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Missing the Moment

Posted: Monday, Oct. 21, 2013

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Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!

My husband and I often discuss putting our phones down so that we don’t miss the moment. But sometimes it’s hard for me not to want to take photos of every animal at the zoo, or catch a shot of each of the fireworks on the 4th of July, but while doing that, I’m not living in the moment – I’m very clearly planning to look back at it later. While saving photos is a great way to look back and remember moments, it might cause you to miss out on some special ones in the meantime.

Recently, I’ve noticed more and more that wedding guests are actively photographing and recording weddings. It’s one thing to snap a quick shot of the couple as they put rings on, kiss or head back down the aisle, but to stand up and record, or to bring your DSLR to the ceremony, that’s a little overboard.

The idea of an unplugged wedding is an intriguing one. “Unplugging” means putting down the technology and signing off of your social media for a period of time. Doesn’t sound hard, but lately it seems as though our iPhones are glued to our hands. Asking guests to turn their devices off as they arrive will certainly ensure that phones don’t ring during your ceremony, and might help add bodies to the dance floor later on. What you don’t want to happen is guests getting in the way of the photographer and videographers that you’ve hired (and paid A LOT of money), just to make sure that they get the best shot. And as a guest, you don’t want to miss the vows just because you were trying to get a creative shot for Instagram.

As a bride or groom, you might wonder if you’ll miss out on candid photos, and you might… on a few. But if you’ve done your homework and hired a photographer who knows what they’re doing, then you’ll end up with those fun shots anyway. If you still want your guests taking photos, go old school and put disposable cameras on the tables – you never know what you’re going to get with those! Photo booths are also a great way to add fun shots of the guests.

If you’re following the hashtag trend and you’ve come up with a cute combination of your names to use, you can’t also ask your guests to be unplugged. It’s definitely not the choice for all, but it’s worth considering. You may find more guests up and about instead of sitting at their table trying to figure out which photo they should Instagram or walking around with their iPad.

While we didn’t have an unplugged wedding, we do aim to have at least a couple “unplugged” hours together a day. It can be tough and there are times where we are both staring at our screens, but having some uninterrupted and social media free moments together are good for your relationship. You can actually talk to the person in front of you.

You should try it. Instead of texting or scrolling through your Facebook while having dinner, try talking to your significant other. It will feel good, and your spouse will appreciate it. And if you’re at a wedding, be conscious of your phone use. It’s not polite to stand up during the ceremony and take photos (especially with the sound on). The bride and groom were selective in their choosing of a photographer and/or videographer and trust that person to capture the special moments of their day. They invited you as a guest to enjoy their ceremony and reception and to celebrate with them. I used the hashtag #peopleoverphones the other day, let’s try to make that happen in real life too!

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