With smart devices becoming a constant companion and an extension of ourselves, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to have an unplugged wedding.
Why have an unplugged wedding?
There are a few main reasons for this. Everyone with a smart phone thinks they can capture the best photos of the couple during their ceremony, and may be unwittingly blinding the couple by joining in an army of 20 others also wanting to get the money shot.
Amateur photographers also negatively impact the photos the paid professionals are there to capture. They could be standing right in front of the photographer, firing flashes in opposition of where the professional is standing, or simply providing the professional with a sea of phone-screens as a backdrop of the wedding photos, instead of a crowd of happy and smiling faces.
If you are among those who want to have an unplugged wedding, here are some simple steps you can take to communicate your decision with your guests.
Before the wedding
If you decide early on that you want an unplugged wedding, you can include a small line to communicate this on your invitations, so people can either choose to leave their phones at home altogether or know to leave them in their bags until they are told otherwise.
You can also dedicate some space to this on your wedding website, letting guests know you would rather they be present on your big day, instead of rushing to be the first to post on social media.
You should also talk with your photographer to see if there is an opportunity for them to have a super-quick turnaround of a small selection, even three or four, photos of your wedding ceremony that you can then share on social media soon after your wedding day.
What are your main priorities after the wedding?
At the ceremony
Even if you have already let guests know you want them to unplug, a friendly reminder on the day won’t go astray. You could have a chalkboard or easel prepared with a simple message on it and place it right where people will see it on their way to the ceremony.
Clue your celebrant up and ask them to give a small shout-out before they begin the ceremony to get people to put their phones down and enjoy this special moment with you and your partner.
At the reception
Most couples relax the unplugged rule for the reception, but if you want to clear the way for your professional photographer to have precedence for milestones like the cake cutting and first dance, let your MC or DJ know and they can make an announcement before each section to let guests know they can step in and shoot away once the photographer has moved off to the side.
Whatever you do, don’t give the responsibility of keeping guests in line to your photographer. They have enough to do already in making sure they don’t miss any of the precious moments of your wedding day, which is what you are ultimately paying them to do.
After the wedding
Since all of your guests complied with your request and refrained from sneaking snapshots of your ceremony, try to get a few images from your photographer up onto social media – or emailed around – a few days after your wedding. This is where your earlier conversation and planning with your photographer will pay off.
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