Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Unplugged Weddings ~ Trending…

Filed under: Photos,Unplugged Wedding,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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I have talked about why some couples are planning unplugged weddings and with society’s social media obsession is at an all-time high, felt it bears further info. Cell phones, Facebook, YouTube – they are all part of our lives. But should they be front and center at your wedding?

It is becoming a bigger problem than most people consider. Many times guests with iPads, cameras, iPhones, etc., – especially guests sitting on the aisle – lean into the aisle (and sometimes stand in the aisle) and block the line of sight of the professional photographer.

Guests take photos at weddings because they want to remember the special day, not because they’re trying to be rude, however, photographers will often turn to get emotional shots of the bride and groom or family, only to find that they are hidden behind a camera and their perfect shot is blocked. Most couples have spent a large part of their wedding budge on their professional photographer, who will be getting amazing shots throughout the ceremony.

WEDUnplugedTrendingWhat is an unplugged wedding? ~ An unplugged wedding means that no electronic devices are to be used during the ceremony. This means no cameras, smart phones, no photo uploads to social media or tweeting, texting and Instagramming “during” the ceremony.

The unplugged trend rebukes the advances of Facebook (only for one day), with many brides and grooms encouraging guests to ditch their camera phones and enjoy their nuptials, distraction free. A ration may be in place, where a listed time for taking photos is planned as part of your schedule. If you’re allowing guests to snap away during a certain section of the day, a share tool is great for collating all the memories of your wedding.

Apps such as Wedpics host a real-time photo feed on your wedding day, and provide the ultimate photo and video sharing opportunity for you and your guests. Read: “Easy-to-Use Wedding Photo-Sharing Apps.” Be sure with the couple that it is okay to share any images you take after the ceremony on social media; sometimes couples prefer to keep things quiet due to varying factors, and you don’t want to cause undue stress.

A wedding ceremony is a brief and intimate moment shared between people who have been brought together as witnesses to the beginning of a marriage. What a novel idea! I truly believe that a carefully worded and meaningful ceremony can change lives and be a great influence upon the guests – but never if guests are too busy clicking away to hear or see what is happening.

A 30 minute respite from your electronic gear during a wedding ceremony is called: “being respectful of the bride and groom’s wishes!”

With the permission of the bride and groom, as soon as I get to the alter, I will often make the following announcement:

unplugedLadies and Gentlemen, I have a special announcement from the bride and groom: “We want you to be able to really enjoy our wedding ceremony today, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We’ve hired an amazing wedding photographer who will be capturing the way the wedding looks – and we’re inviting each of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy how the wedding feels. We’re respectfully asking that everyone consider turning all cameras and cell phones (pause) back on after the wedding. We look forward to sharing our professional photos after the big day! Thank you!”

Larry’s NOTE: I pause before saying “back on after the wedding” which usually gets a smile from the guests because they were all thinking I was going to say, “turn them OFF.”

Another strategy is as guests arrive, have a super cute sign made to post outside of the church or at the beginning of the aisle. Make sure your ushers point it out to guests as well. Some brides are including a brief note in the program. Be sure to let guests know that you’ll share your professional photos with them later, which is easy to do with Dropbox or other photo sharing services.

I recently had a bride and groom who wrote their own vows (I call them “Personal Promises“) and used their phones as the modern-day alternative to the piece of paper. My encouragement is that it is better all around to leave their phones at home. It just does not look good. I usually have the bride and groom send me their vows which I print on card stock and hand them to each when it’s time to read them.

Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute and co-author of the book Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, shared six tips for successfully requesting guests power down as you gear up for your wedding day.

It’s a fine request for the ceremony, but not the reception ~ A wedding ceremony, Post said, is “solemn, even if it’s not religious,” she said. For that reason, it’s fine to ask guests to put away the phones for this portion of the evening. The reception, typically more of a party atmosphere, is another story.

Make the announcement well in advance ~ The wedding web site is a perfectly reasonable to place to ask guests to power down during the nuptials, Post said.

And then follow up at the ceremony ~ “It’s not a bad idea to put it [the request] in the [wedding] program as well,” Post said. She said it is also fine to have someone in an official position – either an officiate of member of the wedding part – make an announcement before the wedding begins. “It’s a very fair reminder not to distract from the ceremony.”

