It’s the age-old question…how can you have an unplugged wedding? How do you tell your guests, in no uncertain terms, that you do not want to see their phones in your professional photos?? And how on earth do you get them to actually respect your wishes?
I’ve been to multiple weddings where guests blatantly pull out their phones and snap pictures during the ceremony. Despite pretty signs that requests phones be put away! At one wedding, someone actually stop up, walked up parallel with the front row, and then used their iPad to take photos! Whether these guests didn’t see the sign, or they choose to ignore it, the issue is still there.
I used to say that I would throw my bouquet at the first guest who dared pull out a phone during my own wedding ceremony. I was halfway joking, halfway not.
Most couples (myself included) spend thousands of really hard earned dollars hiring a wedding photographer. And the last thing they want to see are iPhone screens sticking up above the crowd during the ceremony!
So, how do you have an unplugged wedding? How do you politely (but firmly) tell your guests that the ceremony is a no-photo-taking zone?
Option 1: Have a sign.
At the end of the aisle, or near the entrance to the ceremony site, have a sign stating that this an unplugged wedding. There’s lots of different wording options, and a quick google search brings up a lot of them. For my own wedding, my amazing aunt created a sign that said:
Thank you for joining us today!
Please honor our wishes and put your phones and cameras away until the reception
Option 2: Make an announcement.
In addition to having a sign, we also asked our Pastor to make an announcement requesting that everyone put their phones and cameras away. I was too far away to hear the exact words he said, but I know that he conveyed the message clearly!
Option 3: Include it in the program.
You can also include your unplugged wedding request in the program. Since we had a sign program in lieu of a printed program, we didn’t do this. But you can bet your bottom dollar that if we had a printed program, I would’ve reiterated my unplugged wedding request there as well! Don’t be afraid to repeat your request multiple times.
Another thing to note is that, while “unplugged weddings” are becoming more and more popular, some people may not fully know what that means. So make sure to say something more than just “this is an unplugged wedding” on any signs. And if you have an announcement made, you can always have them expand a little on what “unplugged” actually means.
No matter how you choose to ask your guests to put away their electronics, you have to acknowledge that it may not be completely successful. There may be someone who either doesn’t hear/see/read your requests, or who doesn’t think it applies to them. And you have to be okay with that!! Hear me out, though. As a recent past Bride, I can tell you that there are more important things happening on your wedding day than somebody snapping a crappy photo on their iPhone during the first kiss. Yes, it would suck. No, it wouldn’t ruin your entire wedding day. This is the day you’re marrying the love of your life, your soul mate, your forever and ever. Focus on that, and choose to let the little things slide. Do your best to be preventative, and then let the rest go. You’ll be 100% more relaxed and happier if you do.