1. What Exactly Is an Unplugged Wedding?
No, throwing an unplugged wedding doesn’t mean getting married by candlelight (though that does sound romantic!). It’s when you ask your guests not to use their cameras, phones, or other mobile devices at your wedding – basically, a no-photography, no-social-media policy.
Sure, some of your wedding guests might be reluctant at first, but with proper planning and communication, everyone is sure to fall in love with your idea!
2. Why Throw an Unplugged Wedding?
One of the main reasons people decide to keep their wedding unplugged is to ensure that the hired wedding photographer is able to do their job without ruining the shot.
Oftentimes, guests accidentally photobomb or block the photographer’s line of sight while they attempt to get their own picture or video of key moments.
Aside from letting the professional photographer do what they do best, an unplugged wedding also:
- Encourages guests to pay more attention to the ceremony, and to each other
- Keeps your wedding photos from being filled with people wielding devices or hunched over their screens
- Prevents unflattering or low-quality images and video of your special day from circulating on social media
3. What Are the Drawbacks?
There are a few downsides to throwing an unplugged wedding. The biggest issue is likely disappointing some of your guests (especially the ones who love their Instagram stories!).
When you’re so focused on making sure that your wedding guests are having a great time, you might hesitate to tell them that they can’t snap and post their own pics, but it’s not hard to smooth these things over by explaining your reasoning.
Keep in mind, when you throw an unplugged wedding, you cut down on the number of photos and videos of your special day.
When you allow your guests to document the ceremony on their own, you’re able to relive your wedding from different perspectives! After an unplugged wedding, however, you might not have much to look at until you get your hands on the professional photos.
Consider having a pre-wedding “first look” photo shoot if you decide to allow your guests to take photos at the wedding, but still wish to have some perfect, professional wedding photos.
4. Should the Whole Wedding Be Unplugged?
It’s entirely up to you, of course! Some couples request a 24-hour social media blackout after the festivities so they can make a big announcement or share the first look with their expanded circle of friends.
But then, many people only feel strongly about going unplugged at the ceremony itself. It’s much more common for brides and grooms to let everyone plug back in for the party. This makes for a good compromise with your guests.
5. How Do I Tell My Guests We’re Having an Unplugged Wedding?
Once you decide to throw an unplugged wedding, it’s time to nail down some tactful unplugged wedding wording in your invitations – to let your guests know what’s up. Going about this the right way helps everyone understand your choice and makes them more likely to respect it.
There are plenty of ways to announce that you’re having an unplugged wedding. Consider sending a notice separate from your invitations which briefly explain your expectations and why you’re having an unplugged wedding.
Being barred from using a cell phone isn’t the sort of surprise people like to receive on the spot, so giving a notice in advance is appreciated. Advance notice also provides a chance for family and friends to air any questions or concerns that they may have about your decision.
6. How Do I Soften the Blow for My Guests?
Most importantly, assure everyone who wants printed or digital copies of the professional wedding photos that they’ll get them. If you don’t let them snap their own pics, it’s just the polite thing to do!
Beyond that, letting your guests plug back in at the reception should help them feel better about laying down their phones and cameras at the ceremony.
You shouldn’t be unreasonable about your guest’s individual circumstances, either. For instance, allow parents of small children (who may have hired a babysitter in order to attend your wedding) to have their phones on them, in case of an emergency.
Consider having a designated time when guests can take some pics for themselves during the ceremony. That’ll keep them from feeling like they didn’t get to capture the most meaningful part of the day.
If you decide to stay unplugged during the reception and you’ve managed to stick to your wedding budget, consider renting a photobooth for the party. This is a great way for your wedding guests to have some selfie fun while still remaining unplugged.
7. How Can I Make Sure Everyone Follows the Rules?
Planning an unplugged wedding is one thing; pulling it off is another. It’s nice to think that everyone will respect your wishes (and they usually will), but how do you encourage everyone to play by the rules without making too big a deal of it?
Put up signs outside the venue politely reminding guests not to use their cameras, phones, or other mobile devices at the ceremony or reception venue. Ask the officiant or other person presiding over the ceremony to mention the policy when he or she kicks things off. It’s fairly common for them to remind everyone to silence their phones nowadays, so just ask them to add a quick reminder that the bride and groom request that devices stay away during the proceedings.
When you’re planning your unplugged wedding, choosing the right photographer is crucial and ensures you’ll capture breathtaking pictures of your ceremony. Visit our collection of professional wedding photographers to connect with the perfect vendor! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for a daily dose of wedding photos and inspiration!