‘Unplugged’ weddings trend with brides

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In a plugged-in world, even the most techno-savvy brides are asking wedding guests to ditch the digital cameras and cell phones and simply “be present.”

“Unplugged” weddings are gaining in popularity among trendy couples who want friends and family to share in their special moment without digital distractions.

Alysson Graham, who lives in San Diego but will be married this fall in Littleton, has been planning her wedding for about 18 months.

Every detail, from the dress, to flowers, to the way she and her new husband will leave the venue, has been meticulously researched and choreographed.

“I have waited for this day all my life and I want it to be perfect,” said Graham. “And I don’t want cell phones, beeps, dings and fake camera sounds ruining the moment.”

So Graham will announce in her invitations that friends, family and even dogs are welcome, but phones and cameras are not.

Online bridal publications like “The Offbeat Bride” are helping push the trend and have even provided downloadable art and copyright-free verbiage for brides wanting to pull the cord.

While some wedding guests may not be so happy with what wedding planners are calling the new “chic,” wedding photographers are downright elated.

Photographer Jenn Hafelfinger, who has a large client base in the South Metro Denver area, thinks the move is long overdue.

“I think the concept is fantastic and I wish more brides would consider going unplugged,” said Hafelfinger, who owns Cherished Snapshots in Loveland. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to compete with family members who feel it’s their job to be the photographer, too.”

Hafelfinger says in the end, it’s the client who suffers.

“I understand it’s an exciting time, but too many cameras become a distraction,” she said. “People don’t know where to look; there’s multiple flashes going off and that makes it a real challenge to get those pristine, magazine-like photos all the brides want.”

And while she admits much of the frenzy may be driven by the immediacy of social media apps, Hafelfinger said cell phone cameras in dark venues rarely produce quality images.

“I totally see the point with keeping people out of the photos,” said Graham. “However, for me, it’s more important that my friends and family are emotionally — not digitally — connected with me on my wedding day. Seriously, just turn it all off and enjoy the day with us.”

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