Benefits of an Unplugged Wedding

why you should ask wedding guests to turn off their phones

I recently saw this post on Facebook and realized how true it is, especially in such a rapidly growing technological age. Photographers used to be concerned with family members who had digital cameras just as good as our own, but got better seats than we did. Now, with the prevalence of camera phones and iPads, the problem has grown. There are now hundreds of guests who want to take their own photos during the ceremony, often impeding the work of the professionals who have been hired for the job. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: have an unplugged wedding.

First, let’s be clear: I don’t blame guests for wanting photos! As a mom, sister, friend, and wife, I want lots of photos that document my personal life. With apps like Instagram, it’s second nature to capture even the most mundane part of our days with a photo. A wedding is a big deal, and we all want photos of a beautiful bride and handsome groom! It’s not the guests’ fault. I know they are not purposely trying to get in my way on a wedding day. In their excitement, they just completely forget I’m there (often stuck at the back of the church).

While I’ve never had such an extreme situation that actually blocked me from getting the bride and groom coming down the isle (knock on wood!), we do have weddings all the time where cell phones are out the entire time. Guests don’t realize how their screens light up and become a distracting element to a photo.

Benefits of an Unplugged Wedding

Also, they will lean out into the isle and get in the way of an important moment.

Benefits of an Unplugged Wedding

Benefits of an Unplugged Wedding

The solution is to make them aware of the problem. When guests are reminded that a photographer has been paid to capture the event, they are immediately conscience of our presence and make an effort to stay out of our way. When the bride and groom make it a point to let the guests know that they want them present in the moment and to enjoy their celebration instead of focusing on a camera, they do it. Guests are generally family and friends of the bride and groom and want them to enjoy their special day, and will honor their wishes!

How do you make your guests aware of your wishes to have an unplugged wedding? Ask them. Make a sign that is displayed at the back of the isle that each guest will see as they are seated. Even better, have your officiant ask guests to turn off their phones before the ceremony starts. Luckily, brides and grooms are gradually becoming aware that this is an issue, and they are taking preventative measures more often.

We absolutely love it when our clients put photography as top priority! We recently had a wedding where the bride and groom asked their guests to turn off their phones for the ceremony. You know what? They did. I didn’t see a single phone or camera out the entire time! And because of that, we are able to capture photos like this:

Benefits of an Unplugged Wedding

We go a step further and do a same-day slideshow at the receptions of all our weddings. We show a handful of the photos we’ve taken that day, including several of the ceremony. That way, if guests missed out on taking photos during the ceremony, they can see some of ours. Brides and grooms love this too!

Benefits of an Unplugged Wedding

I hope this has helped at least one bride and groom make the decision to have an unplugged wedding. Like so many other problems, solutions are easy once people are aware that there’s a problem! So share this post, and spread the word! And if you’re a guest at a wedding any time soon, be considerate and respect the bride and groom’s investment in their photographer. Save your phone photos for the reception!

Here’s to creating better photos together. Cheers!

1Comment
  • Sarah
    Posted at 08:08h, 25 July

    I love how you give everyone the one thing they want, a time for their own photo!! Perfect for everyone!