The Unplugged Wedding – Is It Right For You?
It’s the biggest day of your life, and your groom stands before you at the altar looking resplendent, and you couldn’t be happier. You look back at your friends and family, and instead of seeing the beaming smiles of your loved ones – instead you see that you are greeted by a sea of lenses and lights from the majority of your guests hidden behind electronic devices.
Fast forward to that moment your wedding photos arrive from you stunning wedding photographer, and you see all the photos of your loved ones show images of people staring blankly at phones and electronic devices. Maybe some people have a smile, but they’re smiling at little electronic screens instead of you. Your friends and family have turned up for your big day, but are they really ‘there’?
The Unplugged Wedding – Ensuring All Your Guests Are Actually ‘Present’
Increasingly Brides & Grooms are considering the ‘Unplugged Wedding’ to combat the ‘over-documented’ wedding. Going unplugged essentially entails telling your guests that you’ve hired a brilliant professional to take care of getting pictures, so that they don’t have to. This then has the added bonuses of:
- Better wedding photos overall
- Guests truly present
- No ‘Social Media Splash’
If you’re looking for more face-to-face rapport with your loved ones at your wedding, then an unplugged wedding is definitely the way to go.
My Friend’s Wedding Was Saved By Guest Photos
So every now and then you’ll hear the familiar story – that the wedding photographer hired was either not professional enough in handing over the quality of images promised, or god-forbid they didn’t turn up! Maybe it goes something like this:
“We were really disappointed with our wedding photos – we had been shown lovely wedding but the photos that arrived looked nothing like this. Furthermore, he/she missed key moments of the day – and was only there until the first dance. If it wasn’t for my friends’ and family photos – we’d have nothing!”
To be honest, the biggest takeaway from this scenario is the importance of booking a professional wedding photographer – as it’s not really a victory for the guests, more a failure of hiring a professional wedding photographer. After all, if the only photos you have are iphone pictures, then really you’ve paid money for something unusable – and are relying on non-professional photos that were never going to be enough (or you wouldn’t have hired the ‘professional’ in the first place right?
What Kind Of Wedding Photos Do You Want Of Your Guests?
Your professional wedding photographer wants to get fantastic images of your guests – those candid ‘unplanned’ moments of your friends and family ‘in the moment’ and enjoying your day. But unfortunately, we’re handing over less and less of these kinds of images. The reason being that wedding guests are becoming so obsessed with taking pictures – that they aren’t ‘in the moment’ any more at all. Whether it’s being surrounded by paparazzi during your first dancy, or an aisle full of iPads sticking out as the bride walks down – simply too many moments are spoilt and wedding photos not as nice as they could be. And during those in-between moments (cocktail time or on the dancefloor, for example), your guests are too busy staring at screens, looking through viewfinders and checking facebook for us to get lovely photos of them enjoying the day!
We strongly suggest during out timeline consultations and venue walkarounds that you consider an unplugged wedding, not just so that your pictures are better but because wouldn’t it be wonderful if your loved ones could step back and just enjoy the moment!
Is Unplugging Right For You?
Whilst we ‘strongly suggest’ an unplugged wedding, we don’t ‘insist’ upon it like some photographers have started doing (a recent trend). The reason many wedding photographers are going this route is because they want to make money from selling you prints. However, this is something we at Mykey Day Photography are not concerned about – so when we ‘suggest’ you go unplugged, please know it’s for creative/artistic reasons and for your own benefit. It doesn’t really affect us either way, other than that we won’t be able to deliver lots more wonderful moments for you because they simply didn’t happen.
So really it is a personal choice and it’s up to you: it’s not like your wedding guests won’t take ‘any’ photos at an unplugged wedding – the odd side photo and the table selfies will no doubt still happen. But It’s up to you what kind of wedding you want and to what extent you want this 24hour permanent device connectivity to have at your wedding.
We’ll Just Ask People To Refrain During The Ceremony And To Wait To Upload To Facebook
That’s a tactic we’ve seen clients employ when they love the idea of the unplugged wedding, but don’t want to commit to the full idea of going unplugged. Just an FYI, from our experience, this tends to lead to considerably more photo taking outside of those times, as people seem to feel the need to ‘make up for lost time’ after moments where devices are prohibited. A sad indictment of modern culture, maybe… But definitely something we’ve seen A LOT in our experience.
Do We Offer Discounts for Unplugged weddings?
Similar to the trend listed above (where photographers insert into their contracts a stipulation that your wedding is unplugged – worded one way or another), we’ve also seen a trend of wedding photographers offering discounts for unplugged weddings. Occasionally we’re asked if we do the same, and here’s our answer (and why):
No… Our job is exactly the same either way (we don’t work any less or more hours either way) – so ultimately the choice is yours as to whether you want your pictures to look lovely with your guests ‘in the moment’ or stuck behind their screens/devices. And it’s exactly that, it’s a choice we want you to make and be happy with either way – not affected by bullying tactics of discounts or contract demands.
Furthermore, we genuinely wonder how photographers who do this enforce such discounts. So, if one of your friends takes out their camera for a quick selfie before the ceremony, and now we’re asking you for more money to get our discount back?! At this point it all gets very silly!
PS – All the pictures used in this article were taken from just one wedding we recently shot. And whilst we stand by these photos as ‘good’, do consider that for many of these people these were the only photos of them (camera stuck on face or phone in hand) that we managed to capture of them the entire day. Do consider if you would prefer to see your families faces rather than the front of their cameras!
London & Kent Wedding Photographer Mykey Day
Your Wedding Day will never be as important to anyone else as it is to you, but trust us when we say – your wedding will be crucially important to us as well! Please browse our website for examples of our work, and we look forward to making your wedding photographs special too.