"Unplugged" Weddings vs. "Hashtag" Weddings

Photo Credit: Katherine Miles Jones Photography

Photo Credit: Katherine Miles Jones Photography

As you may have noticed, Gather Together recently created an Instagram account exclusively for our event planning and design images {follow us here}! We are clearly fans of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and all of the other image-sharing social media sites out there. They provide us with copious amounts of creative fodder, connect us to our clients and friends, and allow us to stretch our creative legs with simple composition and editing options. Basically, we heart fun social media! However, we also know that sometimes these apps take us down a boredom rabbit hole that can distract us from our real lives. 

Something we are seeing more and more of in the wedding industry is couples making the decision to "unplug" their weddings. It's increasingly common for the bride and groom to request that guests put away their cameras and phones during the wedding ceremony. Less common (though not unheard of) is the request for guests to "check" their phones for the entire event à la most celeb couples. I recently sat down with Katherine of Katherine Miles Jones Photography and talked with her about the pros and cons of an "Unplugged Wedding", and different ways to go about achieving a good balance.

We both agreed that confiscating, or even nixing the use of any type of picture taking device for the entire 5 or 6 hour event, even with a professional present to capture images, is a little extreme (although I do admit to tossing the idea out to my own wedding planner in a moment of extremism whilst in the midst of my own planning frenzy). Some of my favorite pictures from our reception were candid cell phone pics my friends have shared with me. Not to mention, no one wants to irritate their closest friends and family right before they join you for one of the most important days of your life.

Plus, encouraging people to utilize social media at appropriate times can be fun! We have seen some really cute signage for couple's personal wedding hashtags. In fact Katherine is about to shoot a wedding in which the bride has created an "Instagram scavenger hunt" for her guests during the dinner and reception portion of the evening along with a cute unique hashtag for the new couple. Adorbs right?

Katherine shared an interesting insight from the viewpoint of a guest at two weddings recently, one taking an Unplugged approach, with the officiant inviting guests to truly be present during the ceremony and put away their phones and cameras. She said that at this wedding, she felt a true difference in people's emotional responses. Guests seemed more connected and focused on the importance of what was happening. She offered that sometimes looking through a viewfinder can distance someone from the emotional impact of a moment and that even if you don't remember exactly what color the bridesmaid's bouquets were, you'll remember the way a certain reading, or look between the couple made you feel, and what a beautiful thing that is to remember.

Photo Credit: Katherine Miles Jones Photography

Photo Credit: Katherine Miles Jones Photography

The key to us seems to be striking a fun, and comfortable balance for the couple and the guests. If you choose to go Unplugged, be clear and firm about it to avoid hurt feelings. Put a bulletin on your wedding website, or add a line on the invitation, and then have your officiant remind guests before the ceremony starts. Offer to share with them the pictures that your photographer captures so they don't feel like they'll miss anything. We think that your guests will respect your wishes and enjoy being with you in the moment.

If you decide to go with more of a Hashtag Wedding approach, be fun with it! Give guests a game to play with it to encourage fun and unique shots. Create cute signage about a personal hashtag or photo-storing website where guests can contribute images. Create a photobooth backdrop with props for your friends to use with their own cameras and phones.

But dear sweet Gather Together brides/fiancees/readers, as always we leave you with this piece of advice above all others; be yourselves. Do what will make you and your love happiest and own it!

'Til we Gather Together again...

-Fay

Featured: Style Me Pretty

Amy & Will's southern classic soiree at the Merrimon-Wynne House in Raleigh, NC was a picture-perfect day.  With Kristin Moore Photo & Inkspot Crow Films behind the lenses capturing such a beautiful occasion, we are beyond excited to see their work featured on Style Me Pretty

Be sure to click the image for the full post & gallery - there's tons of "pretty" to explore!

Til we Gather Together again...

- Katherine

Fall Flora

Photo by Amelya Jayne Photography

Photo by Amelya Jayne Photography

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With the hustle and bustle of a busy summer season, it is hard to believe that fall is just around the corner! Pumpkin Spice Latte season upon us and we know couples are finalizing their decor plans for their upcoming nuptials. Autumn wedding season is one of our favorites around here at the Gather Together office because North Carolina in the fall is something special. Self-admitted flower addicts, we want to share our favorite in-season floral for all different types of wedding styles.

Rustic Farm

Getting married in a gorgeous meadow or inside of a restored barn? With so many gorgeous neutral colors already a part of your surroundings, why not add pops of color? Antirrhinum, or a “Snap Dragon”, is native to rocky, moderate temperature areas of Europe and North America. They are available throughout the US fall season and come in a plethora of hues. Its shape allows for a fun way to add height to your tall, barn ceilings.

Snap Dragon - Click through for photo credit

Snap Dragon - Click through for photo credit

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Other flora we would recommend for this style wedding would include David Austin roses, Lily of the Valley, Gerbera and Pussy Willow.

Garden

Garden weddings are so intimate and sweet with hints of femininity. Hyacinthus, or Hyacinth, is a bulb-based plant that is common in the northern European areas, like the Netherlands. Each stem contains a dense spike of floral, which come in many different colors and adds great texture to the overall aesthetic! 

Hyacinth - Click through for photo credit

Hyacinth - Click through for photo credit

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Other flora we recommend for Garden-style wedding includes Zinnia, Delphimium, Stock, Paper Whites and Lamb’s Ear. Also, don’t be afraid to try herbs like Rosemary or Mint, which add great scents to your guests’ experience.

Contemporary

Getting married in the fall does not mean you have to be surrounded by the outdoors. Are you getting married in a beautiful, contemporary ballroom? Fear not, there are plenty of lovely, in-season flowers to match your style. Cymbidium orchids are an evergreen option that brings color and sophistication to a contemporary style. If your hoping for one with a bit of fragrance, go for the Chinese variety.

Cymbidium Orchid - Click through for photo credit

Cymbidium Orchid - Click through for photo credit

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Other flora we recommend for a Contemporary-style wedding includes Kangaroo Paw, Calla, Slipper Orchid and Lillium Stargazer. While beautiful, Stargazers tend to be quite fragrant, so be careful placing them close to food.

Sweet Southern

Aiming for a traditional Southern affair for your wedding? While peonies and hydrangeas might be taking a brief hiatus, there are many fall flowers that can help capture the essence of the South.  Magnolia is a Gather Together favorite (so much so that is became part of our branding). It is a quintessential representation of Southern charm. With soft, large petals and gorgeous, oversized leaves, this flower is available through the autumn and winter months.

Magnolia - Click through for photo credit

Magnolia - Click through for photo credit

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Other flora we recommend for a Southern-style wedding include Roses, Stock, Iris and Lsianthus.

We hope you find this helpful while wrapping up the gorgeous floral details for your big day!

Til we Gather Together again...

-Katherine