Why an unplugged wedding?

Imagine this, you are walking down the aisle {or are standing at the front of the aisle} and you cannot see your fiancee. With all your guests standing as you walk down the aisle, that is expected. What isn’t expected? Uncle Bob* has an iPad and is taking pictures of you, so you can’t see your sweetheart, but you do see them straining to see you. Then you notice one of your close friends not looking at you, but at their cell phone, as you walk down the aisle. All in all it wasn’t the moment you thought it would be–people seemed more interested in taking pictures than being present in the moment with you.

I get this concern a lot as a photographer–how do I get my family and friends to understand I want to have them not breaking out their cameras and cell phones during the ceremony? Let’s be honest, posting a sign or making an announcement on their own doesn’t necessarily work. So what can you truly do?

unplugged wedding

Tell them Early

When sending out wedding invitations and creating your wedding site, communicate about the expectation upfront. For your invitations, there is typically an insert with instructions, directions to the location, etc. You can include the request for the ceremony to be camera-free in there. I also recommend putting it at the beginning, as a psychological trick. Most people remember the first and last things they read and gloss over items in the middle. You can easily replicate this on your wedding site as well. I would use graphics as well to illustrate your point.

Use Your Parents

Not everyone reads all the portions of your wedding invitation. Which is sad, because that invitation is gorgeous! So they might miss the request of not using their camera or cell phone during the ceremony. They also might not go to your wedding website. In this case, it is a great idea to enlist your parents and get them to communicate to the possible future offenders and let them know about the ceremony rule. I don’t know about you, but my grandparents and aunts were more compliant when a directive came from my mother than from myself. Even though I was a grown ass woman. Sometimes you just need that authority figure to be your ambassador.

unplugged wedding

Be Repetitive

On the day of your wedding you can do two things in writing to help–the first I mentioned earlier: have a sign as people enter the ceremony space that asks the guests to put their cameras and phones away and turned off. Then, in case they missed it {it happens}, I would include said verbiage in your program. With a nice graphic, to convey your message, incase they were glossing over the program. I know I am guilty of this!

Final Step

The last and final thing you can do is the announcement. I highly recommend it being done by a family member/authority figure to help give weight to the message. I also saw at a wedding where, after the announcement, the family member looked out into the crowd to ensure people were turning off their phones and putting away their cameras.

unplugged wedding

At the end of the day, I realize that it is impossible to get everyone to comply. But if you follow these steps I bet you will be pleasantly pleased to see how many people put down their cell phone and truly enjoy your wedding ceremony with you.

unplugged wedding


Christine Wright Swish + Click PhotographyLove my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is [email protected] Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of your wedding or session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!