To be honest, an unplugged wedding was something we didn’t even think about, and while we had a super untraditional wedding cell phones did end up ruining some of our photos! While some people should have been there soaking up the moment, they were snapping photos on their phone instead (and we didn’t even see the photos they took!) a part of us wishes that we would have asked them to keep their phones tucked away but since that is in the past, the only thing we can do is try to prevent this from happening to others.
We would never want to show examples of this happening at anyones wedding, but we can show you how it happened at our very small, 15 person wedding. Above a few of our family members had their phones out, and below no one has their phones out and for the most part everyone looks happy & present in the moment!
So…What is an unplugged wedding anyway?
An unplugged wedding is when you kindly ask your friends, family and guests to turn off any cell phones, tablets, cameras or any other things that could cause distractions during your ceremony and/or reception. To purpose of this would be to encourage your guests to be present while also making your photographer’s job a lot easier – allowing them to capture your day perfectly.
Why you should consider an unplugged wedding
You’re getting married, you hire a photographer and you know you are going to get back all of these beautiful images, but when you get your gallery back you realize how many phones are in the backgrounds of your photos. Sure, you get a few extra photos from your family and friends but during the ceremony while you and your love are exchanging vows, but Aunt Sally pokes her body out into the aisle trying to get that perfect shot, and Uncle Bob gets up and stands in the middle of the aisle to get his, totally blocking your photographer during a very pivotal moment of your big day. Things get even trickier when they start using flash (which can completely ruin your photographer’s photo beyond repair) or when your photographer is required to stand in one spot during the ceremony (this is especially common in churches). The last thing you want is a bunch of missed shots for your photographer because your guests are in the way. Often times your guests don’t always realize that they are such an integral part of your wedding day AND your wedding photos, and a gentle reminder is all that they need.
If you don’t want a completely unplugged wedding, think about designating phone free periods
If you don’t want to limit your guests to a completely unplugged wedding (which is totally understandable) you should definitely consider at least an unplugged ceremony! While it is likely that a cell phone or camera is going to ruin the background of some shots throughout the wedding day, your ceremony is a part of the wedding that you want to be sure is captured with zero distractions, the reason they are there is to see you exchange vows and celebrate your love, after all!
How to tell them?
I’m sure at this point you might be a little worried about any awkward conversations this whole subject might bring up, no worries though! There are a ton of different ways you can let them know your wishes.
Signs & Programs – something along the lines of “Welcome to our Unplugged Ceremony, We kindly ask you to turn off your cell phones, cameras and refrain from using social media at this time. We promise to share with you the beautiful images taken today”
Your officiant – Most officiants will ask your guests to not take photos for you! This is a great alternative or reminder to your guests that you did in fact hire a photographer, and that you would prefer that they keep their phones in their pockets. If they don’t offer, ask them if they can mention it for you.
These are just a few ways you can let your guests know, Pinterest and Google are great resources for finding other ways to implement an unplugged wedding or ceremony.
How can you make your family and guests feel better about the whole unplugged wedding or ceremony you ask? Share photographer’s images! Of course you don’t have to share them all, but if you choose to share your favourite highlights of each portion of your day, your family and friends will feel a whole lot better about not getting to take their own photos. Encouraging your guests to shut off their devices and to be present and enjoy the moment will not only ensure that you will get great photos, but also that your guests will be more involved in your big day.