Imagine on your wedding day, you walk down the aisle, and you see everyone’s faces. No one is hidden by a screen being pointed at you, just faces of friends and family all looking at you. Everyone is present in the moment with all technology out of sight.
This is an ‘unplugged’ wedding.
It’s all about concentrating on enjoying the day as it happens, rather than watching through a screen or camera lens.
If you think an unplugged wedding sounds like something you might be interested in, then read on for tips on the best way to get unplugged!
WHAT’S AN UNPLUGGED WEDDING?
Essentially an unplugged wedding is a celebration without technology present. This means no phones, no cameras, no iPads… nothing that beeps, flashes, connects to Facebook, or can record images of any kind!
Your photographer or videographer will be there to capture the day, meaning all your guests can focus on just having fun.
You might ask your guests to turn off their devices and keep them in their bags or pockets for the day. Some couples go one step further and ask their guests to leave their technology at the door.
For obvious reasons this is more manageable at smaller weddings. I don’t think anybody fancies the task of sifting through 100 identical looking iPhones at the end of the night!
You could have a totally unplugged wedding, or just ask for the ceremony to be tech-free and let guests turn their phones back on for the reception.
WHY GO UNPLUGGED?
Creating more intimacy
Taking technology out of the equation can make your wedding day feel incredibly intimate, especially if you’ve planned for a smaller celebration.
Element of privacy
There’s an element of privacy to it as well.
We live so much of our lives on social media but some couples want to share their big day on their own terms, when they’re ready.
Smiles and happy tears
You’re going to have spent a lot of time planning your special day and choosing who to invite to share it with you. You want to look back down the aisle and see their faces – their smiles, excitement, and happy tears, not a sea of phones and cameras clicking away.
As well as your guests being in the moment, having lots of devices visible can have an impact on your official wedding photography. Your photographer will try their best to avoid shots of people holding phones, but it can be difficult when they’re everywhere!
An unplugged wedding lets everybody do what they do best. For the photographer you’ve hired, that means capturing those special moments – you walking down the aisle, your first kiss, throwing the bouquet.
You’ll get beautiful, high quality images for you to remember your day.
Then your guests’ job is simply to be present, celebrate with you and make you feel even more loved. That’s why you’ve invited them after all, right?
HOW TO TELL YOUR GUESTS
Although an unplugged wedding is simple in theory (that’s one of the things I love about it!), you do need to make sure you communicate it properly.
Here are some ways you can make it super clear what you want…
On the invites – Start telling people early by including a line on your invites saying something like, “We would love you to join us. We’re choosing to have an unplugged wedding, so please no photos or phones during the ceremony.”
Wedding signs – Have ceremony signs up where your guests enter to remind them to keep their phones turned off and not take any photos.
Order of service – If you have an order of service, this is another place you can add a little line as a reminder.
Announcement – Finally, ask your registrar or best man to make a brief announcement before the service begins asking people to put their phones away and not take any photos.
The important information for your guests is for them to know that they’ll be able to view all the pictures your photographer takes, so they don’t need to worry about not having photos to remember your special day.
Remind your guests how much it means to you that they’re there, celebrating with you.
WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA?
The big appeal of an unplugged wedding for many couples is stopping that moment of a photo having been uploaded to Facebook before the guest has even had a chance to congratulate you!
But that’s not the case for everybody – some couples actually love logging in the next day and seeing everybody’s photos and all the moments they might have missed (with the best will in the world, you can’t be with every single guest every moment of the day!).
Social media with caveats
If you’re in the latter camp, you could consider simply asking people to hold off on posting photos until the day after your wedding.
This means that while guests may still have their phones or cameras out to take some pictures, they won’t be staring at the screen to upload, tag and caption them! It also gives you some privacy for a little longer.
Think about wedding #hashtags
Setting up a wedding hashtag is a great idea if you are going to go down a social media route. It can be something simple like #TheSmiths2022 or you can get creative with wordplay!
Ask guests to add it to all their uploads to make sure you don’t miss any.
Especially this year, with restrictions on gatherings meaning you may have had to downsize your wedding, allowing your guests to share their memories on social media can be a great way for those who can’t be there to feel more involved.
SHOULD YOU BAN ALL PHONES?
An unplugged wedding isn’t about strictly enforcing rules, it’s just about helping your guests to be more aware.
So many of us have our phones constantly glued to our hands and post on social media almost on autopilot. A little reminder to put the devices away and be in the moment is no bad thing!
You don’t need to go for a blanket ban on technology if you don’t want to (which admittedly can sound a little harsh!). There are ways to meet halfway, like we’ve mentioned already.
Requests like having no phones for just one part of the day, or asking that nothing gets uploaded until the next day.
Ultimately, it’s just about working out the best way to ensure both you and your guests can enjoy the day, feel all the magic and emotions that come with a wedding, and simply be there together.
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Ready to have a chat about a wedding or couples photoshoot?