Did I mention that we had an unplugged wedding? At the doors of the church, our coordinators and junior bridesmaids handed out these notice cards to our guests:
When I first pitched the idea to the husband, he was immediately all for it. My mother, not so much. She pointed out that it will be inevitable that people will whip out their phones and tablets and cameras and just take a snapshot of everything. I know what she meant; I myself have a hard time putting my phone down. But I was adamant.
Of course, our wedding is not my first wedding. I have seen so many, and in the recent past, two of which were my close friends’. Both were grand celebrations, and everyone seemed to be present. They had hashtags and everything, so that anything posted on social media about weddings will be publicly curated. I did this too, and it really was great seeing everyone else’s perspective of our special day.
Anyway, the guests were taking photos of everything — flowers, each other, selfies — and then the entourage started walking. It was marvelous. You know you’re about to see something special when each participant is a build up to something better. Then the doors opened. The bride’s silhouette made everyone gasp in awe. It was just like in the story books.
But it completely SUCKED A** for the photographer and videographer. Everyone had their own phones, cameras, Go Pros and what not blocking their line of sight. I swear I even saw a couple of the crew visibly and verbally irritated. Some of them even asked the guests to move out of the way so they can catch that moment, and the guests had the gall to be annoyed that they’re being asked to move!
At that moment, all I could think of was the money the couple paid for the professionals to take pictures and videos of their special day. True, in the end, they made it work, but honestly, not without extreme effort. There was even a wedding I attended that there were so many phone up, the videographer couldn’t see the groom’s face when he first saw the bride. He had to make do by capturing a tablet capturing the groom’s face.
It was such a distraction. I felt so bad for the photographers and videographers. It was at that point that I decided that for our wedding, we’ll have everyone turn off their devices, at least during the ceremony. Right off the bat, our coordinator and my mother immediately said this will be difficult to pull off, especially at this day and age where it is just automatic for people to whip out their phones at any god given time. But we made it work. And thanks to completely cooperative guests, everything was pulled off perfectly.
It was almost a special gift to our suppliers. No distractions, no need for body contortions, because the space was open and free for them to take photos and videos of our special day.
I know how important it is to have your own memento of things and events that had happened in your life. I know because I too am an enthusiast of taking photos. You can check out my almost 3,000 photos on Instagram, and even on Snapchat. I take a lot of photos and make sure that they’re properly framed so they’re deserving to be exhibited on my feed. But us, the to-be-married couple, we’re right in front of you. You can see us live and alive, exchanging our vows and very much in the moment. Why would you settle for the small screen?
Our journey as a couple is filled with Facetime, selfies, chats, numerous text messages and email journals even. For once, it was nice to not have those things in the way and just be present. Believe us when we say real life is a million times better.
It did result in fewer public posts in our social media feed, but we didn’t care. I’d like to believe (and as what most of our guests have shared after the festivities) that everyone was moved because everyone paid attention, and listened, and was completely present. Now, that was truly a moment to remember.