you multiply the time it takes by 150 guests, it can quickly eat up your whole wedding day. Plus, let's face it: it's super-frustrating to spend a small fortune on your photographer and have guests ruin the photos, or spend your entire wedding with a phone in front of their face.
By having an unplugged wedding, you eliminate these time-wasting photos and have a lot more time to enjoy your wedding day. But the number one reason why you should have an unplugged wedding is because you, your family, and guests will actually get to enjoy the moments in the moment.
However, I also know that the idea of having an unplugged wedding may freak you out a bit. What if the photographer doesn't capture every single guest? What if people don't get it? What if everyone judges your choice?
Here are a few tips to help assuage your fears of throwing an unplugged wedding…
Be sure to remind guests numerous times
If you only write “no photos please” on the invites, it's more than likely guests will forget come the wedding day. Put reminders on your wedding website and invites, post a sign right before they seat themselves for the ceremony, remind them on the programs, and schedule an announcement by the officiant. You might think family and friends will think you are a groom/bridethulhu, but if done in a subtle repetitive manner, it's more likely to work.
Consider using a photobooth
The intense photo-taking family member with the newest iPad will struggle to cooperate even after numerous reminders. One way to get them to leave their technology at home is to remind them there will be a photobooth. A photobooth is a great way to keep your guests entertained and to get photos that not even a wedding photographer can capture. Often times it can quench your guests' desires to take photo after photo after photo…
Harness the power of Facebook
There are lots of great bad photos posted online which show how camera-obsessed guests have ruined photos. I recommend posting an article, or an image of how guests have ruined wedding photos, on your Facebook page a week before your wedding to remind guests who may be completely unaware of this problem.
Give your guests a special photo freebie time
If you don't think your guests can handle not taking photos for the entire day, I recommend telling them that as soon as the first dance is over, they're allowed to take photos. You could make the “photo freebie time” fun by announcing that as soon as they hear the irritating song #Selfie, everyone can pull out their cameras and phones for the rest of the evening.
Avoid the Judgey McJudgersons
Worried about how everyone is going to judge your decision to have an unplugged wedding? I'll let you in on a little secret: most wedding photographers will happily take the blame for the no-camera policy, if it means they don't have to deal with guests and their smartphones. It's even becoming more and more common for wedding photographers to offer a discount for couples willing to have an unplugged wedding. So join forces with your photographer to defeat the Judgies!
Double down on your photographers
If you're really scared about missing moments, look into getting a second photographer. Lots of photographers' packages include or allow for an additional shooter. I highly recommend this option because a second shooter will give you another perspective, and can be in charge of getting all of those guest shots you want.
Unplugged wedding-havers and photographers: what are your techniques for quelling unplugged anxieties?
photography: Dustin Cantrell