Never heard of an unplugged wedding ceremony? If not and you’re getting married you might just want to read this post…
At an unplugged ceremony your celebrant will ask your wedding guests to refrain from or minimise photos & videos during your wedding ceremony. Of course you can do it any way that feels right for you but normally unplugged ceremonies happen in one of two ways;
- Your celebrant asks your guests not to take any photos or video during your wedding ceremony.
- Your celebrant tells guests they are welcome to take photos/video during your wedding ceremony but asks them not to upload anything to social media until you give them the ok.
(Note: If you are planning on having an unplugged wedding it might be advisable to mention this on the invites so guests come fore-warned).
Why should I have an unplugged ceremony?
Here’s the Top 5 reasons to have an unplugged ceremony according to David Connolly, Celebrity Wedding Planner…
What’s my personal take as a professional wedding photographer on unplugged weddings?
I don’t have any problem with guests taking photos during the wedding day. In general it’s just a part of most weddings and I can’t change it so I try to use it to my advantage. For example, if Uncle Bob is taking photo of a group of people during the mingling after the ceremony I will often tag in at the end, saying “I’m going to copy your shot – thanks for setting them up for me!”. This (hopefully) achieves a number of things;
- I might never have got those people together in a photo. It might not turn out to be an important photo but then again, it might.
- The people usually look super relaxed, happy and natural because they weren’t “having a photograph professionally taken”, they were just having their photos snapped by a friend or relative and I tagged on at the end.
- The people who’s photo I’m taking are stoked “the pro” is photographing them as it means there’s a much better chance they get a photo of themselves that is in focus and properly exposed.
- The person who took the photo is flattered “the pro” is copying their shot.
- It usually gets everybody laughing and smiling and actually having fun with the photos, which is my top priority and makes for much more natural/beautiful photos.
However, if I’m taking group/family/bridal party photos and one or more guests are snapping away beside me I will tell them to take their photo first, explaining that if we shoot at the same time as each other there will be eyeballs looking in all different directions in the photo. I will then wait (but not for too long) for them to take their photo, often peering over the shoulder at their screen and saying things like “Nice angle, I like what you’ve done there…”. I try to make it fun and help relax the people in the photo by making them laugh (rather than stressing them out by getting angry at the paparazzi guests).
Letting them shoot first like this lets them get their shot but also makes them realise that their photos slow down the proceedings and do have an impact on the professional photos. Often-times when I do they will take fewer photos and they won’t shoot while I’m shooting because they realise it slows everything down.
But I’ll let Kathryn Omond, Queenstown Wedding Celebrant explain about Unplugged Weddings. She is a Queenstown Wedding Celebrant and a big fan of unplugged weddings (as am I) so she can explain it far better than I ever could. Here are some tips from Kathryn on how to pull off an unplugged wedding ceremony. I’ve also included a (rather depressing, if I’m honest) article that Kathryn sent me from an Ohio wedding photographer called Corey Ann about unplugged weddings and photography. (Or perhaps we should call it “101 things that could go wrong if you don’t have an unplugged wedding”? While Corey Ann does raise very valid points, I don’t encounter anywhere near as many issues with guest photographers as she does it would seem, so my view is a bit more tolerant I suppose).
Right, here are the goods courtesy of Kathryn Omond…