Is an “Unplugged Wedding” For You?

An “unplugged wedding” is when you ask your guests to refrain from taking pictures or video during your big day. It’s a fairly new concept, developed for a few different reasons since the development of cell phone cameras has evolved immensely in recent years. Everyone is going to want that perfect shot on their latest iPhone! 

The Positives?

A big reason why people choose to do this is so that guests do not interfere with the professional photographers. Let’s be real; you are paying BIG bucks for those professional pictures, and you don’t need them littered with people holding their smartphones out in the background. You want genuine guest reactions and interactions documented! And you certainly don’t want Aunt Edna standing in the way of your photographer as he/she tries to catch the groom’s face as you walk down the aisle. That will be a moment you can’t get back! 

Not to mention, in a world that is ALWAYS connected, isn’t it nice to set the phones down and live in the moment once in a while? A wedding is such a great opportunity to do that. To relax, let the photographers document the night, eat, drink, dance, and give social media a break. You want your guests to engage! 

Lastly, it would be nice if that first picture posted to social media of the newly married couple wasn’t a blurry one of the back of your head. Ask the photographer ahead of time if they can provide a couple of next day sneak peeks for you to use to announce your marriage to Facebook and Instagram! 

The Downside?

Guests might not be thrilled. Some family members might be SO antsy to document moments on their phone, that your request to unplug could disappoint them. That, or some others might just be so connected to their phones that they find it difficult to set them aside for the night. 

But in either case, that would ultimately be their problem. What you want is all that matters. 

It might also be difficult to make sure everyone gets access to the professional pictures once they are done, so be sure to check in with your photographer and see what a solution to this could be. Is there a link you can share to give everyone access? Can they download pictures? How easy is it for them to do that? Doing your homework can help you make an informed decision! 

How to Ask. 

If you’ve decided this is the right call for your wedding, there are a few different ways to make this known. You might even want to consider multiple as a reminder! 

Feel free to add this to your invitations! It can be a separate insert, a note at the bottom or on the back, etc. But saying “Our wedding will be unplugged. Set your phones aside and celebrate with us!” is in no way rude. 

Add signage! As they enter the ceremony or cocktail hour, don’t hesitate to come up with some decorative signage to remind them of the unplugged status. Some may forget as the night goes on, and you don’t want to have to babysit! 

Ask your officiant or DJ to make an announcement. Short, sweet, and to the point should do the trick! 

The Decision is YOURS! 

Ultimately, the married-couple-to-be decides what they expect of their guests on their wedding day. This concept is fairly new, so feel free to customize the rules! If you aren’t 100% sure, maybe consider just an unplugged ceremony, but the phones are welcome at the reception. Or vice versa! There’s no handbook, so you call the shots!