I saw something interesting the other day on Facebook. Someone had shared a Fox News article about a photographer complaining of wedding guests ruining his photos. What about the guests did he find to be hurting his shots? THEIR PHONES! Now a days we can’t go anywhere or do anything without our phones within close reach. This connection has many benefits but also many negatives. Today we are only going to focus on the issue of phones at a wedding. In this article, the groom actually had to lean in towards the aisle to be able to get a view of his bride walking towards him. The reason: guests obstructing his view in order to get a picture. This is a once in a lifetime moment for the two people who this day is all about. The groom can’t hold up his hand and say, “Excuse me! I can’t see my bride, let’s start over without anyone getting in the aisle this time!” although I wish he would.
Some photographers take it as a personal insult to their work. Many believe the guests are implying that they can capture a better photo than the photographer themselves. Well, I don’t know about that, I think people just want photos for themselves and they want that instant gratification that we all feel we need in this present day. They can snap their own photo, and not have to wait the average few weeks to a month that it may take a photographer to edit and release their photos from a couple’s wedding day. Another reason photographers struggle with this issue is that if guests have their flashes on, it can really ruin their shot, and no amount of Photoshop can help. I used to not think about this at all. When I arrived at the age where I began attending weddings of my friends, smart phones were still fairly new. Everyone, including me, wanted to snap and share a picture of the beautiful couple and their happiness. As of more recent I found myself putting my phone in my purse, after I obsessively check that it is actually on silent, and really taking in the ceremony. Maybe this is because in 300 days (!!!) I will be the one standing before a crowd of family and friends, so it has taken on a new meaning to me. Maybe, I know, I’m paying more attention to see what I like, don’t like, and want to steal for my own turn. At a wedding in the last year, I saw a woman holding her iPad up to take pictures. Really, an iPad? If it’d been my wedding and I’d happen to notice, which I most likely would not (until I saw it in my photographer’s pictures), I’d be a little upset. It was at this moment that I thought to myself, what is going on here?! This strikes two issues with me. 1. Shouldn’t the couple determine when and how photos of their wedding are shared? 2. Cell phones are totally ruining the moment. A wedding ceremony is a sacred tradition, who in their right mind thought inviting the use of a phone was a good idea? Remember the days when we all actually turned our phones off, instead of just to silent, to really partake in the beautiful experience of a union of two people we love, that love each other. These thoughts have led me to something I’d heard of before but never seriously considered, an unplugged ceremony. This idea is pretty self explanatory based on the content of what you’ve read so far, but all it means is asking guests to refrain from using their cell phones and cameras during the ceremony. I don’t want to be a dictator and demand that everyone does not try to take pictures of their own, but at the same time I really like the idea of it. What I want for my wedding is my guests to be invested in the day and the experience. I want them to see and feel the love that Doug and I have for each other and recognize how special it is. In order for this to happen, they really have to be in the moment. I feel cell phones distract us from really taking things in, allowing us to rely on a photograph for a memory, rather than what we thought and felt at that time. I saw this quote in an article and felt it described what I was thinking perfectly. “The photographer will capture how this moment looks–I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology”. Here are some cute and creative ways other brides have found to let their guests know of their wishes for an unplugged ceremony.
For me it’s still TBD, but it’s definitely a thought I’m hanging onto. I’m sure my photographer would really appreciate it!