Unless you’re a celebrity, don’t confiscate the phones ~ Unless you-re an “A-list” celeb, asking guests to turn over their phones is “taking it too far,” said Post. “Trust your friends will respect your wishes and do what you ask,” she said. And if they don’t? Never interrupt the ceremony to confront the offender.

Ask for what you want ~ Is it no cell phone calls? No texting? Or no photos, plus no Facebooking or Instagraming? Post said couples should be very clear with their guests on their wishes. What may seem innocuous to a guest – like taking a photo and posting it to Facebook – may be the exact scenario a bride who wasn’t able to invite every friend she wanted to the wedding – is hoping to avoid.

Beside having the aisles free of people using and obtrusively holding iPhones, tablets and cameras blocking the view of guests and the professional photographers, your guests will now be a real and connected part of the ceremony that they were asked to witness and participate in.

BONUS Articles: How to Have an Unplugged Wedding
Welcome to Our Unplugged Wedding…
Considering an Unplugged Wedding?
Social Media Weddings VS. Unplugged Weddings

Photo Credit: Top left ~ Amber Wilkie Photography

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Welcome to Our Unplugged Wedding…

Filed under: Photos,Unplugged Wedding,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Digital media has changed the way we do business, communicate and take photos. With the increasing popularity of modern recording and photographic devices like smartphones, tablets, point and shoot cameras and even consumer DSLRs – more wedding guests are plugging in and snapping away throughout the wedding day! There are photos at every wedding that are ruined by guests with cameras, usually during the processional and recessional whether it’s down an aisle of a church or down a grassy lawn.

UnpluggedWedToo often these digital devices are causing disruptions during the wedding ceremony. OFten the people who sit on the aisle will either stand or lean out into the aisle to take photos. In doing so, they often block the memorable photos that the bride and groom have paid big bucks to get from the professional photographer. A guest watching the wedding through an LCD screen isn’t the same as seeing it with your eyes. You are so concentrated on getting your photos that you miss the romantic experience of the ceremony. Often the shadows from a guest’s flash are bothersome and with several flashes going off at the same time make the photo too bright for the photographer to work with in the editing process.

Professional photographers know all too well that in that split second before the kiss, hands usually dart into the aisle to capture the perfect iPhone picture – leaving the professional to do his or her best to dodge around the amateur devices in order to get the timeless shot. The couple have invited you to celebrate their day, not sit there on your phone.

You may want to post a sign: “Welcome to our unplugged Wedding! We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony. Please turn off your cell phone and camera. We promise to share with you the many beautiful photos taken today!”

Ask the Wedding Officiant or Minister to make an announcement before the ceremony begins. Every Officiant is different. For me, I like to lighten things up a bit and as soon as I arrive at the alter, I often will say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the bride and groom request that you turn your cell phones and cameras (and I pause briefly, and say) “back on” after the ceremony. They ask that you be nice and turn off your device.” Some of the guests will laugh or smile and they usually respect the bride and groom’s wishes.

One of the most surprising things that has happened to me while I was performing a ceremony was the bride who asked me to make the above announcement, however during the ceremony she whipped out an iPhone from her bosom and snapped two selfies. Out of respect for the bride, I decided not to embarrass her by posting the photo. 😉 It seemed a bit incongruent to me, but that’s just me!

DisposableCamerasOne couple asked me to say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the bride and groom request that you turn your cell phones, ipads, cameras and other digital distractions (pause) “back on” after the wedding. The professional photographer will capture how this moment looks. I encourage you all to capture how it “feels” with your hearts and without the distraction of technology during the ceremony. Thank you.”

Perhaps a partial solution would be to have disposable cameras on each table at the wedding reception venue. The guests should be asked to leave the cameras on the table or drop them into a box or basket once they are done using them. This ensures that the bride and groom will have every camera which they are able to get developed.

Often the problem with that idea is that the children at the reception will begin snapping photos of everyone and you end up with a lot of photos of the floor or ceiling. If you use this idea, it’s important for the Master of Ceremonies (or Disc Jockey) to make an announcement that the cameras are there for the adults to use during the reception. A fun option would be giving the guests an assignment, such as incorporating their table number card into every picture.

