Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: What Is An Unplugged Wedding

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events

Hello from the Caribbean!  I’m in the US Virgin Islands right now for a destination wedding and so our next few posts will be coming from the islands.  Sorry east coasters, I know you are battling snow, but I’ll be sharing some warm and sunny photos on instagram, so come and soak up some virtual warmth.  So, let’s jump into this week’s Wedding Wednesdays Q&A and today we’re talking about the unplugged wedding: I’ve been reading a lot about unplugged weddings. Can you tell me what that is all about? And is it really something I want?

I’m so glad you asked this question! It’s a subject I’ve wanted to chat about for a long time. So, what is an unplugged wedding? It is a wedding where you ask your guests not to use their cell phones to take photos or tweet or facebook or instagram. You’re asking them to just be there in the moment and celebrate with you at the wedding.

Now your next question is probably why would you want this?  The reason is two-fold. The first being that everyone is a photographer now because everyone has a smart phone and that results in many people being on their phones and taking photos. And when people take photos, they are always trying to get the best shot, which means they are standing or moving around. The end result of this is that it affects your photographer and videographer’s job and the shots they get. Imagine if everyone is leaning into the aisle or standing up to take a photo, the professionals just can’t get the shot they want to get without having someone intrusively in it. And with all the money you’ve invested in them, this makes it challenging for them to capture those moments.

The second reason is because some couples don’t want their wedding broadcasted everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some couples who totally want this (the instagram lovers come first to mind), but some couples just want it to be personal and intimate and most importantly private. They don’t want their personal photos or personal wedding details displayed for the world to see.   And they want their guests to be immersed and not spending their time talking about the wedding online, but spending their time actually experiencing the wedding.

So, I’ve answered your first question, now on to your second. Is this something you want? And the answer is that it is really up to you. I know my photographer and videographer friends are all waving their arms and yelling “say no” to me right now, but I do think that it’s a personal choice.  Just because it will make for better photos and a happier photographer, doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it.  Here are some things to think about:  Do you want your guests to be able to share photos and tidbits while at the wedding? Is that part of the fun for you? Do you want clean ceremony photos? Is that really important to you?  Is it fun to see all your guests taking photos?  Are you hoping to use and keep some of your guest photos?  Only you know what is important to you, so you’ll have to make that decision for yourself.

A church wedding ceremony in San Francisco making the case for an unplugged wedding

(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)

Now, if you do want an unplugged wedding, part two of this discussion is how to go about asking your guests to unplug. Which we’ll be answering next week.  Stay tuned…

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