Why you should consider an unplugged wedding (and how to do it the right way).

July 12, 2016

Unplugged wedding

One of the latest wedding trends that we can get behind is the "unplugged wedding", where the happy couple asks their guests to shut off their cameras (and smartphones) for the ceremony. Since we are all a little too connected these days, an unplugged ceremony is a great reminder to be more present in the moment. Here's why we love this trend with tips on how to do this for your own wedding.

3 terrific reasons to have an unplugged wedding ceremony:

Unplugged ceremony

It’s distracting.

If you’ve ever been in a meeting or class and someone’s cell phone starts to buzz, you know how loud it can seem in an otherwise silent room. Now imagine a dozen guests, with their cell phones at full volume, clicking their “shutters” to snap a photo. (Let’s not even discuss the selfie sticks in the aisle. Talk about distracting!)

You want your guests to connect to the moment.

And that won’t happen if they’re on the other side of their smartphone. Their energy and focus will be poured into a device and not your vows. Guests who are excited to share your day are also be tempted to caption and upload photos to Instagram and Facebook… while your officiant performs your ceremony.

It interferes with your wedding photographer.

You hired a professional photographer because you want to preserve your special day for years to come. When your guests are vying for the same snapshot as the professional, they may end up as the focus of the photo instead. (A well-meaning uncle jumping into the aisle to capture your first kiss may end up blocking the photographer’s camera instead.) If your ceremony is indoors, the flash from cell phone cameras can inadvertently affect the photographer’s image, too.

Maine wedding ceremony

Getting your guests to unplug:

Relay the message often.

Your wedding website is the perfect place to set the tone for a distraction-free ceremony. Some couples choose to include a note with their invitations. A polite sign outside of the church or at the beginning of the aisle with a note in your ceremony program will go a long way.

Be clear.

By nature, an unplugged ceremony and a wedding hashtag don’t mix, but it is possible to do both. Keep your hashtag a secret until the reception (that includes not sharing it on your wedding website). Include a note with your wedding hashtag at the entrance to the reception or on the guest tables. Be sure to have your wedding band or DJ mention it throughout the night.

Follow the rules.

If you’re asking everyone else to put their phone away, it’s probably a good idea to hide yours as well. You’ll enjoy so much more of your day if you hand it off to someone else, like your Maid of Honor, Best Man, or even your wedding planner.

Give guests an opportunity for photos.

You may wish to have your officiant acknowledge the unplugged ceremony before the wedding begins by telling guests that they're welcome to take a few snapshots at that moment. Another good time for an open photography call is after the pronouncement but before your recessional.

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