My hottest topic recently has been ‘Unplugged Weddings’ to allow photos and social media or not… Here’s my take on it, I’d LOVE your opinion on it too.. so please comment xx
I have a different opinion to most, I actually love the fact that your guests will take photos of your big day… With social media featuring so strongly in our lives, most people use facebook and instagram daily…. and we love love to see photos of special occasions posted on social media… tagged, shared, commented on and enjoyed.
So before you make the the ‘zero photo’ decision really think about your personal situation because you have options. You can create boundaries and you can set the rules for your wedding day, this is ‘your’ wedding day…… but remember it is also a day where your family and close friends will be so excited to share their experience too and some of the most personality filled moments are captured candidly by friends with their phone cameras.
Also remember that sometimes, the professional photos take a while, sometimes a few weeks to be delivered… so it’s lovely to have your friends photos to revisit special moments during the first few weeks after the wedding day.
I’ve had brides and grooms who have regretted the ‘unplugged’ decision as they missed out on the candid friends photo experiences and they didn’t get to enjoy the fizz on facebook, with all the afterglow interactions over the days after the wedding. They’ve felt disappointment over the days after the wedding because no one posted or mentioned their wedding, so although it may be the right way to go for some, it may not be for you.
Imagine you as the bride are about to appear for the first time, walk down the aisle on the arm of your Dad, you’re feeling excited, a little nervous and you just can’t wait to see everyone’s face, their smiles and their reactions …. what an amazing moment in life, that walk down the aisle. Guests are teary eyed and absolutely present, atmosphere is perfect.
What you don’t want to see is a sea of iPhones, iPads, cameras and guests watching through a lens… The moment can be spoiled the atmosphere lost.
You have paid for a professional photographer to capture every precious moment and you would hope, to capture the joy on the faces of not only the bridal party but also all of your guests… So this is a time for your celebrant to remind everyone of the boundaries.
Your celebrant will usually be happy to ‘lay down the law’ create the boundaries during their ‘housekeeping’ announcement before the bride arrives and the ceremony begins…. so discuss what you’d like your celebrant to announce.
You Have Options:
If ‘No you don’t want any photos’.
You want your guests to be 100% present, no distractions. Then make sure your guests know. It’s your wedding and you can make that call. If you don’t want anything posted on social media, let your guests know.. make sure they know it’s an ‘unplugged wedding’ and exactly what that means.
Note: There are so many ideas on pinterest and google images with fun signs you can create to present at the entrance to your ceremony.
Make sure you Celebrant announces the guidelines before the ceremony starts and your MC also announces this at the reception.
Example of a Celebrant pre-ceremony photo guideline talk…
If I can ask all of you to check now please, if you have a phone with you, that it is switched off or on silent. It is almost time for the bride to arrive, you can imagine she will be excited, and probably a little nervous, but importantly she will be looking forward to seeing all of your faces, your smiles and your reactions as she arrives, what she doesn’t want to see is a sea of devices… it is so off putting and also spoils the professional photos so, I will ask you now if you can put all phones and cameras away.
Our professional photographer will be capturing all of the most special moments of the day so please relax, be present and enjoy every moment of the ceremony. There will be many opportunities after the ceremony to take lots of photos.
Just state *No photos during the ceremony, you’re welcome to take photos before or after…
You may want to allow photos during the ceremony in which case you can explain that all cameras can be kept at shoulder height and not held in the aisle. This is the best instruction as it won’t obstruct any of the professional photographers shots and also will be much less obvious and intrusive.
With just a few instructions, you can have the joy of seeing wonderful social photos, your guests can enjoy showing their friends and others in the days to come and everyone is happy.
Posting photos online:
- If you are happy for your guests to post photos on facebook and instagram, let them know and spread the word about your personal hashtag.
- Some couples choose to ask guests to wait until the next day to post or have other guidelines.
- If you don’t want anything shared, make sure your guests know.
- At the reception ‘Photo Booths’ are soooooo popular, your guests will be falling over each other to have a bit of fun in there!! Some modern booths post directly to facebook and Instagram.
- Polaroid fun, pass around a polaroid camera and have your guests peg them to a ‘clothes line’ at your receptions… a bride (Jade ) did this recently it was a HUGE hit
- One of my absolute favourite ideas is to create a ‘secret group’ on facebook and invite all wedding guests to be members. This is a great way to share information, your instagram hashtag ( #suzannecelebrant ) and also photos after the big day, so even if your guests aren’t direct friends on facebook they will still share in the fun of all photos posted there…. they can also remain private if you choose.
**Friendship keeper tip Only post complimentary photos of the couple .. no photos mid blink or mid mouthful of dinner….
**Your Celebrant can advise the guests so discuss what is to be said and be specific.
**Ask your professional photographer to ensure they don’t block the view of the groom as the bride walks towards him down the aisle. You would be surprised how often this happens as photographers try to get that perfect shot of the bridal entrance…. and some photographers are oblivious as they have their back to the groom.
Bottom line is that it’s your special day, your event, your rules, your memories and your final choice… make sure you do what ‘you’ will love xx