BONUS Articles: Why You Might Want to Consider an Unplugged Wedding
Considering an Unplugged Wedding?
Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!
The Three P’s of Wedding Photography Shopping
Disposable Cameras for Your Reception

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Monday, January 13, 2014

Considering an Unplugged Wedding?

Welcome to the era of the over-documented wedding, where, even if you’ve hired someone to take photos, every guest has a camera and an iPhone and is tweeting the whole event. Not cool. Especially when you’ve paid big bucks to hire a professional photographer and the photos they deliver to you after the wedding had numerous guest with their iPads and smart phones held in the air and they are staring at the tiny screens. Photography fail. “Be nice, turn off your device!”

If you want your wedding guests to be fully present at your wedding consider an unplugged wedding!

unplugged

Click to Download a full color, printable PDF (without the URL)
Compliments of the Offbeat Bride!

“Don’t like the idea of guests attached to their phones throughout the ceremony and reception? Opt for an unplugged wedding. Provide a phone check at the door (similar to a coat check), or add a note to your wedding website or ceremony program asking guests to refrain from taking photos or video. You can word it nicely – something like: ‘We want you to truly enjoy the ceremony and reception, so we ask that you please refrain from taking photos or video today and just have fun. You are welcome to take as many photos as you want at the reception.'” ~ The Knot

Many couples have been heard to say, “I’d rather guests simply watch and clap and smile and cry — and really listen and remember, not from the photos they downloaded onto their computers or Instagram, but from their own individual memories.”

I’ve had numerous weddings where some of the guests were downright rude. They lean out into the aisle when the bride walks down the aisle with her father and the photographer is seen trying to shoot their photos around the madding crowd. If it doesn’t bother the couple, then it’s not a problem. However, to most, it does.

Most photographers will provide a link to where guests can view their photos and choose to purchase their favorites. Speak with your wedding photographer to ensure you can make a small set of photos (perhaps just five photos) available digitally to guests within a couple days of the wedding. The link can be posted on your Facebook page.

When I interview a couple, I bring up this issue and ask if they would like for me to make a brief – slightly humorous – announcement at the beginning the the ceremony. Most say, “Yes.” Often when the request comes from the Wedding Officiant, guests will take note and respect the couple’s wishes. My experience is that an announcement from the Wedding Officiant along with a brief note on the program and a sign on a chalk board as guests enter the ceremony area works best.

unplugged2

Have a couple of girls carry signs as they walk in!

Minister: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the bride and groom request that you turn your cell phones, iPads, cameras and other digital distractions (pause) back on after the wedding. The professional photographer will capture how this moment ‘looks.’ They encourage you all to capture how it ‘feels’ with your hearts and without the distraction of technology during the ceremony. Thank you.”

Sometimes not everyone listens. I recently had a guest walk behind me and begin taking photos of the Sand Ceremony during the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom had me make the above announcement at the beginning of the ceremony, so I turned and politely asked the guest to please be seated, which he did. I’m sure it was an embarrassing moment for him, however, I don’t work for him. I work for the bride and groom.

Another humorous version: “Ladies and gentlemen, prior to Sally and Pete’s wedding take-off, all seat backs and tray tables must be in their upright and locked positions, all bags properly stowed, and they request that all portable electronic devices turned off and stowed. This includes cell phones, iPads and cameras. Thank you on behalf of the bride and groom.”

The Offbeat Bride Website suggests that you could include a short note in your programs:

“We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! This in mind, we invite you to put down all your favorite devices and just be present in the moment with us. Please leave your camera in your bag (we’ve got photography covered!), and put your cell phone on mute (we promise they’ll call back!). We’re happy to share our professional wedding photos later (on Facebook, etc), but the greatest gift you can give us today is just being fully here with us in this sacred and special moment.”

Note for Guests: A wedding ceremony is a brief and intimate moment shared between people who have been brought together as witnesses to the beginning of the couple’s marriage… please don’t mess it up for the bride and groom!

Just a thought: It is no more rude or tacky to ask your guests to turn off all electronic devices than to have “guest photographers” compromise your professional photos from your photographer!

So… what’s your take on this issue? Please comment below.

BONUS Article: I’ve Had Enough with Wedding Guests Taking Pictures with Phones
Photographer Posts Epic Rant
10 Hot Wedding Trends for 2014!
Unplugged Wedding (Pinterest)
Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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