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"Unplugging" your Wedding

January 31, 2014

I had the pleasure of working recently at a wedding where the couple chose to have a wedding ceremony called the “Unplugged Ceremony”. Basically, the couple formally asked their guests to put away their cell phones and cameras during the ceremony so that everyone could be “in the moment” with the couple as they shared their vows and exchange their rings. As you probably agree, professional photos can be- and have been- ruined by guests standing in the way or having their camera flashes go off at inopportune times. Plus the fact that couples have spent a lot of money to hire a professional photographer, who will surely be getting great shots throughout the ceremony.

An unplugged ceremony is not for everyone – but I have to say I agree with the concept. The ceremony is the real reason why you are having the party, so why not just take a break for those 20-30 minutes and  be in the moment and save the photos for the crazy fun night you are about to have! 

After experiencing an unplugged ceremony, I came up with a list of suggestions for how you can facilitate your own.

Include it on your wedding website

It doesn’t hurt to give your guests advanced notice – so if you are having a wedding website, include it on the ceremony page of your wedding website

Include it in your welcome basket note or Guest Table

If you are planning to do welcome baskets with a timeline for guests, you might as well include it when you mention the ceremony. “Leave your cameras at home and join us as we say I DO” – or something like that.

Have a sign posted

As guests arrive, have a cute sign made to post outside the venue or at the beginning of your aisle.

Include it in your program

 Before the ceremony starts the guests will have the program in their hand and while they are waiting, they will read through it. Include it near your thank you and be sure that the wording is friendly – as you want your guests to understand why you are asking for them to turn everything off.

Have it announced before the processional begins

Most of the photos take place while everyone is walking down the aisle, so having a small announcement before the processional begins is the way to go. You’re your officiate briefly thank everyone for coming on your behalf, and ask that everyone turn off all cell phones and cameras so that they can be in the moment and truly appreciate the reason why everyone is celebrating today. The wording is important because you don’t want to offend anyone, but rather give them that moment and appreciate what you are asking them to do.

Now I don’t recommend doing ALL of these ideas, as it would be overkill, but if you do a nice mix of a couple of them, it will ensure that your guests respect their request. 

So what do you think? Plugged or Unplugged? Have you thought about what this for your own ceremony?

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