In recent years, more couples are embracing the idea of an unplugged wedding. So what is an unplugged wedding anyway? The level of an unplugged wedding can vary, but it usually limits phones, tablets, and other devices being used by guests. This can include not taking photos during the wedding and asking everyone to stay off social media during the ceremony and reception.
Why Have an Unplugged Wedding?
There are many reasons couples opt for a fully or partially unplugged wedding. The first reason is that they want their guests to be engaged in the wedding day activities, not getting the best shot or sharing with their social media friends who are not in attendance.
The second reason is that people taking photos on their devices often ruins wedding moments or professional photography. This could happen by someone standing in the aisle to get a good shot, getting in the photographer's way, or having their flash on during pictures. Finally, many brides and grooms want to be the first to share these photos on social media rather than their guests.
How Soon Should You Tell Your Guests?
If you have decided that an unplugged wedding is right for you, you should tell your guests as soon as possible, and more than once if possible. Before the wedding, you can start by putting this information on the wedding invitations and other stationery as well as on your wedding website or wedding-dedicated social media channels.
You should be clear in your intentions. Let them know what is allowed and what is not. Although it is your wedding, you might want to soften the blow. You can make whatever rules you want for your special day, as they are guests, but you might want to explain your reasoning. If you do this politely but firmly, people will respond better than if you unequivocally tell them no phones are allowed.
You will also want to know the consequences of this rule on both sides. Some people may decide not to attend if you set rules they do not like. You need to accept this as a possibility. However, you also need to know how you will react if someone breaks your rules.
Where Should You Inform (and Remind) Your Guests of this Rule or Decision?
Early and Often. As previously mentioned, you should tell your guests about this decision on invitations, stationery, social media, and your wedding website. However, they should also be reminded the day of. This can include written and verbal reminders. If you have a welcome sign, a ceremony itinerary, a seating chart – whatever – add this reminder. You can also ask your ceremony officiant and your reception band or DJ to make reminder announcements.
Can You Add Exceptions To The Rule?
Of course, it is your wedding! You can have a photo booth, a photo hour, or specific times when phones are allowed. You may just decide to not allow photos during the ceremony or during key parts of the reception. There are many ways to have an unplugged wedding without being completely unplugged and device free.