Can I just start by saying unplugged ceremonies are AMAZING! Well at least in my opinion!
For those who don’t know, an unplugged ceremony is where all guests put all their electronic devices away for the ceremony.
Normally, this gets overlooked when wedding planning, but it really is very important to inform your guests why you want all cameras, cell phones, and ipads away and out of sight. So here are some tips and reasons as to why you should consider this while planning!
*Disclaimer: I am by no means trying to persuade any of my clients to do an unplugged ceremony, but after photographing multiple weddings that didn’t enforce this… I have seen the outcomes and want my clients to be informed!*
- Your guests will be fully present, and alert during your ceremony. They won’t be distracted behind their screens. Now I COMPLETELY understand that everyone wants to document the day because this is basically the most important part of the day… but that’s why you have me! (Trust me I will be snapping non stop!)
- I know exactly what I need to capture in order to give you a complete ceremony set. When guests have their devices out during the ceremony it can actually be really distracting to the photographer and then we have to work around them. I have seen multiple times where a guest has gotten in the way of a shot and blocked the photographer’s view. Guests should stay in their seats and not stand in the aisle or next to the bride and groom during the ceremony. (Believe it or not this HAS happened before)
- Like I said before, I capture A LOT during the ceremony… including the guests and their reactions! I look for special moments like hand holding, crying, laughing, etc. If they have a device blocking their face, I can’t capture those photos!
- I understand that guests get really excited during certain parts of the ceremony like the bride walking down the aisle, and the kiss. But they really should stay seated and just watch and enjoy the moment. I have seen many photos where a cell phone or tablet blocks the photographers shot. I know exactly how to compose and frame the shot to look good artistically. When a phone gets stuck out in the middle of the aisle, sometimes I don’t have time to move or recompose which means another special shot missed.
Here are some awesome ways to inform your guests to put away all devices before the ceremony.
- Make a cute sign and place it at the entrance of the ceremony space. You can get really creative with this and make it look really pretty! Search “Unplugged Wedding Sign” on Pinterest!
- Include it in your program. If you design your program so that it’s in the front, people won’t miss it.
- Have your officiant make an announcement right before the ceremony starts. That way everyone is seated so there’s no confusion on whether some people got the memo or not. I have seen officiants get creative with this as well and it makes everyone laugh, but they also understand the situation. *From my experience this has worked the best!*
Your guests will have more than enough time to take photos throughout the night. Cocktail hour, reception, and even pre-ceremony are great times to grab a few shots. But it’s best if the ceremony is left to the photographer!