Ok, so my understanding is that an “unplugged wedding” is one where the couple invite the guests to switch off cameras and cell phones and instead be with them as part of the event. The internet is full of various opinions. I actually don’t know if I have one, but I thought I would share the link to Offbeat Bride, a fantastic slightly off centre blog for the bride to be, where there are a number of downloadable, printable templates for signs and programme inserts to stop guests taking photographs during the wedding ceremony.
I have never had as bad an experience as described by Corey Ann in this blog. If i had I think I might feel the same way. Yes, I have lost the occasional shot, either to a flash or someone standing in the way, but so far – touch wood, fingers crossed etc – nothing that I didn’t manage to recover from.
I personally think that as a professional photographer that I am a part of the couple’s day: part of the celebration, part of the support team, part of the entertainment. I have a job to do, but I do not have a mandate to be rude, to bully people, to obstruct or spoil the enjoyment of the guests or the couple. Equally I am a paid professional with a contract to fulfil, but I must be doing something right because I have never disappointed a bride with her album design and am always delighted when couples say how much they enjoyed their photography session. Professional wedding photography is about far more than taking photographs: you are an event coordinator, a crowd control expert, a therapist, dresser’s assistant and so much more. There are ways to manage the pushy guest who wants to replicate every shot and pose, techniques to ensure your couple stay focused on you rather than that little point and shoot over there, and there is an element of entertainment in watching somebody taking photographs with an iPad!
But I do think the ceremony is special: I try to be as unobtrusive as possible, to blend into the background. I make a point of speaking to the minister/priest/celebrant and finding out what their rules are, at least for the solemn parts of the proceedings. Even non-religious ceremonies such as Humanist celebrations should have an emotional or spiritual aspect. At the very least there is a legal element – you should try messing with some of the Registrars in Scotland who would be quick to tell you about the Registrar General’s guidelines (but if you are respectful, mostly registrars are wonderful, relaxed, very easy to work with, and just ask that you don’t get in the way).
This clip, Don’t be that Guy, should give brides, grooms and guests something to think about.
The decision at the end of the day must be that of the couple, and I will always try to honour their wishes.
What do you think??
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- The Bridesmaids’ Bill of Rights (ryanandamy.wordpress.com)
- New Trend: Tech-Free Nuptials (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Frequently asked questions (sandrakeddiephotography.wordpress.com)
- Are you THAT Guy or Gal? (milvertonweddings.wordpress.com)
- Seen At 11: Weddings Unplugged? Banning Technology A Growing Trend (newyork.cbslocal.com)