Wedding Unplugged

I don’t even gotta tell you, I love the internet, been online since 1998 and I’m obsessed with social media, specifically Instagram, I get on every chance I get. However, I’m old school and even though I’ve been taking photos for over fifteen years, I don’t take photos of every sunset, everything I eat, etc. I’m a firm believer in enjoying everything, here and now, taking deep breaths, and take everything this beautiful world has to offer, in real life 3D. It’s far more beautiful if we invest ourselves fully with the situation at hand. Without distractions. 

This couldn’t hold more truth than the day of your wedding, as having screens in front of our faces makes it impossible to be full present with you. Especially during the ceremony. Think about it, you’re walking down the aisle and instead of seeing tears of joy on Grandma or warm smiles on your guests, you see black rectangles on their faces instead. Worts yet comes when you’re on the altar saying your vows, you take a look at your guests and again, instead of seeing those tears of joy for you, you see the same generic black/grey rectangles on people's faces. 

I’m fully aware your guests want to share this moment on social media and they have every right, as well as capture their own memories. However, that’s the primary job if your photographer and videographer, to capture your wedding in the best light possible. Sometimes, I’ve had perfect photos ruined because someone got in the way to take their own photo and I’m not the only photographer to complain about it, a quick search on ‘Uncle Bob Photographer’ will shed some light on the subject.

The biggest benefit of having an unplugged wedding is that you and your guests are present and in the moment, the minute smartphones are pulled out and photos are posted on social media, you lose something genuine. Selfies and candids do have their value believe me, but you hired your photographer for a reason and they shouldn't have to compete with gadget happy guests waving phones in the air for first-kiss snaps. Ask kindly on your invitation to not take photos during the ceremony or put a little note on the entrance of the altar location. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did once you see your photos without smart phones glued to your guests faces. 

Trust me, your wedding day will be far more emotional and your photos will stand the test of time without smartphones showing up on your photos. So with much respect, I highly encourage you to celebrate with an Unplugged Wedding, without technology, specifically during the ceremony. Appoint a member of your wedding party to help encourage other guests to put down their devices at the wedding. It doesn't have to be high-drama: all they have to do is sidle up to their fellow guest and say quietly, "The bride and groom have asked me to respectfully suggest guests to put down their electronics and just enjoy the day. Can I ask you to put your camera/phone away?" Whatever you do, don't rely on your photographer to be the heavy; it's not their job to make your guests behave. Plus, when the request to put away the camera or phone comes from a fellow guest, it's less likely to be seen as a grumpy encounter.

As with any special request you make of your wedding guests, you need to be sensitive and respectful. If you're unsure how to request unplugging in a way that won't offend your guests, I’ve compiled a few phrases you can use for your wedding website, invitation, program or for your officiant. 

: Websites and Programs

We want you to be able to enjoy our wedding day, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We've hired an amazing wedding photographer named _________ who will be capturing the way the wedding looks, and we're inviting each of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy. We're respectfully asking everyone consider leaving all cameras and cell phones off. Of course we will happy to share our wedding photos with you afterward!

We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! This in mind, we invite you to put down all your favorite devices and just be present in the moment with us. Please leave your camera in your bag (we've got photography covered!), and put your cell phone on mute (we promise they'll call back!). 

We're happy to share our professional wedding photos later, but the greatest gift you can give us today is just being fully here with us in this sacred and special moment.

The bride and groom have asked that you share in their wedding fully and not through the lens of a camera or cell phone.

We are honored that you are here today and present with us during the ceremony. Two photographers are covering the ceremony. We request that you refrain from photography during the entire ceremony. We promise that there will be plenty of images at your disposal!

: Wording For Officiants :

The couple respectfully requests that all guests honor the sanctity of this moment by turning off cell phones and cameras.

I invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology.

Ladies and gentlemen, prior to wedding take-off, all seatbacks and tray tables must be in their upright and locked positions, all bags properly stowed, and all portable electronic devices turned off and stowed. This includes cell phones and cameras.

Good afternoon! It is my pleasure to welcome you to the wedding of BRIDE and GROOM. Please take a moment to silence any cell phones or other noisy electronics. If you would also take a moment to put your cameras away, BRIDE and GROOM have requested that no photos be taken during the ceremony today. Thank you so much for your understanding. The ceremony will begin shortly.