Unplugged weddings – Be Nice Turn off your device

Cellphones at your ceremony

Technology these days are so amazing, I mean you have everything you need in your pocket these days! How awesome is that?! If there’s a difficult equation that needs an answer, your cellphone has the answer. If you need to get in touch with someone, your cellphone once again comes to the rescue. And when there’s an amazing moment to capture, once again your cellphone is there to save the day! And I’m a big fan of the latter…so badly that I’ve become obsessed with capturing moments. But here’s the thing. Its become very apparent the last few years that guests at weddings would rather start snapping their own shots, than being in the moment. Ive even had this one time where a guest would literally step into the isle, in front of me during the kissing moment (granted I was positioned perfectly for a different type of first kiss shot…which I got btw).

 

What’s an unplugged wedding?

An “unplugged wedding” is when a couple getting married have made a decision that they would prefer if their wedding guests didn’t take photos and/or upload them to social media.

Now don’t get me wrong I love the fact that guest are enjoying themselves at weddings with their pocket camera phones and tablets, and it brings me joy to know that later we will see those snaps take over the bride and grooms social feed. But for me personally, I don’t like to have cellphones and tablets at a wedding. I’ve recently developed this little hate and here is why:

 

I’ve gotten married a year ago or so, where we had planned everything perfectly and to the T. It was a beach wedding with chairs for the guests, some drinks to be served on the beach and everything, quite simplistic really. But the weather had other plans. Where we had planned on getting married looking towards the ocean (because it was suppose to be low tide) we had to opt in getting married diagonally with the ocean line, as with the wind, the tide also turned to high tide, we were looking at the 10km stretch of beach…still beautiful. My wife almost blew away from the wind…no seriously…her dress was so beautiful and had a lot of fabric, dad had to literally grab almost everything on her to keep her on the ground (figuratively speaking of course). But it was perfect in my and my wife’s eyes as we had our sites only fixed on each other. Even our friends and family thought that this was the way everything was suppose to be (except for the wind). But since we had to move our seating arrangement; which was suppose to be four seats on each side, to a two seating each side, the isle was quite narrow to walk through.

Then as my beautiful bride was about to enter the isle, all the guests stood up, which was fine cause I could see my beautiful bride coming towards me, but all of the sudden those little pocket cameras and tablets flooded the isle…Of course everybody wanted a photograph of my beautiful angel-like bride…my bride…walking down the isle… with her beautiful and amazing smile. I cannot blame them, but instead of being in the moment there with me, they were focused on capturing a snap shot of her, so much so that at a stage I had to give a little jump to keep my eyes on her, because some, without knowing it, blocked my view of her.

It was still perfect, but if there’s one thing that I would’ve changed, it would be to have an unplugged wedding.

So as you can see my experience made me a bit bias against cellphones and tablets during the ceremony. Ultimately it if your choice as bride and groom to have an unplugged wedding.

 

So what is the positives in having an unplugged wedding?

 

1.Your Guests will be in the moment with you

Lets face it you have invited your guests to be there with you for your wedding for a reason, not only to have their presence, and have them brag about your special day in coming days. But to emmerse themselves in the experience and the love you have for one another and more than that, to be a witness to the promise you make to your better half. If they are on their phones busy posting the snaps they have taken, they wont be able to do this.

 

2.Your professional photographs wont be compromised.

Your paying a professional photographer a lot of money to take memorable moments beautifully. And even though cellphones and tablets have come quite decent in lighting and image handeling, your guests are most likely not trained professional photographers which means that the photographs will most likely remain a snapshot.

The main reason though is that since your guests wont have the phones and tablets infront of their faces, your professional photographer wont have to give you photographs of tablet/phone faces in the backgrounds. More so The photographer wont have to hassle around for a better position to not include the guests with phone or tablets in their hands.

 

3.Privacy

Your guests/bridemaids wont post a photograph of you accidently before the ceremony on social media. Trust me this did happen before, where someone posted a photograph of the bride before she walked down the isle…don’t know who saw the photograph, but luckily the groom did not. But the chances are there, as the groom and his mens normally handle last minute challenges before the wedding.

Also a guest assumes that everyone invited on the wedding is ok with having their likeness being posted online, and in reality, some guests aren’t ok with it. Also couples need to think of those they didn’t invite, as it might be a little awkward later in social conversations when they were shared some photographs of the wedding.

 

How would I let me guests know that Im doing an unplugged wedding?

Have it in your invitation you send out to you friends and family, You can mention your no-phone rule in a playful way, with a cartoon sketch or fun font. If you don’t want to include it in the main invitation, you can mention the note in the RSVP instead. If you choose to include your rule in writing, it may be nice to briefly explain why you prefer your wedding to be unplugged, mentioning the benefit of having everyone be completely present. Make it clear that you know your guests want wedding photos and that your wonderful trustee photographer will capture great shots of everyone.

The best way I saw was to have a poster or board made which states that they are entering an unplugged zone.

Have your officiant or emcee announce it in the beginning of the ceremony, with something witty, like “please don’t shoot the bride and groom”

We definitely dont want this to happen:

But as I mentioned this is a very personal choice. Heres a little video which I think will get the point across even better. Which ever choice you make, I believe your day will be amazing, and memorable

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