Should You Have A Tech-Free Wedding Day?
I was very excited to attend my good friend Matt’s wedding in September – I haven’t been to a wedding as a guest in a while. I was also surprised and delighted to receive this pre-wedding email with information on parking, dress and a very special request:
Matthew & I are very hopeful that this special day can be celebrated free from social media and technology so that we can all enjoy each other’s company and maintain privacy among us and our guests. We have hired a wonderful professional photographer who will capture the highlights for us and I will be more than happy to share those photos with you all as well. We hope that you can honor our request for a tech-free day.
I’ve been to a few weddings in the past year where the celebrant made an announcement before the ceremony that the couple had professionals to document the festivities and to please “be with us” and don’t escape the moment by trying to document it yourself.
Most of these requests went ignored and guests took their own iPhone photos anyway (usually, politely and quietly).
It seems that these days, part of enjoying and participating in an event includes broadcasting it to our online community on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Most weddings I photograph even designate clever hashtags so guests can contribute their photos and the couple can easily view all the photos and video when they get home!
On the other hand, can you really be a part of a moment if you are staring at a screen instead of gazing at the bride? How would you feel if you were the bride, and when you looked out at all of the loving family and friends who came to support you, instead of beaming, loving faces all you saw was a bunch of screens in the air? Are you getting in others’ way (like the photographer’s) by holding your screen in the air or stepping into the aisle to capture your version of the story?
I think we each have to answer this for ourselves. But I do think that if the couple makes the request, we should honor their wishes.
It was tough, I’ll admit, to leave my phone and camera in the car during Matt’s ceremony. But I’ll always do what my friends ask of me, support them as they request, and I’ll have my version of their wedding day etched in my memory forever.