Unplugged Wedding

23 October 2019

Five good reasons to turn off smartphones during a wedding.

In recent years a trend is spreading more and more, and as a wedding photographer, I love it and really endorse to all  the future spouses to think about it! Is the unplugged wedding.

What is this new approach to the wedding ceremony? It is very simple, and the very word “unplugged” suggests it very well.

This trend consists in requiring to all the guests to not use smartphones and tablets during certain phases of the wedding day (or even during the whole day).

In fact could be decided to keep the event “unplugged” only for a part of it, for example only during the ritual and not during the party, so as to preserve the “sacred” moment that you care the most and let the guests have fun during the rest of the party!

The reasons why I really appreciate this trend and would recommend everyone to consider it are several.

            1 – I would like the guests themselves (as well as the spouses) to reflect on why they are there.

They were invited to be witnesses and an active part of an event, a day of celebration and love.

I’d like to ask  to future brides; when you will enter the church, will you want to be able to look at each one guest, as you walk the aisle, or rather you will want to see a succession of smartphones positioned in front of the faces of the guests intent on recording a video or taking a picture that they will look at a couple of times in life and then never again?

And you guests, you will prefer to look at the tears in the eyes of the groom who sees his future wife as beautiful as ever across that aisle, sensing all those details that you would not perceive through a small backlit screen while taking a low quality picture that will flatten and filter every single emotion of that moment?

unplugged wedding
Each and every single guest is looking through the screen

All this represents an important contemporary issue and an attitude that by now afflicts almost all the owners of mobile phones equipped with a camera and a social account; look at life through the screen and share everything with a world of strangers rather than with those around you for real.

And here we are at the second point that an unplugged marriage is by no means a bad idea.

            2 – Secondly, in fact, I’d like to invite you to make a further reflection; the guests are there because the spouses want to share with them an important moment in their lives.

Here, indeed … share with THEM … and certainly not with the rest of the world (and maybe not in real time).

Marriage is a rare opportunity to get together to share a moment of joy. Is it better to look at the excited eyes of the new couple united in marriage or whoever is next to you, or wasting the time looking for the hashtags to insert under the photo just taken with the head bent over a screen, losing everything that in the meantime happens around you ?

unplugged matrimonio

            3 – Further consideration to be taken; if a couple hires a professional photographer who takes care of the photo shoot, they does also because they wants an expert who knows how to recognize the right light, the most enhancing poses, the decisive moment, the best expressions to then be able to share BEAUTIFUL shots and that enhance themselves … and not the shots taken at random by those who probably don’t understand much about photography that portrays the bride and groom with an expression that is not very valuable.

            4 – Furthermore; all these shots that the guests makes with smartphones (sometimes in a compulsive way) where will they end up?

Certainly not in the bride and groom’s photo album (also because, let’s face it all; however modern and powerful a smartphone may be, this will never reach the power of a professional camera whose shots can be printed even at high resolution and size)

Ask yourself; how often do we print the shots we take with our phones and how often instead they end up to be forget or lost together with our cell phones when they break or become obsolete, forcing us to change it for a new model, losing all the memories that were on the previous model, now out of use?


5 – The last reason, which for me personally is not at all the last in importance (since it is what sees my professionalism involved and touches me in first person) concerns the obstacle that very often all these phones represent for the development of my work. Too many times happened that the guests, eager to have at all costs a shot of the bride and groom in the most important moments, position himself/herself between me and the new husband and wife, preventing me even from taking a shot, entering inside the frame without making the slightest problem of my presence.

unplugged matrimonio cerimonia
A guest run to take a photo with her smartphone without caring to be in the picture frame during an irreplaceable moment of the wedding ceremony.

This attitude represents a serious form of disrespect not only for the photographer (who is working and, among other things, was hired and paid for taking care of the shots so that no one else should worry about it instead) but also and above all for the spouses, because ruining a photo of the official photographer, it will damage the spouses who will not have a beautiful memory of that moment in their album. And they certainly won’t have it because of the photographer, who can’t control every single guest at the event.

(From this common experience was created by the photographers community the imaginary figure of the “nice” UNCLE BOB; a character – I would dare to define – mythological, half uncle and half tablet, protagonist of many memes and of the worst nightmares of professional photographers!)

uncle bob
An uncle bob in action!

How to ask to your guests to “give up” the phone in their bag or pocket and not be an “uncle bob”?

There are so many ways to do it. You could ask, for example, within the wedding invites or prepare a tableaux with instructions to be placed at the entrance of the church before the ceremony begins. Finally you could put the information in a highlighted section of your  “save the date” website.
Let them understand how beautiful it will be for you to have them 100% at your ceremony, to be able for you to look them in the eyes and share with them your emotions with no smartphone filters!

I know; at this point you are thinking that yesm maybe that unplugged wedding sounds good but… you don’t really want to upset your guests by preventing them from taking some souvenir photos during the day!

Give them alternative solutions! An excellent idea could be to set up an area dedicated only to photos, such as the photobooth in which to take all the photos they want (and maybe with lots of disposable cameras for extra fun)

If you decide to go for an unplugged wedding, ensure your guests in advance that once the wedding will be over you will send them all the shots they want; in this way they will know that they will certainly have a photographic memory of the day to keep forever!


dandelion element yellow min


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