Merry Christmas everyone! It’s Christmas Eve, so only one more sleep till the big day!...
This afternoon we have another fabulous edition of Ask the Experts and James & Lianne are here as resident photography experts to talk about unplugged weddings! As technology, smart phones and tablets have taken off over the past few years, this is something we are seeing more and more of! Here on the blog we have found unplugged weddings to be quite the talking point, and has raised quite a few discussions over the past few years. James and Lianne make quite a few very valid points, so we would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Have you had an unplugged wedding? or are you planning one? We would love you to join in the discussion.
Unplugged weddings – it says it on the tin, weddings without the distraction of modern gadgets. No phones, no iPads, just all your guests attention on you. Perhaps a little self-indulgent, maybe a tad narcissistic, and a slight whiff of bridezillaism? Telling your guests what they can and can’t do seems like you could be killing the fun but there’s perfectly good reasons and benefits to being a bit of a diva.
It’s nice for your family and friends to actually witness your wedding, enjoy the speeches and just have their attention during the day. If they’re busy trying to decide whether Valencia or Juno would be a better filter for that photo they took of you from the very back of the church, they may as well not even be there.
As professional photographers ourselves, we know that many of our couples value the photos their guests took, at least to begin with. They’re uploaded instantly and you can see them immediately. But, the vast majority of those photos are just what the professionals took but from a worse angle… at a more unflattering moment… and then a filter applied… and they’re just nowhere near as good. Then we, the pros, get you a few previews up within a day or so and then you’ve got the whole gallery within a few weeks making those photos your work friend took of you eating a miniature Yorkshire pudding during the drinks reception seem less flattering. You’ve paid someone to do the job properly, tell your guests to enjoy themselves, party and scoff canapes. You don’t need their bad photos!
Not in the sense of the day to day distraction but come family group photos time, they can be a real pain. We know the drill, we’ll get together for some quick family shots and then your Uncle Bob is stood behind us with his phone trying to take a photo over our shoulder. We get it, it’s cool. We’re even happy for you to do it and we even make sure you get the photo you wanted. What we don’t want is half the family looking at our camera and the other half looking at his. And lets face it, he chose Reyes when he really should’ve chosen Clarendon!
Literally. It’s an amazing feeling when you’re walking down the aisle together for the very first time as husband and wife. It’s a rush and nothing can replicate that feeling. As your photographers we want to capture that emotional, ecstatic moment. Ooops sorry, your mate’s plus one just leaned in the aisle to take a wonky blurry photo on her phone and blocked us from capturing that moment completely. Oh well, at least she got the moment, I’m sure it’ll be just as good as the professionals photo.
Picture this: your first dance, everyone you know and love surrounding the dancefloor ready to witness this lovely little tradition. Your mum beaming away just behind you watching you dancing with your knew partner… except, we can only assume she is, instead all we can see is an Apple logo where he face used to be. Tablets are the worst, but phones are a close second and always end up covering the reactions we’d love to be capturing and I’m sure you’d love to remember.
Slightly more pragmatic; you’d like there to be an element of surprise for your evening guests. Keeping you guests from instagramming all their photos of you spoils the surprise for them of seeing the wedding dress or the cake for example.
Ultimately, the choice is an entirely personal one whether to have an unplugged wedding or not. It depends on how much you value the photos they may capture and if you’re really bothered about them being ‘in the present’ with you. But importantly, if you trust in your photographer to capture all these moments and more and do it with a skill unmatched by your guests, you know you can safely tell your guest to put their phones down and enjoy themselves. It makes for much better photos if they do.
James & Lianne have been a couple for 14 years and photographers for 6 scooping up awards along the way. They love shooting relaxed, fun weddings and have a penchant for all things analogue, especially film photography.