First of all, what the heck is an unplugged ceremony?
Picture this: it’s the moment you’ve dreamed of all your life. You’re walking down the aisle, about to marry the love of your life, surrounded by all your loved ones. They’re looking on at you in wonder and awe, having never seen you look so beautiful, or so happy. And then one by one, out come the phones. The iPads. The cameras. Soon, you’re wading through a sea of devices, all blinking and flashing at you, with every loved one now just a body with a phone for a face!
An unplugged ceremony means no phones, no cameras, na-da! Your guests are on complete gadget lock-down, allowing you to have your moment and for them to be present in that moment with you.
Your ceremony is the most sacred and special part of your wedding and really is the highlight around which the whole day is based. I think couples get so caught up in the excitement of the planning process that the ceremony details can often sadly become an afterthought.
As a wedding photographer, I’ve come across many of these scenarios and the feedback I regularly receive from couples is they regret not telling their guests to put their phones and cameras away for this part of the day.
Advantages of having an unplugged ceremony
- Your guests are more emotionally invested and engaged in the ceremony- your vows, your words and all the key moments. It will mean more to them if they’re really there.
- Your professional photographs won’t be compromised. There’s nothing worse than a ceremony shot featuring a hundred phone screens. Or that enthusiast uncle (you know the one with ‘the professional camera’) photobombing the aisle shot as he tries to get his own photo. There’s a reason you’ve chosen to have a professional photographer; trust the professionals and tell Uncle Bob to leave his DSLR at home.
- When you’re up there saying your vows, you will be able to see your guests’ reactions and faces in real time and not behind a phone, iPad or camera.
How to prepare for an unplugged ceremony
- Let your guests know ahead of time via the invitations.
- Tell your registrar/vicar so they can reiterate this before the ceremony starts.
- Have a welcome sign that to encourages guests to put their phones away and be in the moment- look for ideas of this on Pinterest.
- Eliminate your guests’ FOMO! Let them know you’ll be sharing your wedding gallery link after the wedding. As long as they know they’ll be able to print, download and share (for free) photos of the ceremony and other highlights and magical moments from the day, then they won’t be worried about missing out and they’ll be able to relax and be present in the day.
Trust me you won’t regret it!