Months and months (sometimes years!) go into planning a couple’s wedding day. Those of you who are currently in the throws of mapping out your big day know that planning a wedding is all about making lots of decisions and weighing different options! One of the most important decisions my couples face is to decide whether or not to host what is known as an “Unplugged Ceremony.”
An Unplugged Ceremony is where the couple requests their guests put away all cellphones, iPads, and cameras during the wedding ceremony. (Some couples even go as far as requesting the entire wedding day be unplugged!)
Without the digital distractions, guests are able to more readily immerse themselves in the experience of your wedding ceremony and engage in this special moment with you. Viewing a wedding through a screen isn’t the same experience as being fully present. Guests who are fumbling with phones and cameras (and posting on social media—eek!) are distracted and distracting! (Let’s be real…do you really want the first photos photos of your wedding day that are shared on social media to be dark, blurry cellphone images that a guest quickly snapped or would you rather wait and have that beautifully edited and composed professional image to share? I know what I’d choose!)
Not only that, well-intentioned guests who are trying to get their own photographs and videos of your ceremony can interfere with, and compromise, your professional photographs!
Here’s the harsh truth…there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a bunch guests hanging into the aisle with cellphones in an attempt to get their own photographs of the bride coming down the aisle or of that epic first kiss. Seeing guests holding up phones, cameras and iPads a huge visual distraction in the final image and guests can even get in the photographer’s way, causing him/her to miss an important shot of your once-in-a-lifetime moment. You’ve invested a lot of money to ensure you have professional coverage of each important moment of the day, why risk having a guest ruin your beautiful professional images for a grainy, poorly exposed cellphone shot?
Definitely want to go “unplugged” but aren’t sure how to communicate your wishes to your guests? Here are a few ideas to get the message across:
Consider putting a note on your invitation or on a card within your invitation suite. Upon doing this, guests know prior to the big day that you’d like them to refrain from letting digital distractions take away from your special moments.
Some couples have beautifully crafted signs displayed at the back of the aisle to let guests know that they’re being asked to refrain from taking their own photos and video during the wedding ceremony. Looking for wording or clever ideas? Check out my Pinterest board here!
Putting a note in your wedding program can let guests know that you’re expecting them to put the phones and cameras away for this special time.
It’s sad to say that sometimes, despite the signs and programs, some guests just ignore the couple’s written requests for an unplugged ceremony. Truth be told, the BEST way to have your wishes communicated to your guests is to make a general announcement. Having a member of the bridal party, the officiant, or a coordinator make a general announcement prior to the beginning of the wedding processional is the most effective way to get guests to adhere to your wishes. A verbal announcement ensures everyone knows your wishes just in case they missed (or were planning to flat out ignore) your sign or note in your wedding program.