Updated: Feb 23, 2020

Of all the services we had for our wedding this was one of two that was non-negotiable (I’m sure you can guess the other).

Prior to planning my wedding, I had attended my fair share as both a guest and photographer. The ones with no coordinator were, generally speaking (not always), dumpster fires. Nothing and everything was happening all at once, and like a car wreck, you couldn’t look away. Except the wreckage was people looking lost and wondering if the festivities were over and some people leaving before it's really begun. If you’re considering coordinating your own wedding I want to encourage you to give yourself the biggest gift and ask someone else to take this off your shoulders. Here's why...

Headspace.

I completely understand how and why someone might think they can coordinate their wedding and walk down the aisle, but you guys, making the plans and executing the plans are not the same.

I can see this bride, we are kindred spirits. She’s designing her invitations, foraging for her centerpieces (yes, foraging) and between juggling her work week and home life, she’s planning her wedding down to the most minute details. This girl can juggle spinning plates while balancing a ball on her nose. But this is one day where the ball and plates need to be handed off. This day is a rollercoaster of emotions and once in a lifetime experiences, be present for it.

Rhythm.

There is a rhythm to everything, even weddings. Your coordinator knows this and will be checking in on schedule and details you never realized you needed to be thinking about. Your focus should be on, making memories with your partner and the people that came to celebrate with you, not on making sure the buffet and coffee get restocked while the toasts are going on.

Outside Eyes.

When you’re swimming in the planning it can be hard to get your head above the details to see the holes that need plugging. Your coordinator will rock this. They are the designated problem anticipator and solver. My coordinator tackled a host of things I didn’t realize needed tackling on the day of. You need someone whose goal is to make sure this day is pulled off without a hitch (or at least someone who will navigate any issues so that to you it appeared hitchless).

If you need someone to give you permission, I’m volunteering. For this one day, give yourself the biggest gift of a break and outsource the hosting. It could be a pro or your great aunt Shirley. Whoever it is, find someone other than you to take the lead. You will not regret it.

Xx, Bethany

Hey! I'm Bethany!

I'm a born and raised Oregon artist, photographer, and moment junkie.

Most days you can find me in a tattered eighties sweater and jeans, cold coffee in hand, chasing my kids.

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

My initial thought as a photographer and as someone who didn’t “unplug” my wedding is, ‘yes’. Here’s why...


You have spent months, maybe even years, planning and preparing for this day. From the big details of where and when, to the little touches specially designed to put a smile on your groom’s face. I want to encourage you to take a moment to think about the day. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Seriously, close your eyes and envision it if that helps.


Do you have your vision?


Now, fast forward to the day of. You’ve just said, ‘I do’ and you’re on cloud nine, rushing down the aisle, with your photographer in tow. While they are capturing some post-ceremony moments of you and your beloved, your grandma pops up next to them to capture the same pictures with her phone… she might even be so bold as to ask you to look at her.


How awkward on a number of levels. Nobody wants to bounce grandma. She’s excited and you’re not looking to squash that and yet, having her camera in addition to the photographer you paid, causes an unpleasant situation on a day when your biggest concern should be sending someone out for more ice (a problem you were unaware of because your rad coordinator handled it like a boss).


You also might consider that if your guests are standing on the sidelines as your personal paparazzi, they're not participating in the celebration that was intended to include them and what a bummer that would be.

Image by Margaret Jacobsen


So when, where and how do you let them know?


On your invitation,

Include it with your invitation. It could be a separate card or it could be right on the invitation (I would do this because that little card might get their attention upon opening but no one is putting that on their refrigerator).


Now, how do you say it. It could be a clever rhyme, or be on the nose. Here is some sample language for you to consider,


We're having an unplugged wedding!

  • “We’ve asked a professional photographer to capture this special day so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy it with us. ”

  • “As we tie the knot, please be our guest and let our photographer take care of the rest!”


On the day of,

Remind them again on your wedding day. You can do this on your program, or with a beautifully crafted sign before they take their seats.You can even have someone announce it before the ceremony starts.


Welcome to our unplugged wedding!

  • “We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony, please turn off all phones and cameras. Thank you!”

  • “The bride and groom kindly request an unplugged ceremony. Please turn off all devices and enjoy being fully present in these moments with us.”

  • “The greatest gift you can give us today is to be truly present, please turn off all phones and cameras and enjoy these special moments with us. ”

  • “Thank you for coming! We have but one plea. Please keep our ceremony camera-free. Though our I Do’s are unplugged, our reception is not. Once our vows are exchanged, you’re free to take a shot!”


How ever you say it, clear is kind. Set your day up for success by setting clear expectations.


Xx, Bethany






#IMO #inmyopinion #wedding #unplugged #unpluggedwedding #unpluggedceremony

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

I think my initial disdain for sales comes from my own discomfort around being sold to and feeling like it's the duty of a sales person to get anyone with money to buy regardless of want or need. Mix that with my anxiety around saying, “no” without feeling guilt and I’m sitting in a bucket of sweat before I make it through a department store.


I’m not sure where this started but somewhere along my journey I found myself feeling guilt if I needed to say “no”. This really manifested itself in high school and early adulthood. Picture this, I’d be strolling through Nordstrom careful to stay on the path winding through the departments in hopes that no one would talk to me. Yes, this is ridiculous, but when you haven’t figured out how to confidently and politely say “no thank you” any other option feels better.


I eventually realized that the employees were just doing their job, serving, and to let someone walk through their space without asking if they need anything would be a disservice. Some salespeople might not care if you need or want what they have to offer and will try to sell regardless of interest but generally, that has not been my experience. Most interactions have been ones of truly wanting to help. In a world where there are about five billion versions of any given service or product a little help is welcome.


Now, fast forward a decade to selling my services, man it’s hard to sell something as subjective as art, especially photography. Conversations when people find out I am a photographer usually go something like this, “oh, you do photography, would you take some photos for me?” Mind you, these extraordinary humans have not yet seen my work and are already confident they want me. I should be thrilled and instead I am already overthinking this through a lens of worry.


It is an honor to be asked to capture a person’s life, and a tremendous responsibility (I do not take lightly) to be commissioned to do this. Within seconds my self-doubt kicks in, what if they hate my style, what if they think I’m too expensive, what if, what if.... Before I know it, I’m shooting myself in the foot and talking people out of hiring me because I’m so nervous (insert eye roll here).


Here’s the thing though, (warning: humble brag) I am a damn good photographer, and I care more than anything about providing my clients with pictures that literally evoke emotion and that they will cherish forever.


So while I hate sales, mostly because I kinda suck at it (right now), I am going to keep selling and improving because the way I see the world is the only version on the market and to shy away because I feel anxious or awkward does not outweigh the importance of the pictures I create for people.



Until next time!


Xx, Bethany

I'm Bethany!

A mom, artist, and photographer.

I am a born and raised Oregonian

dedicated to capturing real authentic moments that celebrate the beauty of your story.

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