Not everyone wants to have their private lives splashed and splattered all over social media and some especially, want to keep the memories of their most precious day, i.e. their wedding, under wraps and away from the world.
Why in this social media era of sharing and tweeting and hash-tagging and liking and pinning and posting, wouldn’t anyone want to go and share moments of their wedding day wherever they can? Isn’t that what the modern age of connectivity is about? Sharing photos of life as it is happening? Just why with all of the apps available, like those that gather different people’s photos of a single event together, not be a huge boon for a wedding?
Well, all that can be great, but for some people, a wedding is a very intimate, special occasion that they want to keep private and just between the couple and the invited guests.
The concept of an “unplugged wedding” has been growing really ever since the explosion of social media, particularly Facebook, as an ante-movement to the overload of social sharing. But the concept doesn’t mean just stripping everything at the wedding down to its bare bones, it’s about appreciating the moment that is in front of you. It is like the old concept of not taking a camera on your vacation because you will spend more time looking through the lens than at what is actually around you.
Get your guests to understand your goal
So are you ready to consider an unplugged wedding? If you are not someone who spends a lot of time on social media, because it is just not your thing, then you obviously will do your best to keep your wedding out of places that you don’t want it be seen.
We aren’t talking about shutting out social media in its entirety, but for example, you may only want to release selected professional images of your wedding ceremony on social media, instead of a dodgy one taken by Aunt Rosemary where a chunk of shadow is making you appear to have a triple-chin.
There’s nothing wrong with the edited approach as it gives you control of what does and what doesn’t get out there, but in doing so you will have to rein in your guests a bit.
The whole thing can be kicked off simply by having the minister, or whoever is officiating your wedding, simply announce to guests that are present to shut off their phones before the start of the ceremony.
What this really is, is a chance to tell your guests that they can really connect to the ceremony with their hearts instead of technology. That they can forget about the phone, as it’s all about the wedding. To listen to the words, to smell the flowers or touch the rustic wooden bench upon which they are sat. Simply put, to be present. After all, isn’t that why they were invited, to be a part of your ceremony?
While there are strong arguments on both sides of using and not using social media at your wedding,it is photography which is the biggest reason as to why you may want to get unplugged for the day.
Don’t get charged up over your devices
Naturally of course, you yourself don’t want to be tied to your phone on the day of your own wedding. There is so much to do, so much to worry about without getting online on this emotional day and worrying about who is following you.
This is a day when you are, more likely than not, going to be bombarded with notifications and people wanting to touch base with you and that can cause a tremendous amount of distractions.
It’s fine of course to put in a quick call to Aunt Judy who is on the other side of the world and couldn’t make it, but burning up your battery and getting flustered about finding somewhere to charge your device is just a recipe for stress.
It’s a day to let all of that go and to just be one with the person you are about to marry and friends and family.
Photobombing goes boom
Stop for a moment and think about the money that you will be paying a professional photographer. They are there to capture the special moments of your magical wedding and the last thing that they need, and the last thing that you will want to see in your pictures is guests standing up and leaning over other guests trying to get a shot of you through their phone.
You don’t want people jostling for position to get the best picture from their pew, you certainly don’t want anyone jumping out into the middle of the aisle, just as your hired professional photographer is trying to capture a once in a lifetime moment.
With conditions in a church wedding particularly tight and sometimes restricted in terms of where the photographer can get their shots from, imagine that they are the end of the aisle trying to snap a picture of the newly weds and there’s someone up ahead crouched down with a phone trying to get their own picture.
The couple is paying for beautiful pictures of themselves, not of uncle Jeremy’s butt. There’s an issue with flash too. The photographer is set to deal with light conditions and having to compete with random flashes from people’s phones can throw off lighting in pictures.
The extra light can wash out images, cause horrible shadowing behind and produce the dreaded red dot. The other issue is that if there are a hundred phones pointing in the direction of the couple, they aren’t going to know where to look and the photographer can miss those deep, intimate moments.
This is, without a shadow of a doubt a period of 24 hours a day connectivity. All of the cameras and phones in the wedding pictures may not bother a couple who are used to it. But if you want to try and keep things pristine and clean on your big day, then you may want to consider an “unplugged wedding” and to help you decide, you may want to answer some of these questions.
Are you OK with not knowing what wedding pictures would be getting shared of you and where? Does your wedding really need a hashtag? Wouldn’t you rather have guests looking at you instead of being in a social media battle of who can post pictures of your wedding first on Instagram? Didn’t you hire a professional photographer for your pictures?
We said above that arguments can be made on both sides of this. It is rare nowadays that you will find someone who is not glued to their device and people like taking their own photographs and sharing them, because it creates memories for themselves as well.
So maybe you can just have the ceremony itself unplugged and our advice would be to include the first dance in that as well. Let the professional photographer handle that, because it’s hard for them to move around if everyone is crowding to get their shots of the couple on the dance floor for the first time as a married couple. Then after that, you can let the hordes loose with their camera phones to satiate their sharing needs, and that is when the candid photographs of your wedding day can surface.