Stevi Sayler Photography » Eugene, Oregon Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Unplugged Wedding

 A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing a wedding where the ceremony and a portion of the reception was ‘unplugged’ or camera free . If you haven’t heard of this amazing new tradition, let me explain. An unplugged wedding is where the bride and groom request that their guests put away their cameras, their phones and all electronic devices during the ceremony or throughout the entire wedding. While a few guests may complain, this wonderful tradition leaves the photography to the hired professional and allows the guests to relax and just be witness to this amazing ceremony without being distracted by scores of cell phones and cameras obscuring their view. From a photographers perspective this is heaven. A major issue and complaint of professional wedding photographers the world round is that their images are being ruined or obscured by these cameras and people getting up and in the way of their view of the couple. While the photographer some control over the posing, angle and happenings of photos before and after the ceremony, during the ceremony it’s simply reacting to the happenings and traditions and finding the best possible angle to capture each moment. Frequently, this is down the aisle, where you may and will likely see a guest with a camera leaning in to snap a photo or standing to make sure they get the shot. This can be quite distracting and unpleasant in those final photos.


This is the aisle from Devon and Tanita’s gorgeous wedding which was an unplugged wedding.

No distractions, cameras or guests in the way, what a fantastic view of the couple!

Here is a shot of a gorgeous bridesmaid at a recent wedding. I loved this wedding so much, but I could have done without our friend in the white suit.PINIMAGE

Another dropdead gorgeous wedding, but so many cameras in many of the shots. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels distracting.


Another problem that pops up from time to time during weddings and receptions is this occurrence above. Many cameras on the market today will throw a purple, blue or red dot of light before firing off a shot with the flash. This helps the camera to adjust to the lighting, distance and environment to grab a photo that will be visible and hopefully not blurry. While a guest standing near me taking photos rarely bothers me, I simply cannot undo the damage a light like this does to the subject of the photo.  This touching mother son dance unfortunately has one less useable shot because of this strange spot of light.

Having said all this, I think that in this age of constant electronic interactions and never ending distractions, it’s a wonderful thing to take just a moment to relax and watch a couple you know and love join together and start their lives anew. Seeing their vows through the screen of your iphone is no match for actually taking the time to witness their special moment unplugged.

Comment about the Unplugged Wedding from the bride:


Here are some other articles about unplugged weddings:

OffBeat Bride: The Unplugged Wedding

Peta Pixel: Guest Photographers

Scott Kelby : Is it time to demand an unplugged wedding?

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  • Alice E. Champion - love this & find it so true! The pictures without all the cameras/cell phones are so much prettier!ReplyCancel

  • Christina Ross Webber - Oh if only all the weddings could be unplugged!ReplyCancel

  • Amie King Allen - I had an unplugged wedding and it was perfect. I highly recommend it to anyone, at least for the ceremony.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Crosby - looks like some folks didn’t get the memo lol.ReplyCancel

  • Renessa Harris - I love this! We are getting married in Vegas by Elvis and they don’t allow camera’s or phones in the chapel. At first I was bummed because I felt it was just so we “HAD” to buy the pictures from them only but now after reading this it make sense. Thank you for taking the time to write this and maybe save a Brides most special day!ReplyCancel

  • Jaymie Starr - I also am a wedding photographer and agree that all the cell phones, cameras, etc are not only distracting but really have ruined some what could have been beautiful shots for me. Everyone always says “oh you can just photoshop that person out”, seriously? Who has time to PS out every single guest with a camera in a picture & the guarantee that it will even look good when all is said and done? I always get a kick out of that one. Yes, I am totally being paid to spend a minimum of an hour on each of 3,000 images I took photoshopping unthoughful guests out. Or what I love even more is aunt or uncle so & so leaning over my shoulder taking pictures of the same thing I am. Thank you for your article, I have already pinned and shared. You communicated very tactfully a very UN-tactful issue that most people are completely unaware of unless you are in the wedding photography business.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen Cote - I am also a wedding photographer. This was never such an issue 13 years ago. This is now such a distraction and annoyance. I am so tired of the pop up in the isle while photographing the kiss. I’m sure the bride hires me. I also get mad at photographer guests that take an image over my shoulder that I set up the pose and claims it as his and post it on FB. Seriously so rude. I had one guest complain to the bride because she could not get a good picture without the hired photographer in the way. lol That was just crazy. I didn’t realize she hired her guest to take pictures. ReplyCancel

  • Goals, Resolutions and Accomplishments | Stevi Sayler Photography - […] Experience my first unplugged wedding! […]ReplyCancel

  • Nový trend na obzore? Unplugged svadba » Perfect Day - […] *Credits* 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 […]ReplyCancel