This in itself is not a new topic, as you may have noticed throughout the myriad of “hot wedding tips and trends” saturating the blog-o-sphere. While not being much of a conformist to trends (I prefer to take on a more timeless approach to weddings rather than following the “it’s the in thing” mentality.) But in this instance I feel that as a wedding officiate watching from the altar, I have a unique visual on this less than spectacular spectacle.
Picture this, feel this, with me, from a professionals’ perspective:
It’s a perfect day in Santa Barbara, California. The temperature is a gorgeous 75 degrees and the back drop for your seaside ceremony couldn’t be more breathtaking: Below your feet, soft warm sands meet the caress of gentle surf while above, delicate wisps of clouds are painted across the endless blue as though Van Gough and God decided on a collaborative piece called “Your Wedding Day”.
The palms in the background sway to just the slightest of breezes, which, like the softest whisper creates a romantic billowing effect to the silky chiffon which graces the arbor beneath which you stand.
Chairs arranged in elegant symmetry have seated upon them those whom you have known and loved all of your lives, smiling faces awash with romantic eagerness to see the two most perfect people in the world speak unto each other words that would bring Cupid himself to tears.
And there, poised and ready are your professionally trained photographer and videographer, armed with top of the line equipment costing the equivalent to what in some states would afford them a more than humble lakefront abode. With the trained eyes of a marksman, and the trigger finger of a gunslinger, they are cohesively in tune with every nuance in order that they transform your most important wedding day moments into the most precious and timeless memories:
~ The look upon his face as he sees you walk down the aisle in your wedding gown for the very first time...
~ The tiny tear of joy that escapes from the corner of your eye as he takes your hand in his, when for just that moment the entire world ceases to exist but for the two of you...
~ The looks of pride and love upon the faces of your family and friends as they too get caught up in the tide of emotion...
~ The split second moment just before the ring touches your finger, such a simple act and yet forever representational of the very beginning of your lives together as husband and wife...
These are moments in time that can never be repeated, no do-overs. This is it! It’s your wedding day!
But wait… Instead of catching that image of your mother awash in emotion as your father tenderly pulls back your veil, we get a picture of the backside of an Ipad covering Mom’s face. Instead of seeing your cousin from South Bend (who introduced the two of you) smile as your soon to be husband takes your hand in his forevermore, we get a fine, clear shot of her Iphone cover: Stay Calm, Carry On. Hmmmm...
Taking yet another step back, instead of seeing the loving faces of all of the people who have travelled so far to share in your “special day”, we see gadgets galore and yes, believe it or not, people texting during your most precious moments… updating their Facebook statuses and catching up on the latest game stats.
Now, fast forward with me and visualize this, if you will: On your mantle will be the framed photo of your wedding day. You, Mr and Mrs Right, at the very moment following those most anticipated words, “You may now kiss your bride!”... the kiss immortalized forever with 80 of your nearest and dearest behind you... looking like a crime scene photo in which all of the faces have been obscured to protect their identities. Not the prettiest photo memory when you think about it...
So let’s do something novel here. Let’s talk about putting down our gadgets and devices. Let’s talk about living in the moment and seeing life organically through the amazing lens called “the eye”. Let’s listen to the heartfelt words being spoken without concurrently having a text conversation or checking emails.
And for Heaven’s sake… let’s take into consideration that you have hired the best of the best to photograph and video your wedding. This can be a near impossibility for our talented team contending with well intentioned yet nonetheless pesky digital warriors blocking the shots that would otherwise have made magazine worthy wedding photos for you to cherish throughout the generations.
I’m not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last. Social media, while having it’s merits, is putting all of us out of touch with the “human touch”.
*Discuss with your guests ahead of time that yours is an “Unplugged Ceremony”.
*Ask them to enjoy it organically and in the moment, to allow themselves to get caught up in the romance and swept away by the human emotion that comes from being truly present not just At your wedding but as a Part of your wedding.
*Explain to them that candid or posed personal photos can come later, but during the ceremony itself, the best present they can give you is to be truly present.