One of the hottest wedding topics recently is whether or not to have your ceremony unplugged or not.  Before you decide on what you want for your wedding ceremony, it would be a good idea to take a look at the whole picture.  There are certainly pros and cons on both sides of the fence but I think that striking a happy medium would make everyone happy, especially your professional photographer.  We’ve put together our thoughts to try to unravel this issue for you.

What is an unplugged wedding ceremony?

An unplugged wedding ceremony is one where guests are asked to refrain from taking any photos or videos while the ceremony is taking place, so they can simply be present in the moment and not distracted by their devices; essentially seeing it through their own eyes instead of through a small screen.  Before putting their phones away, they may also be asked to switch their phones to silent or flight mode or to simply turn them off.  ‘Unplugged’ can also refer to social media posts and quite often guests are requested not to post any photos of the bridal party until the newly married couple have done so, announcing their marriage in their own time and with a photo of their choice.

How did the ‘unplugged’ wedding come about?

Unplugged weddings have come about, because in this digital age where everyone has a camera in their pocket, courtesy of the latest and greatest mobile phones, too many guests are simply getting in the way of the professional photographers and hindering them from getting the shots they know their couples want.  The above picture taken by Thomas Stewart Photography clearly shows how chaotic it can be when guests are only thinking about getting their own shots.  

Why have an unplugged ceremony?

Apart from what you have already read, a shy bride or groom faced with an aisle full of outstretched arms holding mobile phones, iPads, tablets and cameras instead of simply seeing the friendly faces of their guests can truly be a nightmare to say the least.

From the professional photographer’s point of view, having an unplugged wedding ceremony allows them to do their job more freely and more easily.  He or she will be able to capture all of those wonderful moments without having to battle with amateur guest photographers who don’t mean to be in the way, but often are (as seen in the above photo by Allure Productions.  After all, your photographers are being paid to use their skills and experience to get those amazing shots for you and they want to be able to do that without interference from guests.  It is somewhat stressful when the photographer is all lined up, ready to take an amazing shot when, without notice, guests get in the way and totally ruin it for them.

Tips when having an unplugged wedding ceremony

One – When sending out your invitations, include a separate note to inform your guests that you will be having an unplugged wedding ceremony and explain what an unplugged ceremony is and what it means to you.  This way your guests will be fully informed and more understanding.

Two – Ask your Marriage Celebrant to quickly mention your unplugged ceremony to your guests prior to the ceremony commencing, after all it will be too late once you have already walked down the aisle.

Three – Place a sign at the entrance to your ceremony so your guests will see it as they enter to remind them that you are having an unplugged wedding ceremony. The sign could read:

“Welcome to our unplugged wedding.
Please turn off your phones, iPads
and your Tablets and put away your cameras as we would like you to be present,
in the moment when we say I do.”

“Please turn your phones off and put them away as we have hired a professional photographer to capture our beautiful ceremony and we encourage you to enjoy it through your own eyes and feel it in your hearts”.

“We want you to enjoy our day
and feel the love within your hearts.
 So please put all your phones away
before the ceremony starts.”

Below photo courtesy of
Fortunate Fellow Photography

Tips when deciding not to have an unplugged wedding ceremony

Ask your Marriage Celebrant to make a few pre-ceremony announcements informing your guests that while it is okay to take photos during your wedding ceremony, our couple has requested that, for the most part, they be present in the moment, listening and watching through their own eyes.

Request that your guests not move about during the wedding ceremony and to be mindful of the professional photographer so he or she is able to move about freely to get the shots they have been paid to capture, the best way they possibly can.

Absolutely impress upon your guests not to move to the other side of the ceremony because as you can see in this photo captured by Brian Sargent Photography, they will be in all the photos and that’s definetly not cool!

Most guests are grateful when they are simply made aware of your wishes for your wedding ceremony.  Whether it be unplugged or not, make sure your voice heard but always in the most positive of ways.  Photo courtesy of Fortunate Fellow Photography

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