It is not uncommon for brides and grooms to request an Unplugged Ceremony from their guests. Unplugged Ceremonies occur when you ask the attendees of your wedding to refrain from taking their own photos and videos during the ceremony. After the ceremony is over, guests can go back to capturing all of the moments of your wedding day from the cocktail hour, to dancing at the reception.
An Unplugged Ceremony is used to ensure your guests are fully enjoying this once in a lifetime moment with you. They cannot truly be part of your sacred ceremony tapping away at their phones and potentially blocking someone else’s view. An Unplugged Ceremony also ensures cell phones are silenced or turned off. This eliminates any phones going off during the ceremony at any time! Requesting an Unplugged Ceremony for your guests is not about banning phones all together, rather, it is about living in the moment.
Photography is an investment for your wedding day. Your cameramen want to provide you with the best quality images possible that truly showcase the joy you and your guests were feeling during your special day. Having an Unplugged Ceremony will keep your guests phones out of any important pictures and help them enjoy what is right in front of them.
Unplugged Ceremonies lead to better pictures overall. This happens because there is less interference from guests with your photographer. Less interference from phones hanging out in the air or pointed down the isle, leads to better pictures during your ceremony.
Unfortunately, in 2023 the majority of our days are spent behind a screen. Even for me as a photographer, I am behind a computer editing galleries for clients, updating my social media, or writing blogs! Having such a close relationship with your device is not uncommon in the workplace and for entertainment pleasure, anymore.
We tend to forget to live in the moment during important times of our lives. Hoping to capture that perfect picture at Christmas morning or live-streaming the concert you have waited months for. A wedding ceremony is one brief moment of time, usually less than 30 minutes, that we should be putting down our phones and taking everything in around us.
When you set down your phone, you start to notice the small things. You will see the grandmas in the front row with their tissues in hand. You’ll start to notice all of the birds singing a beautiful song to the couple from afar. My favorite, you will realize just how special and important this moment is for so many people and you will appreciate your invite to this wedding just a little bit more.
We all know that a wedding is one of the most Instagram-able events someone can attend. An Unplugged Ceremony is not meant to take away any of these moments! You can use other ways to encourage guests to take pictures before and after your wedding ceremony.
Set up a photo booth for guests to snap a picture in front of. There are endless choices for a wedding photo booth, but a trendy and beautiful one right now is a greenery wall with a neon sign! Another way to encourage guests to take pictures is by having disposable cameras at the reception tables, or using a polaroid camera for the guest book! Do not forget about your wedding hashtag, and make sure your guests know it so they can share pictures they have taken with you.
I recently saw a TikTok talking about how to make an Unplugged Ceremony fun. When the bride and groom have made their way to the front of the ceremony, and are hand in hand, announce to your guests that they have thirty seconds to take out their phones and snap away! This gives everyone a chance to have a picture on their phone of the bride and groom at the ceremony, and then tuck their phones away so that the photographer can get back to doing what they do best.
This can be a short time for the bride, groom, bridal party, officiant, and families to release any built up nerves. Make silly faces, strike a goofy pose, and let your guests snap a picture or two of their favorite people about to say their “I Do’s.”
There are a few ways your guests can be notified you have decided on an Unplugged Ceremony. A sign can be placed that guests walk past on their way to their seats. You can add this description to any programs or handouts given to guests upon arrival. If you have a wedding website, you can add this under a Q and A section. Or, you can have someone, like your officiant, announce the this request before the ceremony begins. If you are having ushers, consider having them remind guests to turn their phones off on their way to their seats.
No matter what you decide to do, or how you decide to share this decision with guests, this is one of the most beneficial steps you can take to ensure your family and friends live in the moment at your wedding. An Unplugged Ceremony benefits everyone in attendance, including,your photographer.
I am SO happy that you are here! If you are new here, I am Wedding and Portrait photographer based out of Jacksonville, Florida. I love documenting love stories and here you will find lots of them while also coming across portrait sessions and wedding tips. So please, sit back, kick your feet up, and stay a while!