A few weeks ago, I wrote about an unplugged wedding. What’s an unplugged wedding? In a nutshell, no phones, iPads, or cameras are allowed during your wedding. The absence of all these extra electronics has many benefits. It helps your guests to be fully present and enjoy your celebration. It helps you control what images are posted online and eliminates the possibility of spoiling your walk down the aisle. It helps to alleviate obstacles for your paid photographer to work around and helps family formal portrait time to run more efficiently.
However, if you still want to have a plethora of images from your day, then maybe you should consider a plugged-IN wedding. On average, guests posting to social media during your wedding day will each post an average of 22 photos. Here are a few ideas, benefits and warnings if your wedding is plugged in.
+Unique hashtags. Create your very own hashtag to use across all social networks. Make sure your hashtag is completely unique so your posts are not intermingled with someone else’s wedding, ie. #r&lbrownwedding2016. This will ensure all the photos from your wedding day are easily accessible and those who couldn’t attend your wedding have instant access to the happenings as well.
+Encourage your guests to participate. Establish your hashtag early and notify your guests in the save-the-dates and/or invitations. Prepare signage for your ceremony and reception that reminds your guests about your special hashtag.
+Make it a game! Prepare a list of the types of images you want shared using your hashtag. Make it a good ol’ fashioned game of I Spy (ie. a beautiful dress, fresh flowers, hugs, dancing partners, laughing faces, friends and family, something blue).
+Pick an app. A simple internet search revealed an almost endless list of apps that gather your online wedding day images. The apps make it possible to download your favorites, share them on Facebook®, or even create a slideshow to play at your reception. Some of the apps also shared other information like your itinerary, information about your venue and maps. The apps do require a download (for each guest who would participate) and some also require a fee.
-Less-than-perfect images. Be prepared to see all sort of images online of yourself. Expect your future husband to see your dress before your walk down the aisle. Expect blurry pictures, orange skin, bad angles, and people looking at the wrong camera. You have given up control to curate your special day.
-Un-invitation Announcement. In a survey conducted by Wedding Paper Divas regarding digital etiquette, 31% of of those surveyed found out they had not been invited to the wedding through social media. 🙁
If you’re still in the camp of more photos IS better, then make sure every device at your wedding is plugged in!
On the other hand, if you’d like advice from a professional, I’d encourage you to lean toward the unplugged option—at least for the ceremony and important pieces of the reception (announcement, cake cutting, first dances, toasts, etc.) I do believe that as a paid professional, I should be able to work around any obstacle on your wedding day, but having an unplugged wedding just makes life so much simpler. Here’s a quick list of benefits:
- Have your guests fully vested in your moment.
- Don’t chance aggravating your wedding officiant.
- Eliminate unflattering images from appearing online.
- Don’t have your big reveal on Instagram before you’ve even made it to the end of the aisle.
- Keep uninvited guests from feeling left out.
- And finally, make your paid photographer’s job easier.
**Some of the images contained in this post were shot under the direction and for assignment of Philip Thomas Photography, LLC and Robin’s Nest Photograph, LLC. The images are copyrighted but are used herein with permission.
The post, Plugged-In Wedding, first appeared on Ata-Girl Photography Co.’s website and blog. Please feel free to comment here, or share this post with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please email me if you have any questions about this article or want to share a neat idea for a future blog post with me.