Unplugged Ceremony

To Unplug or To Not Unplug

I've had quite my share of ruined moments over the last 8 years due to guests jumping in the aisle with their technology devices, or even just if they stay in the aisle- it tends to really detract from the moment. 

Of course, I'd never force anyone to do anything, but I wanted to share my experience with you so you can make an informed decision about your own ceremony!

So, here’s some thoughts on having an unplugged ceremony, what it is, and how to do it:

pine creek barn wedding ceremony
Unplugged ceremonies are when the Bride and Groom request that all wedding guests not only put their cell phones and iPads and personal cameras away during the ceremony, but turn them off, and don’t use them AT ALL. 
unplugged wedding

Here are my reasons for having them:

  1. We live in a digital age now where everyone is addicted to their technology. PLEASE allow your wedding guests to live in the moment. It breaks my heart to see the progression over the years from people enjoying and living in the moment of the bride walking down the aisle to just dozens of faces hidden behind their camera phones and iPads. 
  2. Your spouse-to-be probably has the same view down the aisle as I do because I am usually crouched down in front of the first pew (I crouch so no one can even tell I’m there and I don’t get in anyone’s way!) And what is that view most of the time? About a dozen people reaching their arms into the aisle with their cell phones and iPads out. And, then I get a completely blocked view of the bride walking down the aisle and that is one of the MOST IMPORTANT SHOTS and it almost ALWAYS has a dozen cell phones in it. 
  3. Your guest photographers might be compromising your hired photographers (my) pictures. If your guests are using flash on their cameras, that could very well completely ruin the exposure or shot of your photographer and there’s not much to do to fix it!
  4. If you’re getting married in a church, there are many many churches that have STRICT rules for photographers such as not being able to go past the last pew!! But of course, guests aren’t getting the same written rules as photographers do so they just jump right in the aisle and completely block our shot!

So now that you know the main reasons why it’s important to have an unplugged ceremony, here’s a few ways to get your guests to do it:

  1. Make a cute sign telling them to turn their cell phones off and away (before you even come down the aisle). Put this sign at the entrance to your ceremony space 
  2. Tell the person officiating your wedding to make an announcement to all the wedding guests. Again, tell them to do the announcement BEFORE you walk down the aisle, otherwise, that defeats the purpose! I’ve been at so many weddings where the officiant announces this once the bride gets up the aisle and says “The couple would like to invite you to be present in their ceremony and please shut off all mobile and technological devices.” Well, to me, that defeats the whole purpose cause we’re really trying to avoid them jumping in the aisle while you’re walking down it!!

Here’s a snippet from the Huffington Post of what you can give your officiant to say:

“Welcome, friends and family! Good evening, everyone. Please be seated. Groom and Bride invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. If Groom can do it, then so can you.”

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