The Benefits of Going Unplugged
Attending a wedding where every guest has a smartphone can put brides and grooms in a complicated position. On the one hand, couples love when their friends are able to document how gorgeous and fun their special day is. However, this comes with a price: distracted guests, a sea of smartphones, and ruined moments. Because of this, more people are choosing to plan unplugged weddings where guests are encouraged to leave the photography skills to the professionals. Here are some reasons why opting for an unplugged wedding might be the right decision for your big day:
- The flashes from guests’ cameras won’t ruin your professional shots.
- Guests taking pictures of group shots behind the photographer won’t distract them and cause people to look in several directions.
- Guests won’t get in the way of the photographer, especially for important shots, such as the bride walking down the aisle.
- The bride can see everyone’s faces as she walks down the aisle, rather than a wall of devices.
- Guests can be fully present and enjoy the day that the bride and groom worked so hard to make perfect.
Tips to Have an Unplugged Wedding (Without Upsetting Your Guests)
Once that you’ve committed to the idea of hosting an unplugged wedding, it’s time to break the news to your guests. While you might think that asking people to leave their phones in their purses is enough to convince them to refrain from taking their own pictures, it might not be. Some guests may not understand just how intrusive their snapping a few photos at an inopportune time may be. For this reason, it’s important that you convey your wishes clearly. Here’s how to make your wishes known without ruffling feathers.
1. Give Guests an Early Warning
It’s better to break the news to your guests sooner rather than later. Fortunately, there are several ways to accomplish this.
- Include an announcement on your wedding invitation.
- Post it on your wedding website or social media group.
- Stick a note in the welcome bag included in their hotel room.
If you tell guests that you’d like them to ditch their devices well before the ceremony, they may not remember, but they also won’t be caught off guard when they walk through your venue’s door and are reminded.
2. Incorporate Friendly Reminders
After you’ve sent out the initial message on your invitation and/or wedding website, it can’t hurt to include a few friendly reminders before your ceremony begins. Placing a pretty sign at the front door of your venue or inside your wedding program will make sure that everyone gets the message. Choosing your words wisely can be helpful in making your point clear while also shedding light on why you’ve decided to not allow guests to take pictures. For instance, your sign could say, “We’ve asked a professional photographer to capture this special moment so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy it with us. Our beautiful images will be available for you to view and share after the wedding.” This lets your guests know that:
- The message is coming from the bride and groom, not some uptight wedding planner or outsider.
- They should be enjoying themselves, not trying to capture the perfect moment on their phone.
- They will have access to beautiful images from the photographer later.
3. Make Use of Ushers & Officiant
Sometimes, being given instructions by an actual person can make a big difference in someone following directions or not. This is where your trusty ushers come in. As ushers guide people to their seats, have them politely remind them to turn off their cell phones. Likewise, have your officiant give a gentle reminder before the ceremony begins. This way, no one can say they weren’t told!
4. Be Clear About Your Unplugged Wedding
Having an unplugged wedding can mean different things to different people. With this in mind, it’s best to decide exactly what you want in terms of how you’d like technology to coincide with your big day. Then convey your expectations clearly to your guests. Do you want no photos taken at any point of your wedding, or just the ceremony? Do you mind if guests post the photos they do take to social media, or would you prefer them to wait until the next day? If you opt for a completely cell phone-free wedding day, it might be a good idea to give guests a few opportunities to sneak in a few shots. Let them know that they’ll have the opportunity to take pictures with the bride and groom at a designated time when the photographer is finished, after the first dance, or during the cake cutting.
Another fun idea is to provide a photo booth where guests can document the day in a manner that doesn’t diminish the special moments in any way.
Tips for Wedding Guests on Phone Etiquette
Even if the wedding you’re attending isn’t unplugged, being a good wedding guest is important. Here’s how to enjoy the bride and groom’s special day without taking away from it.
- If you must take a picture or two, do so quickly. Avoid taking a million shots, or worse, filming the entire event. The bride and groom want to see your smiling face, not your phone.
- Never bring a tablet to a wedding to take pictures. They’re too big and block other guests’ views.
- If you take pictures on your smartphone, only post flattering ones of the wedding party. They worked hard to look good for this special occasion.
- Be courteous toward the professional photographer. Unless the bride and groom are paying you to take pictures of them, it’s not your job.
Whether you choose to have an unplugged wedding or not, Wanderlight Photography can capture all the magic that your wedding day will hold. Contact us today to see how we can make your big day one that you’ll never forget.