Just as mobile technology has become more and more popular, so has the awareness increased of its potential negative impact in certain situations. A wedding is one of them.
The downside of everyone taking their own pictures on mobile phones – or their own cameras – is that it is becomes a distracting feature on any wedding film or photographs. And it can affect the whole tone of the event itself.
I’m a professional wedding videographer based in Manchester, and experience tells me that if everyone’s let loose with their own camera it’s a case of too many cooks.
Therefore, there’s a growing trend for the unplugged wedding. Here I look at how it works and, importantly, how you tell your guests about it.
What Unplugged Means
Essentially, you’re setting ground rules here, which are no photographs, or videos, on guests’ mobile devices, or cameras. Now here there might be a sharp intake of breath, because it sounds, well, dictatorial.
But what it means is no distractions. Because I’ve seen the evidence, and it’s not pretty: where every key part of the wedding, including the ceremony, is characterised by random people holding their phones aloft.
Not only can it ruin your wedding film and photographs, but it can ruin the event itself. No one wants that.
Weddings are not about instant gratification. They’re supposed to be something that’s enduring, that resonates in the mind long after the event is over. Having people clicking away and instantly uploading to social media is hardly in this spirit.
The Benefits of an Unplugged Wedding
The main thing is the atmosphere. How much more sociable and interactive for your guests will it be if they’re not busy clicking and uploading?
There’s also a quality issue: with people randomly taking pics, what sort of feel will they convey of the day? It’s more likely to come across as a random assemblage of people and occurrences, complete with semi-obscured faces, awkward angles and the likes.
You’re also ensuring that everyone’s privacy is respected, because not everyone attending a wedding wants to be a social media star.
From a wedding filmmaker’s viewpoint, I don’t want your wedding to be a comment on the prevalence of mobiles and social media at any and every occasion.
The drama of the event should be the wedding, with you, the couple, at the centre. This has an enormous emotional pull. Frequent shots of people taking pictures or being otherwise occupied with their mobiles can only detract from this.
How to Make an Unplugged Wedding Work
Tact is the key here, and also context. Weddings, by their nature, can be quirky and have their own set of ground rules to do with behaviour, ceremony and setting. The easiest way to establish the unplugged rule is to integrate it into the overall wedding plans early on, and make it clear on your wedding invitation and programme.
You can explain this, that you’ve hired a professional wedding videographer and photographer, and that you’ll make sure everyone can see the results.
Keep it friendly and in the form of a request rather than an order.
Do consider compromise: keep the ceremony and wedding breakfast unplugged, by let your guests off the hook when it comes to the evening ceremony.
You can also be inventive: install a photobooth as part of your wedding do, so people can feel free to take shots of themselves.
Relive Your Wedding Day
My name’s Paul and I’m a Manchester-based wedding filmmaker. I specialise in wedding videography and I film weddings in Manchester, Lancashire and across the North West. Contact me about your wedding plans, and let me create something unique for you, so you can relive your wedding day.