I hear lots of people talking about an unplugged ceremony, what is this?
The short-long – it’s asking your guests not to take any photos during the ceremony.
I’m not going to be one ‘those photographers’ and strictly enforce this on all of my couples. And I’m not going to publicly post (the many) specific ceremony photos of mine that have been ruined as a result of guests cameras & phones. I find that insulting to past couples from those weddings when photographers do that.
If you want your guests to take photos during the ceremony, by all means, let them take pictures! I’m never going to stop them or ask them to move. But let me say this;
Many of the weddings I photograph are non-religious ceremonies, in gardens, wineries etc. They usually go for about 15 -20 minutes on average. So, an unplugged ceremony isn’t about us wedding photographers being righteous, or arrogant. But it’s more about a couple saying to their very closest friends and family – “Hey guys, this 15 minutes is damn important to us, it’s probably one of the most important things we’ve done in our lives to date. So for the next 15 minutes, can we pretty please just have your undivided attention to enjoy, and be involved in this special moment with us, and not be distracted by which Instagram filter you are going to use.”
To recap, if you want your guests to take photos during the ceremony, by all means, let them take pictures! It’s your wedding! And looking at it from a completely different angle, having people take photos on iPhones, iPads etc. throughout your wedding & ceremony can add a fascinating element to my photography. It also adds an instant ‘date stamp’ to the photos. Imagine showing kids your wedding album in 50 years, and there is a photo of someone taking a photo on an iPad! Imagine how interested and funny they are going to think that is – “Wow! What is that thing all the aunties are taking photos on?!”… “Oh, that’s just what everyone did back in 2022 for some reason. I think it was for TikTok or something”
If you’re reading this, and haven’t booked a celebrant yet. PLEASE do not underestimate how critical a superb celebrant is to your wedding. The celebrant is the one who sets the vibe and the atmosphere for the rest of your wedding day & night! They’re the one who decides if your ceremony is boring or awkward.
The wedding ceremony should be the main event at your wedding; it’s the reason why is everyone is there! You’re not inviting your guests to the reception and making a side note saying – “if you’re available two hours earlier, we’re doing this shitty thing out on the grass”. I’ve seen some fantastic ceremonies in my time, and unfortunately some not so fantastic ones – forgotten couples names, broken PA systems, inappropriate jokes & all kinds of weird and awkward things!
Check out this page on my website here, for a bunch of rad ones—nothing weird or awkward there. I promise.
There is a lot of traditions that people partake in during a wedding a ceremony. And sometimes, they mean nothing to the couple, it’s just because they think ‘isn’t that what we have to do at a wedding??’ If you chose a great celebrant, they would go over this stuff in more detail with you. But I encourage all my couples to think about traditions, and question them. Not to intentionally be different or annoying. But to make sure that their wedding day, is a unique celebration of the two of them, that’s the most crucial part.