Thursday, August 7, 2014

Will You Take The Hands Free For Love Wedding Challenge? The One Thing That Will Improve Every Wedding

photo by Allebach Photography

Out of every wedding tip I've ever shared - this might be the most important.

Since August is National Romance Awareness Month, I'm launching The Hands Free For Love Wedding Challenge.  I've teamed up with The Nest's Dropcam to help couples and guests have amazing weddings by #PreppinForTheBigDay.  Whether you are attending or planning a wedding, this challenge is for you.
photo by Mike Allebach // Allebach Photography

Okay, So What is the Hands Free For Love Wedding Challenge?
It's a movement for brides, grooms, parents and guests to put down distracting electronics.  A chance to turn off and tune into the present.  So free your hands from cell phones and exchange them for hugs, holding flowers and those fancy signature wedding drinks.

Photo by Julie //
It's time to turn off all your electronic devices and prepare for the takeoff of a couple's future. Okay maybe not all electronic devices - let's me make sure grandpa's pacemaker stays ticking.  The Hands Free for Love Wedding Challenge connects us with people. It's about participating - actually experiencing one of the most timeless celebrations.

Photo by Hanssie 
Photo by Allebach Photography
As a wedding photographer, I've begun to notice people so disconnected at weddings.  Many photos show guests and wedding party members in the background tapping away. We've turned into birds pecking at our phones on wedding days.  In almost every photo I have to dodge and crop out several people using Tinder, Snapchat and checking work email. I remember one wedding where a guest held up an iPad to video the vows right in front of grandma's face. This is why we can't have nice things!

Few occasions are as emotional as weddings. So let's listen to the vows.  Feel the emotion of a father letting his only daughter go at the end of the aisle. Take a moment to remember those who couldn't make it to the wedding. Mingle. Love on people. Dance a little crazy and remember the beautiful narrative of life.

Can we connect with old friends and family in real life? Can we take vacation from social media for a few hours? The idea is simple but the challenge is hard.

But who will take the pictures?  And the video? Oh my!
Leave the photos to the professional photographer and video to the videographers.  They are paid to document the day for the couple.

Photo by Allebach Photography
Plus you'll make the Bride and Groom happy by not adding to the sea of iPads and cell phones in their wedding photos.  Trust me, nobody looks nice slouched and frowny faced while texting.

Many people get so caught up in "capturing that shot" they miss the wedding! The research of Dr. Linda Henkel flies in the face of "pics or it didn't happen" culture. Her findings tell us you'll remember things better when you experience them by putting your camera down.  Henkel calls this the “photo-taking impairment effect.” Read how taking photos keeps us from enjoying and remembering in Psychological Science.

How to Encourage Your Guests to Go Hands Free for Love
Offbeat Bride has a great resource for those looking to make their wedding hands free and unplugged.  Check out: How to have an unplugged wedding: copy 'n' paste wording and templates and buy no camera cards from design aglow here. 

Are you willing to take the challenge to unplug and be present at weddings?  Share this article and comment on your Hands Free for Love Wedding Challenge experience below. Together we can make weddings an undistracted experience again.

Let go of distraction to grab onto what matters.

Now let's create some great wedding memories!

Mike Allebach (The Tattooed Wedding Photographer) has been featured in Rock n Roll Bride, Rebel Ink, Daily Mail UK, Inked Magazine and Huffington Post. Oh and he runs an enewsletter for tattooed couples and guest blogs for Offbeat Bride.

See more at

Monday, August 4, 2014

Alternative Wedding Dress Ideas from Romantic Threads

See more tattooed brides and tattooed weddings here

Here are some great alternative wedding dresses. They are from Romantic Threads' Etsy shop. All the intricate detailing on these pieces is absolutely stunning. This site is definitely worth a look. One of these dresses would be perfect for an alternative wedding.

A Steampunk, Marie Antoinette-inspired dress

A Medieval fantasy gown

A gorgeous, Gothic dress

If you've ever emailed Allebach Photography you may have gotten an email back from Ryan. She is our office ninja. Today she wore a crown of flowers to the studio.

via Instagram by

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Got filmed by the @lovesickinc guys for an upcoming project with @offbeatbride. #regram

via Instagram by

Favorite Weddings: Chelley & Dave

Chelley and Dave - what can I say. My weddings this year have been amazing and Chelley & Dave did not let me down. The day started out with rain. Not light rain I think it's raining outside - no, more like a hurricane came through and dumped 5 billion gallons on this town. With all the closed roads in the Willow Grove area I almost ended up taking a boat. The wedding was held at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club in Huntingdon Valley, Pa . That was the plan all along (cough, cough). As the day went on the weather slowly cleared up for outdoor photos - as any PA wedding photographer will tell you this has been the year of rain :(.

Enough talk about the weather; Chelley and Dave rocked Chucks, Fun Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, the Dance Floor and the Huntingdon Valley Country Club. I ain't lying. For proof, look at the photos below.

Getting ready for the day.

Groom and his men

Sexy belt buckle.

Humidity + Mohawk = Must use more superglue in a spray can.

The bridesmaids were too much fun.

The dress shot

The getting ready shot


tattooed bride

tattooed wedding party
this is love
wedding photography fisheye
Getting all fishy eyed.
breaking the glass
3rd times the charm.
wedding couple
Hawt couple

more photos after the break