The entire wedding circuit has been abuzz with articles and videos that showcase a growing trend that is being followed across the world; the concept of an unplugged wedding. What is it all about?
Well, an unplugged wedding is more or less a plea for guests to switch off all electronic devices, including mobile phones, cameras, iPads etc., and to actually witness the moment in its entirety. To me as a wedding photographer, it honestly seems like a state of utopia. I know that does seem rather pessimistic. But I have little faith in human kind following rules and far less faith in them obliging somebody's request.
But if I leave my glass-half-empty self out of this equation, the thought of even a small percentage of wedding guests obliging this request would make things exponentially better.
Many people are ranting about how this entire matter is just an excuse for photographers who can't satisfy their clients. I would respectfully disagree. Here is my take on why dissuading guests from using capture devices is a great idea.
For the sake of respect
This is your big day. It is the biggest day of your life. The thought of having people running around, disturbing the peace with flashy, noisy devices while you make your vows is unnerving. Call me old fashion but there is a sense of decorum and respect that is the need of the hour. A wedding is not a joke, it is a time of celebration but I believe it is a guest's duty to respect the couple.
Would you light fire to the decor at a wedding?
That seems like a stupid question. Of course not, who in his right senses would destroy someone's special day by doing something like that. That may seem like a strong analogy but it is not an exaggeration. After spending a considerable amount of money on a photographer, if guests begin to run into photographs and ruin important moments by brandishing a bulky smartphone and an awkward pose they have inadvertently wasted a great deal of money on behalf of the couple.
To aid a photographer in being discreet
Any wedding photographer worth his salt would aim to be discreet. We aim to capture moments but not distract from the moment. We use longer lenses to stay away from the action, but at the same time capture intimacy. These longer lenses create a more pleasing aesthetic as compared to wider lenses. This is why we choose to position ourselves at ideal vantage points rather than being a nuisance in the midst of a ceremony.
Going with an unplugged wedding is a win-win situation for everybody. Guests can truly experience the moment without distraction, photographers can do what they are hired to do without any hurdles and the couple benefit by having a memorable ceremony and a collection of beautiful photographs.
Content for your invites and wedding signage
I feel this topic is even more touchy in India. We respect our guests and the thought of telling them what to do and what not to is unsettling. It can possibly even ruffle quite a few feathers. Which is why I decided to put my copy writing skills to use and create written content that can be included in invites and signs that are placed at the venue.
For wedding invites.
"We would love for you to be a part of our special day. We want you to truly experience this moment with us and therefore request you to switch off and not use any electronic devices during the ceremony. We've hired a capable photographer to capture the magic. Just relax, sit back and be part of it"
For any printed material that is given out on the wedding day.
"Thank you for being part of our special day. We would love for you to truly experience this moment with us and therefore request you to switch off and not use any electronic devices during the ceremony. We've hired a capable photographer to capture the magic. Just relax, sit back and be part of it"
...for a more informal approach...
"Now we know you'd love to be the first to post this on Facebook :) But we'd rather you be with us in person and leave your camera phone and SLR in the glove compartment. Don't worry we got the photography covered and will definitely share the pictures with you. Thanks for being a gem."
I have also included this graphic element that can accompany these messages as well be used on posters at the venue.
You can dowload the .ai file here.
You can download the .pdf file here.
You can share these files with whoever is doing the graphic design for your wedding. Don't download the image, that is just for reference. It is a low resolution image, the files I've provided above are vectors that can be enlarged to any extent.
It seems like a bit of effort. But trust me, it would really help if people are aware that this is what you want from them. Most folks are truly trying to be helpful and proactive by taking photographs, they don't intend to be a hindrance, it is just the outcome of being genuinely helpful. So informing them just makes sense. Hope this helps...cheers.
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