It’s a Garter, it’s a Bouquet, it’s a… Wedding Drone?

It’s a Garter, it’s a Bouquet, it’s a… Wedding Drone?

Seeing something fly overhead on your wedding day might be a little bit scary, unless whatever it is happens to drop diamonds, champagne or dollar bills as it passes overhead. Seeing a questionable aircraft flying precariously close to the heads of the wedding party is a bit alarming for many wedding guests, but apparently it’s becoming something we may have to get used to.

The new trend in weddings is overhead photography. Admittedly, shots of your wedding from above can be some of the most breathtaking shots, but that doesn’t mean that having a flying drone isn’t just a little bit futuristic and terrifying. It’s what many couples are doing these days, however. The next time you attend a large outdoor wedding, make sure your dress isn’t stuck in your undergarments; you  don’t want to realize it after seeing what you thought was your own personal Victoria’s Secret sticking out for all to see when a drone captures your photo from overhead.

A Passing Wedding Photo Trend or are Wedding Drones Here to Stay?

Many photographers are taking the initiative to fix cameras to flying drones as a way of getting more gorgeous and spectacular wedding photos. After all, it is a little bit dangerous to have a photographer scaling the sides of buildings and trees to get that shot, and those pesky helicopters flying low overhead tend to wreak havoc on your hair when capturing aerial shots.

The good news (or bad depending on how you feel about this new technology), however, is that this is probably not something every wedding photographer is going to utilize. There are very strict rules surrounding the use of any sort of aircraft drone – no matter how big or small – in certain areas. For example, there are federal laws stating that nothing can fly within a certain parameter of an airport, government building and even schools. This might mean using a drone at a park near an airport is not going to be allowed. It also means most places in Washington DC will not allow the use of these machines, and many beautiful hotel venues near airports are out.

The trend is one that wedding photographers love. It makes their jobs easier and less dangerous, but it’s also an expensive one. To get a drone like this, photographers have to know someone who knows someone who knows someone, or have a big studio to shell out the exorbitant fee for something of this nature. This leaves out a lot of photographers, as they simply don’t have the money needed to invest into a photo drone until the technology becomes more mass-market.  Additionally, some couples are terrified of the thought of something flying overhead during their wedding ceremony.

Wedding Drones in the News

The wedding drone recently made the news when Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York) hired an aerial photographer for his lavish June 2014 wedding.  According to a New York Times report, the guest described the drone as “sounding like a swarm of locusts, swooping over the crowd”, needless to say, making many guests nervous.  Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, was overheard saying “That thing is going to kill somebody”.  It’s important to note that the congressman is now under FAA investigation after the agency got wind of the event.

Like anything else, there are some pros and cons associated with the use of flying photographer drones at weddings. Let’s take a look at a few of the glaringly obvious ones.

CON #1

It’s distracting. When something that’s not an everyday item is flying over the heads of your wedding guests and wedding party, it’s going to distract everyone; including you. It’s not going to make any bride happy when her grooms stops listening to her reciting her wedding vows to check out the totally awesome flying drone hovering overhead for a picture of this moment.  Children will also most likely get distracted by the flying drone buzzing about overhead.  And we all know what kind of noises come out of children when you combine bewilderment and excitement…

CON #2

It could be scary for some. If you have any children, babies or elderly guests at your wedding, this might terrify them. I want to you sit down for a second and think about what seeing a questionable drone flying over your head might do to your 90-something-year-old grandmother and her weak heart.  Now think about how much fun it’s going to be for you to listen to your 1-year-old niece screaming bloody murder from her seat in your brother’s lap because aliens are going to get her and suck her into the moon. On a more serious note what if you have a soldier attending that suffers from PSTD? There’s so much room for error here.

The Big PRO

It provides for an amazing photo. Let’s go ahead and admit the obvious; aerial shots of your wedding ceremony are going to be breathtaking. If your reception is outdoors, it’s going to be even more amazing to see your guests dancing and enjoying themselves from that high above. There’s a lot you’re going to love seeing from above, and the possibilities are completely endless when it comes to aerial shots you can ask for on your wedding day.

View amazing overhead wedding cinematography footage for an idea of the possiblities!

Make Sure You Do Your Homework First

Before heading out and asking your photographer to use a flying drone to capture moments from your wedding day, you’re going to want to check with some local laws first.  While the photographer should know the ins and outs of the local bi-laws, it always helps to do your own homework as well.  The best thing to do to avoid disaster on your wedding day is talk to your local law enforcement about what’s allowed and what’s not. They’ll be able to provide you with the kind of information you need to know if it’s even an option. Additionally, you are going to want to discuss this with your venue, as you’re not sure what they’re going to have to say about having something flying around above people’s heads. You might not be the only wedding or event occurring that day, and your venue might have rules about distractions such as this in place.

In short, the wedding drone trend is kind of awesome. But it’s not an option for everyone. If you’re working with a tight budget on your wedding day, a photography drone might not be something you want to opt for in place of something like an open bar or a really great DJ (priorities, I know). Ask yourself how important it is you get pictures of your loved ones heads and the ground below them before you make the financial commitment to hire something of this nature. It might make a big difference on your wedding day.

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