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What is an UNplugged Wedding?


[uhn-pluhg]  un·plugged, un·plug·ging.

verb (used with object) remove a plug or stopper from. free of an obstruction; unclog. disconnect (an appliance, a telephone, etc.) by removing a plug: to unplug a toaster. remove (an electric plug) from an outlet. verb (used without object) become unplugged.


I want to first start off this conversation by saying this is not a photographer talking down to wedding guests. Our brides are starting to ask us how we can help educate their guests on the importance of respecting to the bride and grooms request to not have cameras, phones and other distracting things during their ceremony. They see this as a reverent time and really want the guests to bare witness of their commitment without distraction. ~leaha


Imagine if you were the bride at the alter and you are standing across from the man of your dreams and you look out into the audience and see only the tops of peoples heads. Everyone is face down checking to their lcd screens and smart phones to see if they got “the shot”! It is becoming more and more common for people to have their devices in their hands at all times. It also makes everyone feel as if they must get amazing photos for themselves to feel complete. Did those wedding guests every think that maybe they were invited to share in the most amazing time in the couples lives? Did the guests ever think the bride spent a fair amount of time finding and building a relationship with a photographer so that she could get amazing photos? More and more brides are turning towards a new way of dealing with this issue. It is called “Unplugged Weddings”.


  1. Turn off your device
  2. Enjoy the ceremony :)


  1. Do not step in aisle to get a photo
  2. Do not leave your seat
  3. Be aware of where the photographers and videographers are (They were paid big bucks to get amazing coverage)
  5. Try to enjoy the ceremony and save your photo taking for the end of the ceremony AFTER the kiss.
Unplugged Wedding Hashtagging by POPography.org_228
We are all wired to constantly update the world on what we are up to through programs like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I know we are constantly having to remind our children to unplug themselves from the iPad or Wii. We are all surrounded by technology. And I am sure we are all guilty of being on our devices at an inappropriate time. I am raising my hand as ‘guilty’ right now. :) There are just certain times that you want to be “present” and really embrace what is happening in real time. Especially when it is NOT your special day. As much as you want to post to your FB wall the blushing bride coming down the aisle with her dad– JUST DON’T! I think the bride would love to have more photos of her guests emotions rather than the front of their phones :)


Unplugged Wedding Hashtagging by POPography.org_231
Unplugged Wedding Hashtagging by POPography.org_229
Unplugged Wedding Hashtagging by POPography.org_233Unplugged Wedding Hashtagging by POPography.org_232
Unplugged Wedding Hashtagging by POPography.org_230
Some brides are more of a budget bride and may requests that everyone takes as many photos as possible due to no professional photographer or videographer. In this case, shoot away!
Unplugged Wedding Hashtagging by POPography.org_226
This is what happens when a professional photographer is shooting a ceremony and a guests camera flash interrupts the shot. BOO!
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UNCLE BOB at Weddings
Let’s not skip the dreaded topic of “Uncle Bob” as we refer to them in the photographer industry. An “Uncle Bob” is someone who owns a digital camera and tends to shoot as if he/she were hired. They are often over the shoulder of the professional photographer or in the direct shot of the professional. As a wedding photographer, I know that Uncle Bob has the best of intentions. They are usually very genuine and sweet folks who just can’t help themselves. They have a nice camera and this is a beautiful couple! Why would they NOT shoot them? :) Here  is how we deal with these situations:

  • Make friends with Uncle Bob. You both have interest in photography and this is a great conversation starter.
  • Let Uncle Bob know that you were hired to get the major shots. It is important to make sure no one is in your way or in your shot. (Especially with a giant camera in the background)
  • Let them know they are welcome to shoot whatever they wish, but to be aware of the hired photographers placement and job for the evening.
  • Remind them that the photos the hired photographer is shooting will be available for viewing and purchasing in a few weeks…so GO DANCE! We need photos of you too!
  • ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    To Unplug or Not Unplug

    This is COMPLETELY up to the happy couple.  Typically unplugging is only for the ceremony. There is absolutely nothing wrong with shooting, sharing, and documenting anything you so choose. That’s the beauty of technology!! The bride and groom will set the tone for their wedding day. Typically there will be signs by the entrance to the ceremony site that will alert you to turn off your devices for the ceremony.






    [hash-tag]  Digital Technology .

    noun 1.(on social-networking Web sites) a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it: The hashtag #sandiegofire was used to help coordinate an emergency response to the fire.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum a lot of couples LOVE when everyone snaps away at the reception. There are often smaller moments happening all over the reception area that the hired photographer is not able to get. This is a great way for you to shoot and share your memories with everyone at the wedding! Hashtagging will allow everyone at the wedding to look at all the photos taken at the wedding reception! The bride and groom could be sitting on the beach during their honeymoon sifting through all the candid photos that were hash tagged! HOW FUN!

    Unplugged Wedding Hashtagging by POPography.org_225


    All brides and grooms must ask themselves- “What role should digital devices play in our wedding day?”. And all guests should take into consideration why they are there and support whatever the bride and groom choose as the best option for their big day. Celebrate. Drink. Eat. Dance!

    Happy Wedding Planning.



    Links to other articles on this topic: Huffington Post & F-Stoppers

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    Jeffrey Bourgeois -

    Very nicely said

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