We have designated Tuesdays as our day for Tips! We want to share some insight with you all to help to prepare and educate you on important issues and other things we have learned from our years in the business.

Today we are going to talk about something that we're sure that you have heard many times:

An "Unplugged" Wedding Ceremony

In case you're unclear about what that means, it's when you ask your guests attending your Wedding Ceremony to respectfully put away their phones, iPads, cameras, Nintendo DSs, etc. Anything that has an ability to take a picture should be out of sight.

Why should you decide to do this for your wedding?

As photographers, we like to capture the true feel of what is going on. We adore the misty eyes, and crinkly laughs that happen naturally during a wedding. We love genuine smiles and those proud, peaceful looks that the parents of the couple give. What has been happening lately, though, is these beautiful moments and emotions have been replaced with noses glued to screens. We want you to remember your day as beautifully nostalgic as possible. We want you to feel overwhelmed with emotion and to look to your mother wiping her eyes under her glasses, knowing that she feels the same. But unfortunately now, chances are when you look toward the sea of your most cherished friends and family, you will see the latest Apple products. You may feel underwhelmed, and it may even distract you from what is truly happening, right then. Nobody wants to feel that way on their Wedding day.

Another reason you may want to consider an unplugged ceremony is so that your wedding pictures only reflect the moments we mentioned above. If your guests are all taking their own pictures, chances are they will be trying to get the best angle, stepping into the aisle, or raising their phones over their heads around others. Imagine starting to walk down the aisle with your bouquet in one hand, and your father in the other, and all you see are cameras in your face. Where is the groom? He is shifting his stance trying to at least catch a glimpse of you. He is trying to make eye contact with his best friend, the love of his life. This moment is fleeting, but SO powerful, and it can be taken away very easily when you don't tell your guests up front that you would prefer for them to not photograph the wedding themselves. We know that your guests mean well, but the truth of the matter is that any image that they take will not compare to the one that your hired professional photographer will be taking of the exact same moment, so long as guests are not stepping in the way of them.

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Here's how you can make this request:

In your invitations, include a cute blurb about leaving the cameras at home, and that you love them and want to share this moment with them intimately. Have a sweet sign with beautiful hand-lettering that reminds them to turn off their cell phones for the remainder of the Ceremony so they can be present emotionally and spiritually. Ask your officiant to make an announcement at the beginning of the Ceremony requesting these same things. You invited these people because they mean a lot to you, and they feel the same about you, so if you are up front about this to them, telling them it is important to you, then chances are they will respect your request.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with them taking pictures during other parts of the day! It's so fun to see the things others see during your wedding, and it's great for them to snap some selfies with other guests, and using your wedding hashtag to share them with you. This post is specifically talking about the actual Ceremony.

We hope that this helps some of you understand why we feel so strongly about this, and that it gives you the confidence to request the same of your guests.

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