Considering an unplugged wedding? This could possibly be one of the best wedding day decisions you make regarding the ceremony. Asking guests to relax and put down their phones, camera’s and tablets can be touchy. But don’t worry, you don’t need to ask your guests to eliminate all their picture taking. The goal of an unplugged wedding is to allow your friends and family to be present and in the moments that are most precious. Essentially, you are inviting them to watch and actually take part as a guest of the ceremony. 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 set off your guests, this list could help.
Below, are copy ‘n’ paste ideas for your officiant, wedding pages, programs, and invitations. Courtesy of www.OffBeatBride.com
Keep reading to avoid these types of images from the day you spent a year planning! Afterall, you are probably paying a decent amount for a professional photographer, let them capture the moment with all those people you love actually watching you, not their tiny little screens that are going to give you blurry and unflattering images.
Here comes the ??? You can’t even see the bride…
All those smiling faces, Err I mean shining phones…
Tablets and phones, a butt shot and oh there’s the beautiful bride. Insert sad face…
Ahhhh…Perfection. A beautiful image of all your guests looking up with their happy faces.
Before the wedding…
Talk to your photographer
Remember: wedding guests take photos because they want to be able to re-live and share the experience of the day. If you’re considering an unplugged wedding, you must commit to sharing photos with guests and make plans for how you’re going to do so. Work with your wedding photographer to ensure you can make a small set of photos (even just five shots!) available digitally to guests within a couple days of the wedding. You can share them via email, your wedding website, or facebook — the method doesn’t matter. Just make sure you’ve got it figured out with your photographer before your unplugged wedding.
Wording for websites & programs
If you’re sharing wedding information online with guests via a wedding website, you can warn give them some perspectives before the wedding about why you’re asking them to leave their devices off:
We want you to be able to really 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 how the wedding feels. We’re respectfully asking that everyone consider leaving all cameras and cell phones off. Of course we will happy to share our wedding photos with you afterward!
You could include a short note in your programs:
You could include a short note in your programs:
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.
Offbeat Bride Tribe member Aron is including this text in her program:
The bride and groom have asked that you share in their wedding fully and not through the lens of a camera or cell phone.
Offbeat Bride Tribe member Audra included this text her her program:
At the wedding…
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.
Wording ideas for officiants:
The easiest way to remind your guests to power down their devices is to have your officiant make a brief announcement before the ceremony. A few ideas, ranging from the sacred to the silly:
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 seat backs 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.
Thanks to Offbeat Bride Tribe member Rockwell for this one:
As Shakespeare once said, please turn off your cell phones.
Offbeat Bride Tribe member Cat named mouse shared this anecdote:
At my best friend’s wedding, the rabbi asked the bride to turn around and face the audience after her parents walked her to the alter. At this time he said, “Everyone, get the photo you really want now, because we ask that your cameras remain off for the remainder of the ceremony.”
Jessie Blum of Eclectic Unions uses this template:
Good afternoon! It is my pleasure to welcome you to the wedding of Name and Name. 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, Jody and Steven have requested that no photos be taken during the ceremony today — thank you so much for your understanding. The ceremony will begin shortly.