Unplugged weddings are totally a thing that we are falling in love with. Slowly drifting away are the days where couples want their weddings blasted across social media in real time. Creating an “unplugged” atmosphere is actually a win/win for both the couple getting married and their guests. In its purest form, an unplugged wedding is simply asking all guests to turn their phones off and put away their cameras during the wedding ceremony. Reasons for unplugging are:
Guests have no choice but to exist in the moment during the ceremony. With their cell phones turned off, they won’t be able to take any calls, check social media, respond to the group text threads…nothing. Just sit and watch the bride and groom take their vows and enter into holy matrimony.
Guests won’t be so caught up with trying to capture the perfect picture at the perfect moment for their social media feeds.
Once they receive their photos back from their photographer, the bride and groom can take their time to reflect on their big day and be the first to share it with others on social media. Content control lies in the hands of the bride and groom.
Cell phones and cameras can be a distraction to the bride and groom. It can feel like paparazzi is attacking them while they are saying their “I do’s”.
Guests often times get in the way of the hired photographer. There’s nothing worse than getting your images back from a photographer and seeing 100 people with their arms and cell phones in the aisle snapping pictures as you and your spouse walk out.
So how can you pull this off? Simple!
1. You can add a statement to your invitation insert informing guests that your ceremony will be unplugged. This way, they get the memo in advance and can make any arrangements needed since their cell phones will be off for an entire 30 minutes.
Example verbiage could be “Our wedding ceremony will be unplugged so we kindly ask that you leave your cell phones and cameras put away. Thank you!”
2. Create clever/cute signage and place at the guest sign-in table or near the entrance of the ceremony space so that you can ensure the majority of your guests will see it. Example verbiage:
“Welcome to our Unplugged Ceremony. Please turn off all phones and cameras.”
“Welcome to our Unplugged Wedding. We thank you for coming to share our day but for the ceremony please keep all cameras and cellphones away.“
“Welcome to our Unplugged Wedding. We invite you to be fully present during our ceremony. Please turn off all gadgets and enjoy this moment with us.”
3. Ask the officiant to make an announcement before the ceremony begins. You may have to slightly altar the order of your traditional processional but it will be worth it in this case. Have the officiant take his/her place prior to the processional and make an announcement similar to this:
“Welcome, friends and family! Good evening, everyone. The bride and groom invite you to be truly present at this special time. We ask that you please turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks. I encourage you to capture how it feels with your heart!”
These tips should help you pull off a successful unplugged wedding. You may have 1 or 2 hard heads in the crowd but just brush them off. You can almost guarantee a friend or family member will handle it for you. And remember to only make your ceremony unplugged. Let your guests feel the ease of anxiety by allowing them to turn their cell phones back on and have a blast with you during the reception.