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  • Writer's pictureKrystal Shuhyta

Why Have an Unplugged Ceremony

Before we start, imagine this... The time has finally come. You’re standing in anticipation, your heart is beating through your chest as you eagerly await for the moment you’ve been planning for what seems like, foreeever! You take a step toward your very soon-to-be husband. He’s in sight, but suddenly you notice a wave of cellphones and point-and-shoot cameras rise from your guests. You walk past them, missing the chance to connect with your family and closest friends in that extraordinarily special moment, and they miss it with you, as they’re absorbed in attempts to capture the moment in their screens. Your soon to be husband can see you, but only through a sea of extended arms holding tiny devices. 


Can you imagine how this might look in your wedding pictures? (I have an example below) How sadly different your ceremony images will look when everyone’s hands are holding an electronic device… while their eyes are shifted down, not toward your wedding? This is why I encourage all of my brides (and grooms!) to consider having an unplugged ceremony! You’ve come to the right place if you are curious about all things relating to an unplugged ceremony. Read on to find our best tips when navigating this decision. 



The aisle was so wide (over 6 feet), however, these are the only first kiss photos we have due to people stepping in from both sides.



Top 8 Reasons to Host an Unplugged Ceremony


  • Mindful Moments: An unplugged ceremony encourages guests to be fully present, soaking in love and joy without distractions. It’s a beautiful way to create meaningful memories.

  • Professional Photographs: By going unplugged, you ensure that your photographer captures all the important moments without smartphones blocking the view. Say goodbye to awkward photobombs!

  • Respectful Atmosphere: Asking guests to unplug shows that you value their undivided attention. It sets a tone of respect and intimacy during your special day.

  • No More Tech Glitches: Forget the unwanted ringing of phones or unexpected alarms going off during your vows. Keep the focus where it belongs – on you and your partner.

  • Social Media Etiquette: Prevent any unforeseen social media posts before you've had the chance to share your official pictures. Control the narrative and keep your big day private until you're ready to share.

  • Guest Experience: Let your guests enjoy the celebration firsthand rather than through a screen. Encourage them to connect with each other and participate fully in your union.

  • Enhanced Privacy: Keep your day exclusive to those who matter most to you by avoiding any unwanted or unauthorized recordings of your ceremony.

  • Focus on What Matters: An unplugged ceremony allows you to focus on each other and the love you share, without any external distractions. It’s a moment of pure connection and emotion. Embrace the raw emotions and authentic reactions without the barrier of technology. Your ceremony becomes a truly heartfelt experience for everyone present.




How To Announce An Unplugged Ceremony


There are several ways to encourage your guests to leave their devices hidden! Here are a few we would recommend depending on your plans.

 

  • Signage: Couples hosting an unplugged ceremony can consider placing a sign located near the start of the ceremony location, which kindly directs guests to leave their electronics tucked away. 

  • Welcome pamphlets (programs): If you are planning to have a welcome pamphlet for your guests, you can include your desire to host an unplugged ceremony. This should be written somewhere obvious where guests are most likely to read it. 

  • Verbal announcement: Some couples opt to have their officiant announce the unplugged ceremony ‘rules’ before the ceremony commences. 





Objections? 


What if you still want your guests to have a few photos of you? Consider asking your officiant to announce a ‘Quick Pic Opportunity’. 


This is a quick moment where your guests are allowed to take their pictures and then put devices away again. It’s the best of both worlds! This can be done: 


  • At the beginning of the ceremony, before the officiant has started speaking 

Or 

  • After the first kiss, this gives your guests a chance to capture a (second) first kiss and a few smiles, then they can cheer and not be distracted as you walk out as a newly married couple!


Unplugged Ceremony Wording


If you choose to have your unplugged ceremony instructions written (whether in a pamphlet or on a sign), here are some great ways to word it!

 

  • Unplug and connect! Please help us to keep our ceremony device free. 

  • We’re going unplugged! Help us to share in this special moment without distractions! 

  • Welcome to our unplugged ceremony! Please turn off all cameras and cellphones and help us to create these special memories! 

  • We invite you to be fully present with us. Please turn off all electronic devices. 

  • We want to see your faces, not your devices! Please turn off all cell phones and cameras during our ceremony. 

  • Our photographer will capture the memories that you help us to make, we promise to share! Please turn off all electronic devices. 


Why have an unplugged ceremony


Hosting an unplugged ceremony will allow your wedding images to stay timeless and connected… just like your love! It helps to create a magical wedding atmosphere, where your friends and family are focused on what matters most! 


Remember friends, this is YOUR day and it should be about you! If you’re still in the wedding planning stages be sure to check out my top 10 reasons to hire a day-of coordinator or How to write your wedding vows. Of course, if you’re looking for photography or videography, feel free to connect with me! I’d love to hear from you!  





Till next time friends, 

Xo Krystal


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