If you are considering asking guests to put away their cell phones and cameras during your wedding ceremony, you are not alone. “Unplugged weddings” are becoming more and more popular. As a wedding videographer, I couldn't be happier with this trend. I have seen countless professional photos and many of my own video shots ruined by guests who become “obtrusive” with their own cameras and cell phones. I’m not referring to the average guest who snaps a quick photo, but to the one guest in a hundred that pushes the boundaries of appropriateness. We’ve all seen them - that guest with a vertical iPad who decides to stand behind the bride filming her as she walks down the aisle. Or the uncle with an iPhone and an outstretched arm who blocks what could have been an incredible shot of the mother-of-the-bride walking down the aisle. It may seem unimportant to some, but it’s a travesty in the world of photography and especially disappointing for the bride and groom. While most guests are respectful and discreet with their cameras, it only takes one to create a “missed moment.”
I have countless video screenshots of these more “obtrusive” guest photographers in action but opted not to include them here with the exception of the photo above, which finally prompted me to write this post. Just know, in the off-chance you are reading this and YOU have been this guest at a wedding, you have been forever captured on film and we know who you are!
My goal as a wedding videographer is to immerse the viewer into the wedding day in the most natural way with a film that captures the events of the day without looking staged or scripted. I want the viewer to be able to press “play” and experience this special day from start to finish, getting a true feeling of the emotions, the atmosphere and all that the day encompassed. To achieve this, I use a ”behind the scenes” approach in my filmmaking, looking for those naturally occurring moments that are unique to each and every wedding. For example, the moment when a bride laughs at her sister’s dumb joke, or when she thinks no-one is looking and grabs the groom’s butt (more often it’s the best man grabbing the groom’s butt.) I also like to include a quick clip of the photographer setting up a shot or a sweet shot of the sentimental father-of-the-groom getting some of his own video footage in the behind-the-scenes action. I believe capturing moments like these is essential in making your wedding day film unique to you and unlike any other, which is the intention behind my particular style of filmmaking. It would be an understatement to say that there is a lot of preparation, planning and expectation that goes into making a wedding special, thus the reason wedding films are so highly treasured by couples. For this reason, it is important that guests be considerate and aware of photography etiquette.
With all that said, I am all for the “unplugged wedding” for the sake of the bride and groom and their special day. I have included a link below to an article written by another photographer with much experience in this type of ceremony. The article includes tips and tricks to creating your own “unplugged wedding” should that be of interest to you.