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In a world full of technology-obsessed people, it can be hard to get people to disconnect from their phones and truly be present. Your wedding day is the most important day of your life and you want people to be actively engaged for it! I totally recommend having an unplugged wedding where all guests are asked to keep their phones put away during the ceremony. Not only is this a classy way to insure that you have your guests’ full attention during the biggest moment of your life, but it’s also insures that your ceremony photos will be the as beautiful and distraction-free as possible!

Covid-19 has impacted weddings across the world, and one of the main consequences of smaller, more intimate weddings is that many are choosing to live-stream their wedding for loved ones who can’t be present. But you can still have an unplugged wedding! It only takes one person to set up and operate the live-stream, not every guest.

If you want to walk down the aisle and see all of your guests’ faces instead of their cell phones. If you want the first photos of your wedding on social media to be the professional ones your photographer takes. Then an unplugged wedding might be for you!

Why You Should Have an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony

You will be the focus of your wedding photos.

First and foremost, you don’t want a whole bunch of cell phones in the background and foreground of all of your ceremony photos! It soooo distracting and takes focus away from the main event: YOU! And honestly, it just looks tacky. You’d much rather see a sea of smiles in all of your ceremony photos than a sea of cell phones. As a wedding photographer, in addition to snapping photos on the wedding party, I also try to capture guests in the audience. Specifically, I try to focus on your closest friends and family in the front rows. Those photos are so much more meaningful if you can see the genuine emotion they have on their faces. They’re far less meaningful if they have their eyes glued to their phone, not you.

It keeps guests in their seat.

Not only can cell phones get in the way of a beautiful photo, but one of those well meaning guests might actually get in the way of your wedding photographer or videographer and cause them to miss an important shot! You’d be surprised how many times a wedding guest has inadvertently stepped out into the aisle directly in front of me and kept me from being able to photograph the ceremony for the couple. How devastating would it be to not have a photo of your first kiss as husband and wife because an over eager wedding guest accidentally got in front of your wedding photographer?!

I have an exclusivity clause in my contract to try and keep this very thing from happening because I know how important these photos are for you! You invest a lot of time and money in hiring a professional photographer, and I want you to get every penny’s worth! Your guests don’t need to photograph the ceremony. That’s why you hired me!

Your guests will be fully present.

An unplugged wedding ceremony allows your guests to be present and engaged in the moment. I’ve seen more and more wedding guests spend the entire ceremony with a phone or iPad in front of their face photographing or recording instead of being present with the couple. You invited these people to your wedding because you love and value them. You want them near you on this, the specialist of days, and possibly even paid to fly some of them in so that they could be present for your big day. Well if you wanted them there so badly that you’d go through all the effort and cost, then you want them to really BE there. To be present and celebrate with you. Having an unplugged wedding helps to encourage that!

Again, they don’t need to worry about taking photos or videos. That’s why you hired a professional wedding photographer. That’s why you hired ME! Everyone can sit back, relax, and know that I am there capturing every second of the ceremony so they can be fully present!

How to Announce It

The key to having a successful unplugged wedding is to prepare your guests in advance! And to continuously remind them of your wishes. There are so many cute and classy ways you can do this!

  1. Include it in your wedding invites and website. You can add a short line at the bottom of the invitation informing your guests of your request. Or you can have a separate insert included that explains your reasoning so guests fully understand your wishes!
  2. Place a sign at the entrance to the ceremony. That way guests are reminded as they find their seats. You can either go cutesy or classy with your sign (here is some inspiration if you need it)! You can even go one step further and have a cute basket next to the sign and encourage people to leave their cell phone in the basket and retrieve it after the ceremony.
  3. Include it in your wedding program. Even if they somehow missed it on the invitation and didn’t see the sign as they walked in, pretty much everyone reads their program!
  4. Have the officiant remind everyone. Ask your officiant to make this announcement before the processional begins so as to not interrupt the actually ceremony. Even if your guests missed all of the other times you asked, there’s no way they’ll miss the officiant asking everyone as a group!

The Takeaway

Most guests honestly don’t recognize the effect using their phones has during the ceremony. They just want to capture the happy occasion! One last way to motivate (and reward) your guests is to share your wedding gallery with them once you receive it from your wedding photographer. I know that it can be so hard to wait for your wedding photos. In the weeks after your wedding it can be disheartening to not have ANY photos of your wedding since you asked your guests not to take any. As a wedding photographer I try my absolute hardest to send you a sneak peak of 20-30 of my favorite images to you within a week of your wedding! That sneak peak usually helps to tide couples over until they receive their full gallery!

I promise that the professional, distraction-free, unhindered photos from your ceremony with guests who are present and expressing genuine emotion are worth so much more then the cell phone photos your friend might quickly snap. An unplugged wedding ceremony will allow your guests to fully engage in your special day, allow your photographer to capture those sacred, precious moments without interruption, and elevate your wedding photos to a whole new level. So what are you waiting for?!

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How to Have an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony

August 13, 2020

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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