You're probably starting to see the hashtag #unplugged pop up more and more. As our society gets even deeper digitally we're seeing some pros and cons of what it means to have technology at our fingertips 24/7. How does this pertain to your wedding? Well, let's just say I haven't planned a wedding in over two years that didn't have it's own hashtag. So what exactly does "unplugging" mean and why do some couples think it's a good idea? Let me explain.
What is unplugging? - It is the act of disconnecting. If you look it up on the good ol' inter-web* it literally states "to disconnect" or "to refrain from using digital or electronic devices for a period of time." Unplugging your wedding ceremony (or entire wedding) means that you've asked guests not to take video or photos and put their phones away.
Why should your wedding be #Unplugged? - I recently read a great article all about this by Aimee Lutkin.* She found a post on Facebook by a wedding photographer named Thomas Stewart who is based in Australia. He pinpoints a real life situation (with photo example) where the groom has to lean sharply just to try to get a glimpse of his bride walking down the aisle because there are so many guests holding up their phones. Ridiculous right? This isn't abnormal and is starting to become an increasing issue. I see it all the time. Guests are rudely cutting off the professional photographers, that you have paid thousands of dollars for no less, to get photos and capture the moment.
By trying not to miss out, are we all missing out? - We have this mindset that we HAVE to capture and chronicle every waking moment and incessantly share it with the world. But by doing this are we actually missing out more? I think so. When I see guests at a wedding walking around with their phones out trying to catch everything they are completely disengaged with enjoying the moment and interacting with other people. They are missing out! Ironic isn't it?
Trust your photographer. They've got this! - Let me bring up the aforementioned fact that you've hired a photographer, invested thousands, and likely they have a second shooter with them. They are a professional for a reason and you hired them for that very reason. Let them do their job and capture one of the most important days of your life. Do you really want 600 photos filled with people holding a phone in front of their face or do you want to see joy, happiness, expression and yourselves walking down the aisle without people in the way? Think about it.
But won't all your guests miss out on photos? - No. We live digitally remember? Your photographer either includes digital copies of all of your photos that they send to you, you can purchase individual photos or they will give everyone access to an online gallery to purchase or download photos themselves. So instead of your guests having twenty really horrible IPhone photos that they'll never do anything with aside from post on Facebook, you can pass on professional shots that they can keep forever.
In conclusion, I realize for many people it would be hard today to completely unplug your entire wedding. Having your own hashtag and looking at photos after the fact can be fun. I would urge you to consider unplugging just your ceremony. People may not appreciate it at first, but most realize how nice it is to be able to share these moments with you without glancing at their phones one hundred times every ten minutes. Save the personalized hashtag for the reception. After all, the whole reason you're doing all of this is because you're making a lifelong and serious commitment. Honor that by being #unplugged.
Photography: Relic Photographic