WHAT IS AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY?
Going unplugged means you have asked your friends to refrain from using phones and cameras during your wedding ceremony, and leave that to the professionals you have hired.
WHY GO UNPLUGGED?
Here are some examples – grandma hangs her digital camera just in front of our camera as the bride arrives. Uncle is thrilled to have a chance to use his old handy cam, so he squats down in the middle of the aisle to film his niece. Or a very common scenario is having between 30% -50% of the guests holding up their phones as the bridesmaids and bride do their grand entrance. So the expensive photos you are paying for can end up looking like a sea of arms with phones dangling from them.
See examples posted by Australian wedding photographer here:
It looks horrible in your wedding photos. It can block the photographer’s view of the bride or groom. People are watching their screen, instead of being fully present. Most importantly for you it means your nearest and dearest aren’t present with you in the moment. Instead, they are watching a tiny version of you on screen in front of them. And then allow about 90 seconds after that for them to be looking down at their phone as they upload to Instagram or Snapchat.
HOW TO GO UNPLUGGED
AN ANNOUNCEMENT – as a minimum, you should DEFINITELY get the officiant/priest to announce what you want. Be really clear with him/her about what the announcement should include and possibly write out a message to be read to the awaiting crowd. Don’t forget to mention phones AND cameras and by all means, don’t say “Put your phones on silent” because that implies you don’t want phones ringing but you are okay with them being used to take pictures. It is best to do it in your own way, in your own words. But if you’re struggling for inspiration try something like this:
Bride and Groom (your names) have requested that you all put your cameras and phones away from now on, and refrain from using them at all until the completion of this ceremony. We have professional photographers here and our couple will happily share those images with you all. They would love you to simply be in the moment with them now on this momentous occasion.
A SENTENCE IN YOUR CEREMONY BOOKLET –You should probably also put a message on the front page or first page of your booklet. Something along the lines of:
Welcome to our “unplugged” wedding. We kindly ask you to put your phones and cameras away until the completion of the ceremony.
A SIGN AT THE ENTRANCE – Some couples put a sign / blackboard out the front of the ceremony with a cleverly worded request for people to put their devices away. Pinterest has plenty of great ideas if this option appeals to you. Simply search for ”unplugged weddings” .