‘Unplugged weddings’ are becoming more and more of a hot topic recently so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the question should photographers request an unplugged wedding from brides?
Wedding etiquette has definitely changed over the years. I shot my first wedding over 10 years ago and the actual wedding itself was pretty much identical to how they are now, a couple declared their love in front of their most valued family and friends, they had their photographs taken and there was a party to celebrate. At that wedding maybe one other person besides me had a camera. At our most recent wedding every single guest, yup every.single.guest, had a camera. Including Grandpa, who captured the entire ceremony on his iPad from the front row.
Just like 10 years ago these guests were invited personally by the bride & groom. They’re the people they love the most. Guests travelled from India to share in the celebrations, some of them even arriving the morning of the wedding and surprising the couple. At one point or another during the course of the wedding day those guests are going to want to capture moments on their cameras. Create their own memories, share things from their vantage point to keep for themselves. And so they should.
No matter how better my technical ability, my artistic interpretation or my gear guests want to capture these memories for themselves. It’s for this reason we would never request an unplugged wedding from our brides. Would we love every wedding to be unplugged? YES. Guests would be present without the distraction of an over sized device in their face, images would be prettier without the clutter of cameras and we wouldn’t have 20 cameras shooting over our shoulders during family photo time but the decision is not ours to make. We don’t want to be the person responsible for those special guests not having a single captured memory from the wedding day.
That’s not to say every part of a wedding day should be unplugged. There is certain etiquette that I strongly believe should be upheld but ultimately the decision is the Bride & Grooms. Our job as wedding photographers is to capture their day and tell their story through beautiful images not confiscate their guests cameras.
Should photographers request an unplugged wedding from brides? What are your thoughts?