Should You Have an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony?

Should You Have an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony?

I often ask my clients if they are considering having an unplugged wedding ceremony. Most people answer they are not sure what that means, or else they have no idea how to do it. I’d like to explain a little more about them, some of their benefits, and how you can easily ensure one for your big day.

What is an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony?

Everyone these days has a camera in their pocket, residing on their cell phone. Cameras on phones have come a long way, and people naturally love to take photos and videos during their friends and loved ones’ wedding days. While most of the time these are fun and awesome keepsakes to have, problems can occur when people use their camera phones during wedding ceremonies. Married couples pay thousands of dollars to professional wedding photographers to have their wedding days preserved through photos. Wedding ceremony rituals can happen in the blink of an eye (think ring exchanges or the big kiss) and hands quickly popping up with cell phones can easily block or mar the images of a carefully-placed wedding photographer positioned behind them.

Several of my wedding clients have opted for an unplugged wedding ceremony. This means that couples request their guests put away their cell phones during the ceremony. This significantly lessens the chance of a guest blocking the wedding photographer’s view, and also prevents distracting glowing screens from cluttering the final images. Not only that, but it actually ensures that the guests are giving their full attention to the ceremony itself, not playing with phone settings.

How to Have an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony

Many people like the idea of an unplugged wedding ceremony, but they have no idea how to coordinate it. There are many simple ways to ensure one for your ceremony. Some of these options include:

~ Have your officiant make an announcement that you would prefer all guests keep their phones and cameras off so as to enjoy the ceremony undistracted. Have the officiant offer that the images from your professional photographer will be shared with guests at a later date.

~ Post a sign in your ceremony venue with your request. You can either buy a chalkboard sign and handwrite, or purchase one on Etsy. Some options include: “There’s a girl here taking pictures. We asked her to come. So please rest your cameras. Our ceremony needs only one.” or “Welcome to our unplugged ceremony. Please turn off all cell phones, cameras and any other device and enjoy this special moment with us. Thank you!” or “Welcome to our unplugged wedding. We invite you to be fully present with us during this special moment. Please, no cameras, cell phones or other electronics until after the ceremony. Thank you!”

~ Alternatively, you can add your wording or request to the ceremony program that each guest receives when entering your venue. Try a Google search to find wording that is right for you!

So you see, having an unplugged wedding ceremony comes with several benefits, and is very easy to do. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Unplugged Ceremonies Photo

To Look or Not to Look? Having a First Look on Your Wedding Day

To Look or Not to Look? Having a First Look on Your Wedding Day

One issue I see a lot of couples struggle with is if they should do a First Look, or if they should wait to see each other when they first walk down the aisle. As a wedding photographer, I have worked with couples in both scenarios. While both ways can work well, there are a few distinct advantages to going with a First Look prior to your wedding ceremony.

First Look Bride Groom

The First Look begins with some private time for just the two of you…alone. Unlike your walk down the aisle in a public arena where all eyes are focused on you, these private moments, where you see each other separately from the more formal portraits, are often extremely special for you both. You are able to exchange meaningful gifts, relax, and think about the moments to come. This quiet, contemplative time also serves as a break to calm your nerves. This pre-ceremony atmosphere creates a smooth, steady flow through the day’s events.

First Look Bride Groom

Not only are you in top form, but hair and makeup are still fresh and you are still comfortable in your wedding attire. Often times, wedding days and wedding wardrobes can be hot, so people look less and less fresh as the day moves on. Seeing each other in top form will happen if you choose to do your First Look right away.

First Look Grooms

After the First Look time has finished, we take some posed photos of the two of you. While we still refer to these photos as “posed”, rest-assured that we use our expertise to create images of you that look relaxed, natural and intimate. These photos are the ones that most often end up on walls and in prints or albums. We also take these photos privately, away from bridal party and family members, if possible, to continue to capture candid emotions and moments together.

First Look Bride Groom

Once your portrait time is finished, you are able to regroup with bridal party and family members and complete as much of your posed, formal group portraits as possible prior to your wedding ceremony. Once your ceremony is complete, you are then able to spend as much time as possible mingling with your guests and not forced to break into posed photos afterward while wishing you could be somewhere else.

First Look Bride Groom

All-in-all, including a First Look into your wedding day is an amazing experience, and one I highly recommend!

Wedding Day Photography Tips

Wedding Day Photography Tips

Many of my wedding clients ask if there is anything they need to know to help prepare for the photography on their wedding day. There are a number of guidelines that I like them to give them, not only so they know what to expect, but also so they can help make the photos look their best. I’d like to share the tips I give everyone so that you can help make your final photos look clean, polished, natural and beautiful! Following are some of my most helpful tips for your wedding day photography:

Minneapolis Wedding Day Photography Tips

~ Try to arrange to have natural light in the rooms where both of you will be preparing. Natural light looks great in wedding day photographs.

~ Keep the area near the windows free of trash, bags, snacks, etc. This is the area that we would prefer to take your photos during your wedding day preparation.

~ Make sure your shoes are comfortable. If not, feel free to bring along your formal shoes for your wedding photographs, but wear the comfy shoes to get around.

~ Consider a coordinator. Wedding planners, wedding coordinators, and even day-of coordinators can help take the stress out of your big day and help things run smoothly without needing your attention. So you can relax, enjoy time with friends and family, and really focus on the best things about your day. No need for you to sweat or take care of last minute issues on one of the biggest days of your lives!

~ Make sure to task someone with bringing an emergency kit. Especially if you are DIY couple, you will need to make sure you have a number of items to help in case something goes wrong. Spend a bit of time on Google to find lists of the most important items to have, then make sure a bridesmaid, personal attendant or other helper can be ready in case of emergency.

~ Allow more time than you think you need to get ready. It’s better to be safe than be rushed – often somewhere along the way people get delayed. Planning extra time into your preparation will help keep things running smoothly.

~ Bides: Consider a hair/makeup trial run. While often times, things can go just fine on the first attempt, you never really know until you see yourself as you will look in real life. Also, you can pair the trial run with your engagement photos, so you are able to see what you look like in photos before the big day!

~ Brides: everyone in the bridal suite should be in their dresses before the bride. Please have all bridal details together prior to the wedding photographers arriving (i.e. wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, jewelry, wedding rings, shoes, bouquets, veil, invitations, and any special keepsakes.) We will photograph these items prior to your prep time.

~ Grooms: everyone in the groom’s suite should be in trousers and shirts for wedding photographers to start. We will capture groom’s details first (i.e. shoes, tie, cufflinks, boutonnière, etc.) Then we will photograph groom prep time.

~ It is typical to allow around two hours for all of your posed wedding photos.
– 60 minutes for first look / couple portraits
– 30 minutes for wedding party
– 30 minutes for family formals
Specific details and timing will be planned out prior to your big day.

~ Last but not least, eat, drink, and be married! Most of your wedding day is going to be photographed candidly, so you can relax, enjoy yourselves, and forget that your wedding photographers are even there. We’ll worry about getting the best photos of you and your guests without needing any assistance. So kick up your heels, enjoy yourselves, and leave the photography to us!

Minneapolis Wedding Day Photography Tips

Minneapolis Wedding Day Photography Tips

Minneapolis Wedding Day Photography Tips

Minneapolis Wedding Day Photography Tips

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