In an age of social media and phones with high quality cameras, everyone wants to capture those special moments. A quick photo and you are tagged in it on Facebook and Instagram before you have said ‘I do’.

The term unplugged wedding is becoming more common, and couples saying no to technology at their wedding is becoming increasingly more popular.

What’s an unplugged wedding?

So, an ‘Unplugged wedding’ is a wedding without technology, not phones, camera, iPads or video. You ask your guests to turn off and not use any devices, and not to take photos either in the service or throughout the day.

Your photographer or videographer would be the only people who would capture this, allowing them to do their job.

Why go Unplugged?

When you get married you invite all your closest friends and family to be there, to celebrate with you, to witness you get married to the love of your life. You want them to be there with you to celebrate this moment, you want to look back down the aisle and see your friends faces, their smiles, those tears of joy and excitement.

You don’t want to look back down the aisle and see cameras and phones hiding their faces, as they take photos of you.

These photos below show why you may wish to have an unplugged wedding. Of course your wedding photographer will try to afford shots that are full of phones, however this is what you may see when you look back at your friends and family, and there is no hiding it.

Don’t forget you have hired and are paying for a professional wedding photographer, someone who will capture all these moments for you. Not only will they be capturing beautiful moments of you walking down the aisle, that first kiss, but also the faces of your guests and their emotions.

How to tell your guests?

If you have decided to have an unplugged wedding, which maybe just for the service or for the whole day, there are a few ways to communicate this with your guests.

  1. Tell them on the invite – Tell them early, just add a line to your printed invites, or invite website, say ‘We would love you to be there, so we are having an unplugged wedding, please no photos during the ceremony.’
  2. Wedding Signage – Where your guests enter for the ceremony you could have some signs up that remind guests to keep their phones turned off and no photos, kindly remind them you have a professional wedding photographer and you will share their photos.
  3. Order of Service – If you have an order of service you could add a little line to the front of this to again remind your guests.
  4. Announcement – Ask the registrar or best man to make a brief announcement just asking guests to turn all phones off and not to take any photos.

Let your guests know that you will ensure they can view the photos that your photographer takes, there is no need for them to take any photos, and just to enjoy this moment with you. You didn’t invite them to come and be a photographer, you invited them to be there to celebrate and take it all in with you.

What about social media?

Within moments of taking a photo, before you know it, you have been tagged in the photo on Facebook and there is an Insta story of your walking down the aisle. This has all happened before that guest has even said ‘congratulations’ to you.

Having an unplugged ceremony can help prevent this, however you may wish to ban any photos going on social media until after the wedding.

Of course this is one side, you may love the fact that the next day you can scroll through these photos on social media and relive it all. You may wish to ask guests to not share photos on social media until the day after the wedding, ask your guests to enjoy the day with you instead of looking at their phones uploading these photos and tagging everyone in them.

With a world of hash tags you could set up your own so that you can easily view all the photos people upload, for example #thesmiths2020. If you ask your guests to add these to their posts you can then just search this hashtag and see all your guests photos.

Should you ban all phones?

That may sound strong, and harsh, and it isn’t about banning phones and there is no need to do that. It is more about trying to help your guests become more aware, to just take a moment to enjoy the ceremony, to feel their emotions and to take it all in, to be there with you and for you.

This is just about weddings and I’m sure many people can relate to this and should spend less time looking at their phone.

Are you going to go Unplugged? What are your thoughts on social media and photos at your wedding?