You are a budding bride who just moved into the Pinterest phase of wedding planning, you are scrolling through an abundance of helpful tips. Your thumbs have probably come across the concept of unplugged weddings or unplugged ceremonies.
I’m all about getting down to the root of why we do what we do. I want to take a reasonable approach to hashing this thing out. Here’s how I interpret the unplugged wedding movement.
The Unplugged Basics
Unplug is easily defined as disconnect or turn off. In the wedding world this means guests are asked to put down or turn off their devices. Whether it is for the ceremony or for the whole wedding depends on the wording listed in any given article.
Let’s start with the basics. Do you want a phone ringing or siri shouting out directions during your vows? Like any important business meeting or church service, phones and devices are usually asked to be turned off.
It is not about no photos,
it is about no distractions.
The Unglugged Ceremony
The ceremony is when an unplugged request can really make a difference in the experience for your guests and you! Whether it is a simple set of vows or a worship experience… do you want your special people to be attentive? When your minister calls your family and friends to support, encourage and hold you accountable in your marriage…do you want them to be listening? Do you want your ceremony pictures to be lined with faces of your loved ones or colorful cell cases in the air?
Now, I have tons of images from weddings with glowing blue screens held up in the middle of a ceremony. Unfortunately I even have photos where guests obstructed important moments like the bride walking down the aisle and the couple’s first kiss. I have always gotten “The Shot” another way though. I don’t want to point a big fat finger at anyone, sorry no jaw dropping, controversial photos here. If you want to see shocking photos of guests with phone and ipads (gasps) a simple visit to google will take you down that path.
I believe whole heartedly guests do not intend to be a distraction and are unaware that using their devices during a ceremony can cause difficulties for other guests and hired professionals. Not only does taking pictures make you have your device up, but also can make your seating or placement change.
“If I step out into the aisle I’ll get a shot of (bride’s name) coming down”
But Jenny, it’s crazy to ask people to put down their phones. I mean, we don’t even do it in the movie theater. Yikes, I know, guilty as charged. The average wedding ceremony lasts 20-30 minutes -this seems like a doable time.
The Unplugged Wedding
A full unplugged wedding (ceremony and reception) is a more intense request. While it may encourage them to be more in-the-moment, I don’t think it will change their overall experience. Except add a little confusion or insecurity to the mix.
You see, we are attached to our phones. If we like something, we take a picture. If we are waiting on our date, we check our text messages. If we get a call from the babysitter, we check the baby monitor app. If we get to hug the bride and groom, we snap a quick shot with them, instagram it, and oh yeah… #hashtaglikecrazy.
Writing examples could fill novels. We do life with devices in hand.
I’m not against cell phone or iPads being used. I want people to have their own memories! I want them to share their photos! I want your wedding hashtag to be jammin that night! I just want to share the roots of this unplugged idea. It’s about being fully present. Like my man Dabo, “All In.”
Do whatever you want! It is your wedding!
If you do want an unplugged ceremony, add a note on your wedding website and a decorative sign at your ceremony letting guests know devices will be off for that short period of time.
Work that hashtag and let them join in starting with the reception! It is completely ok to say something like this on your program, “Join us in turning all devices off while we celebrate our I DOs. #hashtag all your epic snaps from the reception”!
Miriam’s elegant unplugged wording: “We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony. Please turn off all cell phones and cameras and enjoy this moment with us. Thank you!”
To see more of this wedding visit Miriam and Brandon’s navy and blush estate wedding feature.