Intimacy & Guest Count
We’ve spoken to so many couples over the course of nearly 10 years of shooting weddings and we’ve heard the same sentiment over and over again, “I wish we would have downsized our guest list and spent more time with our closest friends and family.”
Downsizing your guest list means that you can keep your wedding more about getting married than “putting on an event” and will help US photograph the people that mean the most to you rather than the random acquaintances you invited out of obligation.
An “unplugged wedding” is simply asking your guests to keep their phones OFF and completely tucked away during the ceremony.
Why you ask?
Every guest is tempted to take photos. Your mother, your grand-father, your Aunt Sue who will step in the middle of the aisle during your first kiss, or even a member of your bridal party who we’ve seen Snapchat themselves during the exchanging of vows (it was the worst). And while it’s all good fun, it can be a huge distraction. Without the temptation, your guests will listen, engage, and immerse themselves in the experience that YOU have spent months preparing for and it truly makes ALL the difference.
Although all of our phone cameras have gotten better with technology advancements, your grandma’s photography skills haven’t…and we would HATE for any of the sweet moments from your ceremony (i.e. your fiancè having to look around Grandma’s iPad as you walk down the aisle or your mom trying to figure out how to zoom as you wipe away your tears during your vows) to be compromised.
It’s happened. And it’s awful.
Gift yourselves and gift your guests the honor of being present for your beautiful ceremony giving them moments they’ll remember.
So, how do you ask your guests?
The most common thing we’ve seen is to have your officiant make an announcement while everyone is taking their seats. We have never seen anyone complain and most people find it a really special thing to honor.
You can also put a sign near the top of the aisle with a request that reads something like, “We invite you to be FULLY PRESENT with us at our UNPLUGGED WEDDING. Kindly turn off your phones & cameras.” It’s that simple.
We’ll work hand in hand with you preparing your timeline, family photo groupings, and special occasions so that by the time your wedding day arrives we’ll know everything we need to know to capture your wedding in a personal and professional way.
The only checklist we’ll need to consider is the list of family members for family photos, but you can count on us to send you the first draft once the date gets closer.
Other than that, you can sit back, relax, and trust that we have everything we need!
Make it YOUR Wedding
Remember that this is your day…and not all, but many of the traditions that take place during weddings aren’t founded in much beyond this general idea of what you’re “supposed to do.”
Think of it this way… how do you celebrate Christmas? I’m sure your family has unique traditions you’ve followed for years…and those traditions are likely different than our families! These traditions your family has celebrated are unique to your upbringing, how you express yourselves as a family, and what makes you feel uniquely connected to the holiday.
This is your wedding and nothing about it has to check any box of doing what you’re supposed to do. Give yourself the freedom to think outside the box and make this day an expression of who you are, where you come from, and the mark you hope to leave on the world through your love.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing…
Hiring an Officiant (or not!) – You don’t have to choose a random ordained minister! Choose someone that you love and who has made an impact on your lives…and if they aren’t ordained…well that’s quite simple. Anyone can follow these steps and get ordained here (https://www.theknot.com/content/friend-officiate-ceremony-how-to). Being married by someone who knows you, and your stories will be way more meaningful than someone paid to show up and recite generic wedding vows.
Elope or Wedding? (Both!) – Your family wants a big wedding but you want to elope? Guess what…you can do both! Choose a place in the world meaningful to the both of you, bring 10 of your closest people, exchange vows, then throw a big party (read: reception) with all of your people on a later date.
I mean, isn’t that your favorite episode of The Office? If Jim Halpert & Pam Beasley can do it, so can you :)
Personal Vows (In Private) – Always wanted to write/read your own vows but not big on crowds? Sneak off for a few minutes before your ceremony to share them with one another in private! We’ll be there to document it of course, but it will give you space to be intimate, emotional, and totally present with one another.
The list goes on… Love pie over cake? Swap it! Not into slow dances? Choose instead to swing dance or floss or Dougie for your first dance! Hate heels? Rock a pair of tennis shoes under that dress!
This is your day and you have every opportunity to make it just what you want it without the stress of expectations, perfect details, and seating charts. Your guests are coming to give their love for YOU.
What matters is that you are present, comfortable, and soaking in all the moments between you and your husband/wife, the proud glances from your father, the long hugs from grandparents, and the FUN between all of your friends.
This is your day and you should love every bit of it.