Should Your Wedding be Unplugged?
words by | Eve Green
Many weddings today are technology-friendly, full of adorable Instagram hashtags and photo ops. On the other hand, some couples are bucking this hot trend and taking their weddings in a less digital, “unplugged” direction.
What is an unplugged wedding?
An unplugged wedding is when the couple asks their guests to refrain from snapping photos and to keep their devices put away during the wedding. In addition, they may request that no posts or photos of the wedding be placed on social media. There is no-one-size-fits-all solution to unplugged weddings, as they come in many forms. The most popular option is to keep only the wedding ceremony unplugged. Other couples opt to have the entire celebration, from ceremony to reception, unplugged. There is no right or wrong way to have a unplugged wedding, however. Next we discuss some of the pros and cons of this decision.
Pros of an Unplugged Wedding
The professional photographers work won’t be compromised
There are two main reasons a couple may want an unplugged wedding, the first being the quality of the professional photos. Sometimes well meaning guests (and their flash photography) can get in the way of the professional photographers, compromising the quality of the photos. No matter how talented a wedding photographer may be, there’s not much they can do to get back a precious moment (like the couple's first kiss) if a guest steps out into the aisle to snap a photo or washes out a special moment with bright flash.
Guests will be more present
Another reason to consider an unplugged wedding, having politely requested your guests keep their cameras and phones put away, they will not be distracted by their devices and are much more likely to stay in the moment. Your guests will listen and be more involved without the temptation to take their own pictures and scroll through their social media feeds! It is an honor to be asked to attend a couple’s wedding, and guests should give the ceremony the reverence it deserves.
Cons of an Unplugged Wedding
Guests may be disappointed
There’s no denying that guests may be disappointed if they are not able to take their own pictures of your wedding. Guests are excited for the bride and groom, and love to take photos of your special day and share these moments on social media. But, they also need to understand the amount of planning and financial and emotional investment both the couple and their families have made. As such, guests should understand your simple request during such an intimate and sacred event.
Okay, who doesn’t love coming up with a unique Instagram hashtag for their wedding? When the Instagram wedding hashtag is shared early on, the couple can look back on friends’ photos of the wedding shower, bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner, and finally the big day! These photos taken by loved ones can help the couple get by while patiently waiting for their professional photos to be completed. An unplugged wedding effectively negates the need for a fun wedding hashtag.
How to Tell Your Guests
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. The same rule goes for announcing an unplugged wedding to your guests. In order to inform your guests your wedding is unplugged, we suggest adding a note in your wedding program or setting a cute sign outside the ceremony location. In your announcement be sure to thank your guests for attending, express that you and your fiance want to share this special moment with your guests uninterrupted, and kindly request they keep cameras and phones tucked away. Many officiants automatically request this at the beginning of the service that devices be silenced and photography left to the professionals.
Have Your (Wedding) Cake and Eat it, Too
The unplugged wedding certainly isn’t for every couple. Many brides and grooms love the idea of their guests snapping away throughout the ceremony and reception. If you fall somewhere in between, we suggest the ultimate win-win situation for you and your guests: an unplugged ceremony and a plugged-in reception. Guests will understand being asked to keep their devices away during the more intimate ceremony knowing they can snap and post to their heart's desire during the wedding reception.