WHY UNPLUGGED CEREMONIES ARE THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO THE MODERN WEDDING WORLD // TUCSON WEDDING
Today we are going to be talking all about unplugged weddings! What they are, why you should have one and how to successfully have one! So, if you are interested in learning more about this new wedding trend and why it rocks, keep scrolling!
WHAT IS AN UNPLUGGED WEDDING?
First off, what exactly IS an unplugged wedding? Essentially, an unplugged wedding means that you have a rule during your wedding ceremony that prohibits your guests from using their phones, cameras and other devices at all, even for taking photos and recording. This only applies to the wedding ceremony and guests are generally welcomed to use their phones freely before and after the ceremony.
A lot of couples don’t find this to be a very big deal because they just imagine a few people here and there snapping photos or recording the vows. But, the reality is that in today’s world, people love documenting and sharing so much that oftentimes at is weddings, nearly every single person will have a phone or camera out and there will be people standing in the aisle, or crowding up towards the altar to grab the perfect shot. This may sound like an exaggeration but I promise you that this is really what it is like.
It comes from a good place. People pull out their phones when they want to document something beautiful, something that they want to remember. So it’s really an honor that they want to capture it for you and they don’t really realize the negative effects of what they are doing.
Because of this, unplugged weddings are a really good way to keep this behavior under control and make sure your wedding ceremony is as distraction-free as possible. So, here’s a few reasons why it matters so much!
WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE ONE?
1. YOU ALLOW YOUR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER TO DO THEIR JOB FULLY
As a wedding photographer, it can be very difficult to fully capture a ceremony that isn’t unplugged. Ceremonies can move rather quickly and photographers are usually darting around the space trying to capture every angle and when you add in the struggle of working around guest cameras and phones, it can result in a lot of lost photo opportunities. Oftentimes, with guests positioning themselves in the middle of the aisle or standing by the front can make it nearly impossible for the photographer to get unobstructed shots, especially for important moments like the first kiss. You are spending so much on your wedding photography and videography that it you don’t want to let your photos be ruined by guests with phones and cameras.
2. YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS WILL LOOK LESS DATED
Cell phones and cameras in wedding photos also tend to date your photos very quickly. I mean if you imagine a wedding photo from ten years ago with a flip phone in it, you realize that it is often the first thing we notice about the photo and suddenly a photo that really isn’t THAT old has a timestamp on it, that distracts you from being able to appreciate the moment that was captured. Now, of course, all photos will look dated over time, having obvious signs like technology can really expedite the process and cheapen the look of your images.
3. YOUR WEDDING GUESTS WILL ACTUALLY BE PAYING ATTENTION DURING YOUR CEREMONY
This is honestly one of the most important points because having an unplugged wedding means that your guests are actually present in the moment with you! When they are taking pictures, posting on Snapchat and Instagram, and focusing on their phones, they aren’t as present in that moment with you as they could be. And you invited every single person to your wedding because they are important to you and you want them to bear witness to such an important moment in your lives. So in some ways, by having an unplugged wedding, you are really helping to do your guests a favor and allow them to focus on what they are there for in the first place.
4. YOU GET TO BE THE FIRST ONE TO SHARE YOUR WEDDING ONLINE, NOT YOUR GUESTS
Oftentimes, when guests are taking photos and videos during the wedding ceremony, they are immediately turning and uploading those images on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, sometimes even before the ceremony has even ended! And before you know it, your online feed is littered with your wedding photos, before you’ve even had the chance to announce that you are married. This is especially a great point for those eloping or having small, intimate ceremonies. If there are a lot of people in your life who don’t yet know that you’re getting married, you probably don’t want them to find out because you were tagged in someone else’s photo. By having an unplugged wedding, you can help to slow this behavior a bit and allow yourself to be the first one to share your wedding online, and let people know at your own pace.
5. YOUR CEREMONY IS DISTRACTION FREE FOR EVERYONE
Cell phones and cameras are distracting. It’s really as simple as that. People using their phones opens them up to all of those horrible cell phone noises that you definitely don’t want happening during your ceremony, not to mention the hustle and bustle of people moving here and there to get their photos. This is not only a distraction for your guests, but it can also be a distraction for you as you’re getting married. The only thing you should be focused on at this time is your partner and the vows you are saying, not why Aunt Sue’s phone is clicking and why your friend is crouched in the aisle snapping photo after photo.
HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY HAVE AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY
The first course of action for having an unplugged ceremony is having a sign up in the ceremony space to announce it. The sign can say “Noelle and Joey ask that you please turn off your phones and cameras to be fully present during the ceremony” or “On behalf of Katie and Adam, we ask that you turn off your phones and cameras and refrain from taking photos and videos during the ceremony” Keep it short and sweet and be sure to place the sign in a location where it won’t be easily missed. The back of the aisle is a great spot.
If you really care about an unplugged wedding, please know that a sign is not enough. Many people will accidentally miss the sign and sometimes, family members or close friends will think they are exempt from the rule. To really stop guests, I recommend having your officiant make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony to let guests know that they are not allowed to take images or videos during the ceremony. Saying this once all of the guests are settled and listening is important as well, as the message does not come across as clearly before that.
As a last resort, if you think your guests might not all be the best listeners, you can have someone be assigned as the phone police to politely ask guests to put their phones away if they see any out. This can be an usher or cousin or friend or sometimes even someone working the wedding day and usually after they’ve told just a couple of people, most people will notice and put away their devices.
As another note, if you truly want to have an unplugged wedding, it’s important that you don’t have any exceptions to rule. If you allow one person to record or take photos and not others, a lot of the times, other people will begin to think they are also exempt and it can be difficult to keep it under control.
The steps you take to have an unplugged wedding really depend on how important it is to you! Don’t feel like you have to do all of these things if it’s not at the top of your priorities but if it is, just know that you’ll likely have to tell people in multiple ways to achieve what you want.
There are still many people that choose not to have an unplugged wedding and that is totally okay! If you are choosing to opt out of an unplugged wedding, my biggest recommendation is that you ask that guests don’t leave their seats. If people stay recording images from their chairs, it can help the problem be less severe, while still letting guests take photos.
Alrighty, that’s what I have for you today on unplugged ceremonies! I hope this helped explain a little more about them and maybe convince a few of you to go tech-free at your ceremony! They really have a ton of benefits and not a lot of downsides so I highly recommend them to all of my couples! If you have any questions about unplugged weddings or ideas for future posts, feel free to leave them in the comments below! See you soon!