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With permission from photographer George L Jweid, I bring to you a post about why weddings should be unplugged.

Disclaimer: The images posted in this particular blog post are not of ACTS Photography, but are depicted with the permission of the original photographer. These are by far some of the best examples I have seen as to why I highly recommend you having an unplugged wedding or if you’re attending a wedding to make yourself unplugged at least during the ceremony.

Let’s face it, we ARE in a digital era. I get it. You get it; we pretty much all have smart-phones, digital cameras or recorders. So I guess we should just all embrace it and like those famous words sang on the Disney movie FROZEN, LET IT GO! Wait, what? Hold the phone! Did we really just decide to Let it go? I for one sure hope not and it’s about time I break it down why I believe it is so important to reconsider getting unplugged during the ceremony.

But first, let me explain what an unplugged wedding is. An unplugged wedding is when the bride and groom asks their family, friends and all guest to turn off their phones, ipads, cameras and other digital distractions during the ceremony and even sometimes at specific parts at the reception. Sometimes the officiant will announce it, sometimes the bride and groom will post a cute decorative sign or both.  It’s a growing trend. So if you ever have a wedding or attend one that has a sign on display similar to the one below, take heed.

And here are the top reasons why I believe ceremonies should be unplugged:

1.) Your wedding happens once in a lifetime. It can be a very expensive event in which guests have NOT been invited as paparazzi. Family, Friends, and other guest are invited to share this special moment focused on the bride and groom’s special day by being 100% present and attentive; not on the internet or plugged into technology. Yes, it is true that an image can help to bring back memories, but that’s why the professional photographer was hired. Guest should experience the event with their own two eyes to retain the details more vividly rather than snapping away. If you don’t believe me, read this article from PetaPixel about a psychological study that found how taking photographs weakens memories. READ HERE

2.) Your hired photographer, wedding party, officiant and other guests should not have to deal with the audible distractions of extra clicks, snaps and flashes as some decide to take it upon themselves to engage in their technology rather than focus on you and your special day. Just take a look at the image below. Just in this image, I can count 6 guests who are so concerned with recording this event, they are not fully invested. That’s over 1/2 the guest just in this one photograph. And I can count 3 individuals who are looking elsewhere other than looking at the bride. Now, I am curious if those three are distracted by all the technology the other guest are using or if they are distracted by something else, but to me it looks like at least 2 of them are. The guest sitting in the pews or chairs are also a backdrop to the wedding; they can make or break your professional wedding photos.


3.) On a serious note, if the bride and groom did not value the difference between professional photos taken and snapshots on their special day to tell their wedding story, they would not have invested time and money hiring a professional photographer for their big day.  They would have just asked all family, friends and other guests to bring their camera to help take pictures on the wedding invitation. And if you are worried about a professional missing a shot, make sure the photographer brings at least a second-shooter.

4.) Yes, it’s true. A professional photographer should be able to work around any type of lighting situation. But that rule of thumb is only geared towards outdoor lighting and indoor lighting. The saying does not include random flashes from other random moving people. During a wedding, a photographer adjusts their camera settings according to the indoor or outdoor light that is naturally available. Images can be compromised by guests when they hold their cell phones and iPads up in the air, standing up or stepping out into the isle clicking and flashing away. Photographers are not hired to work around or compete with the flashes and movement of guests. And guess what? If a true professional photographer is hired,  I  bet there is a clause in the contract that doesn’t hold the hired photographer liable for images that are ruined due to paparazzi guests.


5.) Unprofessional flashes can cause guests to be unable to be identified in the professional images because their faces are obscured by phones and cameras. In what would have been an acceptable image, below you can see how other flashes created havoc for the hired photographer. The cell phones in the image have now become the focal point, center of attention. Had these guest kept their technology put away, and their arms down, the focus and lighting would have been perfect drawing the attention to the lovely couple.


Of course you have every right to use your device. Sometimes just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. So if it’s not your wedding day, don’t be selfish. Don’t be disrespectful to the bride and groom and don’t steal the bride and groom’s  lime-light at least during the ceremony. It’s not about you, and your need to have a picture to upload to social media proving you were there. It’s about the Mr. & Mrs. Again I want to thank photographer George L Jweid, for allowing me to use these images.

And if you still think it’s okay to be the un-hired photographer during the ceremony, well, check out this tutorial on how to do it right! Just for grins and giggles.

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