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When you are among the few who have been selected to be in the presence of one of the most important moments in a persons' life you have to be present., and not only in your physical being but also in your spiritual and attention span. How? , simply enjoy the moments. Use all your senses when it comes to attending a wedding. Enjoy the magnificent views of a beach, hear the waves coming and going. Listen to the promises of love from the Bride and the Groom , laugh at the fun moments and awkward instants of the wedding ceremony, share a tear or a hug when emotion overcomes you. Be connected to what surrounds you and cut ties with technology even if its for a few moments while this amazing two people embark in a new chapter in their lives.
Having an unplug wedding is not only a way a couple want you , their guest, to be present but is your way to connect with them, specially during the ceremony. Ceremonies are sacred even if it not of a religious kind. This is the time a Bride and Groom open their heart to their incredible partner in front of them , bare their heart and they want you to be a witness.
Over thirteen years I have been photographing weddings and I have seen how guests involvement in the wedding ceremony have change, from emotional parents holding hands to holding smart phones right on their faces trying to take a photo, missing out on the words just to get that picture and while I as a photographer, I miss photographing, the love, the emotion of guests while the couple is reading out their vows.
These days some guests seems to be preoccupied more with getting the shoot , getting the right angle and stepping out of their seats and going over the altar not respecting the fact that the couple have after careful search and invested on a profesional photographer or videographer to capture their day. Maybe not realizing that they have ruined a moment for their wedding album.
On occasion I have had the fortune to photograph unplug weddings and the results are beautiful images of guest and family members truly enjoying the day, sharing that special bond with the couple during their ceremony, but on other occasions I had to make a choice of not photographing someone holding up the phone.
While some would say that their phone take amazing pictures and we cannot deny the fact that yes in fact technology has advance a lot and there are some good pocket and phone cameras that are amazing I believe is more about respect than anything else. Respect for the Bride and Groom who have hired a professional, respect for the seriousness even tough the reception is fun of the Ceremony and respect to us photographers and videographer as professionals who have been hired to document a wedding day.
This is when having an unplug wedding comes in handy... and how ?, some couples do send on their wedding invitation a special announcement to their guest or make a beautiful sign that is visible on the ceremony area , letting them know that they wish them to be present and put away their phones and iPads and cameras. They also instruct the minister or the person who is officiating the ceremony to mention it a few minutes prior to the ceremony.
So... the next time you attend a wedding be Present, enjoy the moments .