5 Reasons I LOVED Attending an Unplugged Wedding as a Guest | FAQ Friday

 What I love most about this photo? These two sharing in a moment of pure happiness, right after their I-do's! But my favorite part? I love seeing their sweet family and friends enjoying this moment with them!  What I love most about this photo? These two sharing in a moment of pure happiness, right after their I-do’s! But my favorite part? I love seeing their sweet family and friends enjoying this moment with them!

You guys…I had such a rare experience this past weekend, and I got to attend a wedding as a GUEST! If you have spent any bit of time around here, you have most definitely met my girl, Savannah. She married the man of her dreams, Kyle, on Saturday, and their wedding day was just as perfect as they are! She spent months and months planning each and every detail while thinking of literally everything from puppy treat party favors to goody bags at the hotel and the sweetest details every which way your turned. She is such a sweet friend, an amazing wedding photographer and has spent years in the wedding industry. Because of that, from the very get go, she was dead set on having all ceremonial parts of her wedding be completely unplugged.

As a photographer myself, I was throwing up all the praise hand emojis for this motion. I absolutely love when couples opt for an unplugged ceremony and require their guests to place their phones in their bags and encourage that cameras be left at home. I love even more when they opt to have guests put away technology and distractions during all ceremonial parts of their wedding reception (first dances, cake cutting, toasts, etc.). I could list about a million reasons why I love unplugged weddings as a photographer, and now that I have experienced an unplugged wedding as a guest, I love them even more!

I have often heard that the idea of unplugged weddings can catch a little bit of flack from guests and family members. In this social media obsessed age, it is SO normal to flip your phone on every time you want to record a memory–I am SO guilty of doing this myself! {Because who knows when I may need the perfect photo of a funny street sign or triple chin selfie?!} Because of this, I often encourage couples to opt for a cell phone and technology rule that they feel comfortable with. But, after attending an unplugged wedding as a guest, y’all…I am officially the biggest cheerleader for unplugged weddings. You won’t regret it–I promise. You are hiring a team of professionals to photograph your day from start to finish for a reason, right?

As part of your wedding package with CKP, you’ll receive an online gallery of your lightly retouched images from your wedding, with a link can be shared with your guests…in fact, it is encouraged you to share your gallery with your guests! This point is always something great to announce or inform your guests of when you ask them to place their phones away before your precessional–they’ll still have memories from the day…they just won’t be stepping in the middle of the aisle during your once-in-a-lifetime walk to get them!

Experiencing and unplugged as a photographer turned guest was AMAZING and truly allowed me to experience the day as S+K so lovingly planned for months. Savannah recently blogged about why she opted to have an unplugged wedding as a bride, and I loved her post SO much that I wanted to share it with you all while posting a reply. She dives into all of the reasons that she opted for an unplugged wedding as a bride, and her reasoning is much different than you may think! {Hint: it doesn’t really have anything to do with photography!} As a guest, it was so important to me that I was respecting her wedding day wishes, and I’m so happy that I {and all of her guests!} did. Quite frankly, her unplugged wedding was refreshing and an experience that I know I will never forget. So why did I love it so much? Find my favorite five reasons below:

I really didn’t miss having a camera in hand.

I’m crazy lucky! I get to attend quite a few weddings each year with the hottest date in town…which may or may not be my camera. At first, I was a little worried that I would feel funny NOT documenting each and every moment, but once I put my phone down, I didn’t really miss it. Sure, it felt a little weird not anticipating that first kiss moment from behind the lens like I always do, but I knew Savannah and Kyle had an outstanding team of photographers to do that job! I was off the clock and far more excited to savor each and every moment as a true guest. I got to do just that without a phone or camera in hand!

I got to experience #ALLTHEFEELS.

This may just be a photographer thing, but I tend to distance myself from my emotions when I have my camera or technology in hand. It’s not that I don’t experience emotions (y’all trust me when I say that literally every father-daughter dance has me crying like a baby), but I experience my emotions differently. I’m far more focused on my task at hand and getting the best shot that I can than I am on how I’m feeling. So, without my phone or camera in hand, it was so amazing to be able to experience my emotions without technology distracting me! Thank goodness it was a sunny day because I was crying the happiest tears behind my sunglasses! S+K’s walk down the aisle only happens once in a lifetime, and you better bet that I wanted to be fully present in their moment.

I got to see my friend experience the moment she has been waiting for her entire life.

This one piggybacks off my last point. Every bride spends months, if not years, thinking about the moment they’ll be walking down the aisle and their very first dance with their husband. And really and truly? It’s all over in the blink of an eye! S+K had been anticipating their day for SO long, and it was so special to see and experience this moment with my very own eyes, instead of through a viewfinder or tiny screen.

I knew I was respecting her wishes and that she loved looking around and seeing all of her closest friends and family member’s faces.

Call me crazy…but I personally think that there is NOTHING wrong with a bride and groom requesting something of their guests on their wedding day.  Think about it…if a couple cares enough to ask you to put your cell phones and cameras away, places announcements in their invitations and on their website, has signs on the day of, makes an announcement before their ceremony, etc. (you get the point!), there is most definitely a reason they want you to be present in the moment! How nerve wracking do you think it is to walk down an aisle, potentially in heels, with 150 pairs of eyes on you, to solidify forever and exchange vows with your favorite human? Now add in 50 cameras, 4 people stepping in front of you to grab the perfect photo on their iPad {It sounds crazy, but I’ve seen it happen, y’all}, and wow  that is enough to intimidate and distract any bride! I knew Savannah wanted to see the faces of each and every one of her guests while she walked down the aisle, and it made me happy to know that, as a guest, I was able to contribute to S+K’s wedding experience that they had always dreamed of.

I know I will remember feeling so incredibly happy and excited for S+K much longer than I will be looking through any Snapchats, Instagram stories or low quality cell phone photos.

Y’all…real talk. Instagram and Snap stories only last for 24 hours but memories last forever. Sure, you can save your stories and look at them whenever you want, but how often will you do that? Why on earth would you want to obstruct a bride’s view of her groom for the sake of a 24 hour clip for a cell phone app or a Facebook post? I was so surprised by how much it meant to me to experience their day as a guest, and I know I will remember my feeling of happiness far longer than I would be looking at any photos I snapped on my cell.

Bonus: We still got to take plenty of photos…but rarely did I think to have my phone on me!

We drank too much wine, ate some amazing BBQ, danced into the night with light-up tambourines, and it got to a point where Savannah had to remind us to take our phones out to take plenty of selfies (with their super cute snap filter!). Seriously…from the very start of S+K’s ceremony, I set my phone down in my purse and didn’t really feel the need to touch it again for a while. As someone that is pretty tied to not one, but two, cell phones, it was SO welcome to be told to unplug from technology. I truly got to enjoy the presence of the people I was with while celebrating one of my favorite couples.

*Quick iPhone dump from when we remembered to take photos*

It Is always one of the first things I say to brides on our first call together…with planning a wedding and diving head first into the wedding industry, comes a lot of new terminology! It can often feel like you have to learn a whole new text book of vocabulary, and it is totally okay to feel a little intimidated at first. That’s why you hire a strong team of vendors to help guide you through your season of wedding planning! We’re here for you to ask questions, to bounce ideas around, and to celebrate when you finally figure out that perfect detail that will tie your day all together! Have a question for me today? Send me an email!

  1. Stephanie says:

    So incredibly perfectly beautiful.

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