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#Unplugged? The Pros and Cons of an Unplugged Wedding

Recently I forgot my phone at home. Not a huge issue, or so I thought. I quickly realized how often I would normally glance at it – be it to reference my good friend Google, to look up a recipe, to check my email or texts, and of course to snap a quick photo or two.

Let me tell you – my experience was an interesting one. I was visiting family that day, and had the BEST time just enjoying their company, completely in the moment, no distractions. It was an eye opener that inspired me to delve deeper, which led me to this article.

Naturally, my mind led me to weddings as I tend to like events (is it that obvious?), and figured I’d cover the controversial topic of technology’s place in modern weddings. From couples having their own wedding websites to the numerous apps available for planning, prepping, and projects…there’s a lot to think about when it comes to the role you want technology to have on your big day. Twenty years ago, the notion of an “unplugged” wedding didn’t even exist, so no wonder it comes as a complicated idea to begin with!

So…what is an unplugged wedding anyway?

An “unplugged” wedding is a ceremony, reception, or portion of your wedding where you ask your friends, family members, and guests to “unplug” and turn off their mobile devices, put away their cameras, and focus on the moment in real time – something our society is not quite used to anymore. The idea is definitely a curious one, as most of the time we are fairly reliant on our mini-pocket computers.

Some couples opt to simply make the ceremony tech-free, so that their guests can spend more time enjoying the moment, and to avoid the ever-feared photos that require a Photoshop pro. Presumably, you are paying a lot of money for your contractually obligated photographer professional to capture those moments you see in the movies that are finally yours. It’s understandable that you want those moments encapsulated in pictures to look back on many years from now. Now, imagine having a photo of your guest’s phones in the way of your big moment instead. Ahhh, sweet love.

While some professional photographers prefer unplugged weddings, others believe (and do!) it is their job to navigate around these tricky situations. An extreme example of this I recently came across is this video, where a photographer dedicates herself to the perfect shot! Get you a vendor who will fight for those photos. 😉

To tweet or not to tweet…that is the question.

Some pros of incorporating hashtags, social media, and technology into your wedding is that there is a running record of all of the happenings in between cutting your cake or entertaining your friends and family that you may miss, sans for the addition of this technology buzz. Most photographers take a few days to a few weeks to get out those sneak peeks and full portfolios of your wedding, which may cause an awkward pause on your honeymoon, when all you want to do is relive your sweet day with your new husband or wife. It may also make sharing photos of your wedding day with long distance family members or close friends who could not make it that much harder, seeing as how you’d have to share the “old school way” once your pictures come back to you. 

Photo by Liz Cowie Photography

A way around this could be creating a Dropbox or shared picture area virtually to invite those you want to share them with, though you will still have to wait for those awesome photos to be edited! All of this being said, news travels fast, and while your guests are snap-chatting, story-ing, and posting – be sure to consider just how much exposure you’d like for your wedding – especially on hour three of your open bar. Another consideration is that some of those Facebook “friends” may have not been invited to your wedding, and could potentially see these posts and react with hurt feelings that you did not consider.

To have and to hold….

While unplugged ceremonies and weddings are a great option to consider, like all decisions you’ll make while planning, of course there are pros and cons. Some pros as mentioned above mean that your vows and I do’s will truly be heard and treasured, and your first dance thoroughly taken in surrounded by your very present friends and family. Your guests will be in the moment and enjoy the celebration with you – not through a screen. However, you may miss out a bit on the social media frenzy of live updates, comments, and likes. If that is something you value for your wedding, you may want to consider including technology in your day. For tough decisions like this and all things weddings and events – consider hiring a certified professional to help navigate these choices. 

Whatever you decide, a hired professional can help you find the perfect photographer to navigate this controversial subject – and make your happily ever after an extra little bit sweeter. If you or someone you know is in the market for a wedding coordinator, I’d love to chat! Until next time – happy planning!




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