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An Unplugged Wedding — Why and How to Have One

In today’s constantly connected world, the cell phone or tablet is a ubiquitous part of everyone’s lives. But more and more bridal couples have learned the benefits of going unplugged for their ceremony or reception.

What is an unplugged wedding? Should you have one? And how can you accomplish it tastefully? Here’s a short guide to this 21st-century trend.

What Is Unplugging?

As its name implies, an unplugged wedding is an event where guests are asked to turn off and put away their phones, cameras, and tablets. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a bunch of amateur photos taken during your wedding, of course. But mindful couples are increasingly aware of the potential downside to allowing this.

The extent and goals of an unplugged wedding are up to the bridal couple. Some couples ask guests to avoid taking their own pictures during the ceremony, allowing picture-taking the rest of the time. And some hosts place a photo moratorium at key events during the reception as well. You may simply want to avoid extra camera work at your wedding, or you may ask that people to not post pictures to social media too.

Why Unplug?

Why might you want people to put down their phones? The biggest advantage is in the quality of professional wedding photos. If you have a professional to take photographs, do you really want 100 cell phones or iPads getting in the way of the photos? Might someone jump up in front of photographers during key moments in order to get a better angle? Will random camera flashes damage the quality of your photos?

Secondly, think about what you want in your photos. Are a bunch of cell phone screens the background you want for your first dance, cake slicing, or daddy-daughter dance? Do you want pictures of happy faces, or do you want a mass of people fiddling with their phones? And are you concerned about bad photos circulating from amateur photographers? All of these worries are handled when you unplug on your big day.

How Can You Get Everyone Unplugged?

Turning the idea of unplugging into a reality at a wedding full of guests can be tricky. Handle the task in several stages. First, include a brief note in wedding invitations to explain that you want guests to enjoy the event more by putting their phones away. Specify whether they should refrain from phone usage during certain parts of the day or for the whole event. And let them know why unplugging is important to you.

Then, at the wedding itself, add a small, kindly worded sign reminding guests of the unplugged nature of your big day. If you want people to avoid taking photos during parts of the reception, include a short reminder on tables as well. Finally, have your officiant make an announcement just as the ceremony or a key event starts.

Then, encourage participation in your unplugging request. Provide photos that guests can take home with them. Install a photo booth or encourage selfies during the reception to let guests satisfy their picture-taking needs. Create a wedding website where guests can access high-quality wedding photos very soon after the wedding. And thank them personally for their discretion.

Do you think that an unplugged wedding might be the right choice for you? Get your venue, planners, photographers, and wedding assistants on board early. At Pristine Chapel, our goal is to help you have the best day possible. Talk with our experienced staff for more tips on managing technology, getting the best pictures throughout your wedding day, and having a beautiful wedding day.

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