It was a picture perfect moment, which was exactly the problem. As I looked on all I could hear was the steady din of cameras going off. Click Click Click Click Click! Do you take Click Click Click Erica to Click Click be your Click Click ever loving Click Click Click wife? I do Click Click Click Click!
Does this experience sound familiar? Maybe I'm more tuned to camera noise than some people, but to me it was obnoxious. The act of observation was altering the thing observed. Call it the Heisenberg wedding principle.
It made me wonder what a wedding ceremony would be like without cameras. I realize a total ban would be impractical. Everyone brings a camera to weddings, and perhaps they could still use them for pre- and post-ceremony photos. But what about keeping the actual ceremony camera-free? It worked fine 200 years ago. Why not revive the idea?
I think the benefits would be threefold:
First, no camera noise.
Second, wedding guests would find themselves more engaged in the experience of the ceremony.
Third, the memory of the event would take on added significance. You had to be there. In this case it would really be true. Each person at the wedding would remember it in their own way, and taken as a whole the collective memories would form the lasting document. Which to me seems more meaningful than 500 separate photos of the bride and groom kissing.
There could perhaps be one exception, a professional photographer with a silent shutter who would remain unobtrusive. That person would serve a sort of ATM security camera role, documenting events for the official record, and I suppose they could post a few public images for everyone to share. But for all other guests, no Click Click Click.
Of course I've already had my wedding so it's easy for me to foist this idea on others. But maybe some young lovers out there want to consider it? Has anyone ever attended a wedding ceremony without cameras? Is such a thing possible now?