We’ve all seen the cute signs that ask wedding guests not to have their phones out during their wedding. This is called an “Unplugged Wedding.” As professional photographers, we want to discuss this topic with an open mind. Here’s our two cents about Plugged In Weddings (meaning you allow devices at your wedding) in a pros and cons list-
Pros of Plugged in:
1- You get every angle. When your guests take photographs, you get all the angles of all the people. Even when hiring two or three professionals, they physically are unable to catch every angle of every detail all at the same time. It’s impossible.
2- You can edit these shots yourself. Many professional photographers don’t allow you to instagram edit their photographs. The pictures that your friends and family take are a great opportunity to do some funky/unique editing that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.
3- Professional photographers concentrate (mostly) on the bride and groom. While we do get some family pictures of Grandma Cora and Great Aunt Susan, they aren’t our complete focus. So while we are snapping shots of the bride and groom’s first kiss, your friend may get a close up shot of Grandpa Charlie shedding a tear. These pictures are amazing memories that are priceless, especially when our family members pass away.
4- While we pray that this never happens to any photographer or client, sometimes things get lost. We could “what-if” ourselves to death here, but let’s throw out an idea. Your photographer, with their equipment and your photographs on the memory card, just left your wedding. They are in a car accident in which the camera and it’s contents are destroyed. Now what? There is such a small chance that this would happen, but there is still a chance. Technology is not perfect and neither are photographers. (Knock on wood and prayers said that this never happens y’all).
5- Some important people cannot attend your big day. Personally, one of my best friends was studying abroad during my wedding. I would’ve loved to have her there, but it was impossible. So, we FaceTimed her. Why not?! Maybe you have elderly family members that cannot make it. Maybe the venue isn’t handicap friendly. Maybe times are hard and flights are expensive. Whatever the reason, these important people want to be included too.
6- Photographers are expensive. Sometimes you can not afford to have your photographer for the entire day. Some photographers offer packages of just the ceremony and family portraits. MKP offers everything from 3 hour packages to 8 hour packages. It all depends on budget. So if you’re low on funds, hire your professional for 3 hours and have your family and friends shoot your reception.
7- Your professional edits take time. Your photographer has a turn around time from anywhere between 24 hours and 24 months. MKP’s turnaround for the entire usb of edits during busy season is 3 weeks. Who wants to wait 3 weeks to see their photos? *side note, we do post a sneak peek within 48 hours.
8- Lastly, a plugged in wedding is a fun way to show off your love for your new husband or wife. What better way to show everyone that you married the love of your life then seeing hundreds of people post it on social media?! And personally, hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed flipping through our guests’ photos.
Cons of Plugged In:
1- Your professional photographer may get shots of your guests holding their devices. This doesn’t look the greatest. We can angle, crop, and edit the shots, but sometimes it’s just impossible to get those phones out of view.
2- Aunt Shelly brought the iPad. It’s huge. Enough said.
3- Guests aren’t living in the moment. Their noses are buried in their devices and checking angles instead of enjoying your nuptials.
4- Uncle Ronny just doesn’t know how to work this new iPhone 11. His flash just keeps going off and one of the bridesmaids has epilepsy. Side note- MKP does include in our contract that we can ask guests to turn off their flash as it can mess up your professional shots! And big side, side note, please let your photographer know if anyone has epilepsy. That whole issue would not be okay.
5- People may post an unflattering picture of you. Maybe groomsman Tommy got a little to personal when hubby was taking off your garter. With a professional photographer, you get to pick and choose which shots are posted on social media.
All in all, the choice is YOURS. You are the bride and groom. You and your families are the ones paying for this wedding. We, as photographers, have no right to tell you what to do. There is a place and time for professional photography, as there is a place and time for friends’ cell shots. You will hang your MKP shots on your walls (we hope!) and you will Facebook share your friend’s cute picture of the ring bearer doing the worm. MKP is humble enough to tell you that we don’t get every shot of every detail of every wedding. We can’t be in 75 places at once getting every angle of every guest. We do, however, guarantee that we will get every shot that we can, fulfill every inch of our contract, and treat you with the upmost respect whether you have 1 photographer or 273 photographers.
As Tammy says, “you do you boo boo.” We are here to support your decisions on your wedding day!