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Should I have an unplugged wedding? 5 tips if you decide you do


A wedding ceremony needs to be sacred. It’s a big milestone in anyone’s life. There’s a reason we choose a spectacular location and make it look as pretty as possible. Our friends and family patiently await for us to make our entry while we commit a lifetime to each other.

It’s a special moment. Very special.

There is an etiquette to be respectful of the event. To be supportive of the couple’s love while being fully present. Much as in the theatre, there is no talking, no interrupting safe for a supportive cheer or congratulatory applause when appropriate.

Of course, as a photographer, I do everything I can to stand in the right spot without disturbing the sanctity of it, yet I have to be there to record it. Over the years we’ve truly fine-tuned our positioning in order to get the best shots and avoid being seen or in the way of the guests.

A wedding ceremony has the tendency to bring out the inner photographer in many people, so the amateur photographers come out with their own devices.

Consider this: the iPhone (or worse the iPad’s) screen is brightly illuminated. So, this camera you have also projects a highly visible image to the viewers behind you. Multiply this and you have a sea of iPhones like we’re at a concert venue. It does not look good and, in fact, ruins the shot I try to get for the couple. It’s a downright problem.

You don’t need to record everything on your iPhone. There are professionals here that I’m sure the couple is happy to share their images with. Please be fully present.

I have seen multiple solutions to this problem as this hasn’t completely sunk into the popular etiquette yet. Your guests need to be reminded!

So here are 5 tips on how to get that wedding unplugged:

Tip #1: Have the officiant announce it

Tip #2: Put a note in the program

Tip #3: Have security guards with scanners. It’s extreme, but have seen this at certain high profile events where privacy was simply something that could not be negotiated with.

Tip #4: Have a locking device such as Yondr. They use this at movie screenings to avoid bootlegging. Also, a very extreme solution!

Tip #5: My favorite solution is to post a sign. Something that’s pretty, but in your face. Shame on anyone for trespassing.

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