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Having an Unplugged Wedding

Having an unplugged wedding

With the rise of technology and all the awesomeness that comes with it, there are so many ways for your guests to capture and spread images of your wedding across social media. Wedding hashtags, social media, and live streaming have all made it so easy to capture every moment for the world to see.

For some couples, they want as many photos as possible and want them shared. For others, they aren’t as enthusiastic about that idea. Even others aren’t sure where they stand on the matter. Today we are discussing some reasons why you may want to consider having an unplugged wedding.

What is an unplugged wedding?

Having an unplugged wedding is essentially not having your guests use their devices during the wedding. Often to make sure this happens, couples request that their guests turn off and put away all phones, cameras, and other devices. Allowing their professional photographers and videographers to be the only ones documenting the day. Some opt for just having an unplugged wedding ceremony. Others choose to have the entire event unplugged. There really is no right or wrong way to do it.

4 Reasons you may want to have an unplugged wedding

1. Encourage guests to be present

In today’s social media crazed culture, people are constantly trying to capture “it” shots to share. While the sentiment is nice, this leaves people only experiencing things as they only see the events unfolding through a small screen. If they aren’t just staring at their screens, they are focused on capturing just the right moments.

Requesting that your guests put their devices away allows them to focus on you and experience your special day with you first hand and with their full attention. You may want your guests to be present and in the moment with you. If that’s the case, an unplugged wedding would help encourage that.

2. Minimize distractions

We’ve all experienced those moments when a phone goes off during an inappropriate time. Or seen someone scrolling their Instagram feed instead of being a part of the social event happening around them. Maybe you’ve even been that person. No judgment! I have been guilty of this too.

If you don’t want your guests distracted by their devices at your wedding, simply ask them to put it away. You and your guests will have more fun without the distraction of electronics and be able to interact more.

3. Prevent “guest photographers”

Oh man, this is a big one for us to be honest. You are hiring professional photographers and videographers for a reason. Having guests with their own cameras can be a real challenge for the professionals you’re paying a lot of money for.

While your cousin may mean well by bringing his “nice camera”, it actually isn’t helpful. In fact, guest photographers often get in the way and cause the professionals to miss key shots. And your guest photographers often don’t get that good of a photo anyway. So you end up not having a photo (or not a great one) of really key moments of your wedding day. Making sure all devices are put away helps ensure your day is fully and beautifully captured.

*Little soapbox rant here* There are countless stories of photographers not getting a good photo of the bride walking down the aisle, first kiss, cake cutting, etc. because of a well-meaning guest getting in the way.

4. Limit online exposure

Sometimes guests (and even wedding party members) aren’t as conscious about what and when it is appropriate to post when they are uploading photos and videos in real-time. This can be a problem if the bride ends up on social media before the ceremony. Or when vows are live-streamed without the couples’ approval (remember when Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ Vegas ceremony was live-streamed without their permission?). Not to mention all of the bad angles, poor lighting, and terrible filters that are shared.

By having an unplugged wedding, you can control more of what is shared on social media. And you can allow your wedding day story to be told the way you want it told with the professional photos and video you paid for.

How to communicate that you’re having an unplugged wedding

Your guests are there to celebrate you, so they should be happy to acquiesce to your unplugged wedding wishes. We recommend communicating your wishes in a few ways so that your guests are fully aware.

You can mention it in your wedding invitation. Signage at the ceremony (and reception if you want) entrances. And finally, you can also ask your officiant to make an announcement right at the beginning of the ceremony.

You may also know that a family member or friend is an aspiring photographer. If you get even the smallest inkling that they are planning on bringing their camera, go ahead and have a direct conversation with them. Let them know that you are having an unplugged wedding and that you would like them to leave their camera behind and just enjoy the day with you.

For more wedding planning ideas, read our post on why you may be a destination bride.

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