The Importance of an Unplugged Wedding

What is an unplugged wedding?

An unplugged wedding is where you ask your guests to turn off their phones, cameras, tablets, and other mobile devices during your ceremony and possibly the reception or parts of it. When guests use their own cameras, there are many ways that this affects the photography that you’re actually paying for. I recommend asking the guests to not use their devices during the ceremony and the first dances. Then they can have at it! While we love an unplugged wedding for many reasons we also know how much people love taking photos these days.We know lots of brides and grooms have wedding day hashtags that they would like folks to join in on, so we get that it can be a fun time for all to document a few snaps here and there, including selfies and party photos. 

Stock image. Out of respect for our clients, we are not sharing images from real Alexi Hubbell Photography weddings

Stock image. Out of respect for our clients, we are not sharing images from real Alexi Hubbell Photography weddings


What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to having an unplugged wedding:

  1.         Guests oftentimes are taking photos at the same time we are, and their flashes interfere with our cameras, leaving you blown out completely (and un-salvageable) or having weird shadows or lighting throughout the photos.
  2.       Guest cameras can leave a red or green dot from their focusing mechanisms. These will show up in our images on the dance floor
  3.        If guests don’t turn off the noise on their cameras, they could be very loud when taking the photos. This can be very distracting to you and your guests.
  4.       Speaking of distracting – let’s talk about iPads and other tablets used to take photos. They are HUGE and are very distracting. If we are taking a wide photo of your ceremony, your eyes go straight to the tablet and completely ignore the beautiful couple exchanging vows.
  5.       Guests will often get in the aisle or stand in front of the professional photographers, blocking their shot. Sometimes, it’s too late for us to be able to get them to move, and we certainly don’t want to upset your guests by making them move. 
  6. During the ceremony we love to get shots of the guests enjoying the vows, laughing, crying, etc. When their cameras or phones are in their faces, we can't get good photos of them and they are not showing any emotion or connection the ceremony because they are too involved with what they are doing. 
  7.      During family formals, guests will often stand around photographers to get shots of their own, which can create harsh lighting if they use their flash. Even if they don’t use their flash, it causes the group to constantly be looking around, leaving wandering eyes. It’s hard for the photographer to get a good photo with everyone looking at the camera when there are multiple people taking photos around you.
  8.        Lastly but most importantly, if your guests are taking photos, they are not fully able to enjoy the moment. They are absent and distracted by their picture taking and posting. We want your guests to enjoy the day and be there to witness it for you. If they are recording video and taking photos they will not be really involved, they will be disconnected by the devices. Ironic, huh? 

How to Tell Your Guests the Wedding is Unplugged

We would request that the photographers not be the ones to break it to your guests. They often view that as pushy and rude, not knowing the request was the bride and grooms. Here are some ways to let your guests know to keep the devices off during the intimate times like ceremony and first dances.

  1. Include a note in your wedding invitations so they can be told long before the event date. 
  2. Have a sign at the front of the aisle to let them know on the way to their sets
  3. Have your officiant remind them before the ceremony starts, long before the groom or bride walk down. 
  4. Have the DJ ask guests to refrain from photos until the first dances are complete, i.e., bride and groom, mother and son, father and daughter.

We highly recommend having your wedding unplugged, but respect your wishes if you choose not to. If you have any questions concerning this or how to unplug your wedding, feel free to contact us and we can chat.

Durango Colorado Photographers Blog - Alexi Hubbell Photography