An Unplugged Wedding

February 18, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

This Friday marks the official start to Swoyer Photography's 2014 Wedding Season!

My wonderful husband and I will be venturing north once again to the beautiful mountain town of Stowe, VT. Our bride and groom have requested our presence at the rehearsal dinner as well as the wedding day events. I have to say, I am extremely excited to be completely immersed in this event and to be able to capture the whole thing, from start to finish.

Weddings are one of the biggest, most exciting parties we will ever have. Back in the day your family may have lived right down the street from your fiancé's family and you probably got married in the town church and had a reception at the town hall. These days family and friends are spread out all over the world. It is much more difficult to get everyone to the same place at the same time. We live in an amazing time for travel and weddings seem to have taken on a life of their own.

When my husband and I got married we decided to make a week-long party out of it. Our friends and family were spread out from New England to Hawaii so we chose a location in the middle. It was one of the best weeks of my life! Our friends and family came together in Ventana, Mexico and we spent the week playing in the ocean, diving, snorkeling and hanging out all together. It was amazing to see our favorite people in the world meet each other and form new friendships. With everything we did that week the actual wedding ceremony seems like a small blip on the radar but luckily we have beautiful photos taken by our photographer and friend Andrew McNeaney of Andrew James photography.

When I look back at the images Andrew took of the ceremony there is one thing that makes my heart very happy. Our guests were focused on us. It was amazing thing to have all eyes on us and to be able to see the emotion felt, not only between my husband and I but throughout the entire group. Not one single face was hidden behind a camera or cell phone. 

In the digital age it is tempting to post everything. There is something addictive about checking Facebook to see how many "likes" an image has received. It has become a way of quantifying our value and social standing. I am just as guilty of the next person as showing off all of the fun I am having all the time but where do we draw the line?

The night before the wedding Mike and I gathered our friends and family, thanked them for coming and told them we wanted to try something. We asked that during the ceremony people put down their cameras and phones and just be in the moment with us. They had travelled thousands of miles to celebrate with us and we wanted them to truly be present.

It was powerful. I have been a guest at dozens of weddings and always feel distracted when people are darting out into the aisle to snap a photo,  looking down at their camera back to see if they got the shot or posting photos of the bride before she has even said "I do".  I was elated to have our friends there with us, taking in the beauty, feeling the ocean breeze and even shedding an errant tear with us.

After the ceremony people talked, drank and took photos with each other. It was perfect. I love looking back at the photos that our friends took and posted of the reception and I really love the photos that Andrew captured of our friends not taking photos during the ceremony.

This weekend our bride and groom, Elizabeth and Jake will ask their guests to put down there cameras and phones and immerse themselves in the moment that they travelled so far to be a part of. I can't wait.

Here's to unplugged weddings!


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