There is no escaping social media these days, it seems everyone and their mother is Tweeting, Instagramming and Facebooking every detail of their life. But how do you feel about “sharing” your wedding day? Maybe it feels a little too personal a moment to have plastered all over the Internet. Or maybe you just want to be able to look down the aisle and see the happy, smiling faces of your closest friends and family and not a sea of phones and downturned faces trying to “capture the moment”. Not to mention guests camera flashes tends to ruin the photo for your photographer as well (Google it, trust us!).
So there is a new movement in the wedding industry known as the “unplugged wedding”. What is an unplugged wedding? Well, if you couldn’t guess an unplugged wedding is simply asking your guests not to use any cameras, mobile phones, iPads, tablets, etc. during the ceremony and/or reception.
Now, don’t get us wrong there are many upsides to having social media be a part of your wedding. For instance, creating your own #hashtag is a great way to collect candid photos from guests. It is really special to see how your big day unfolded from their perspective. But the overall problem is are your guests really with you if they’re too busy uploading? Having an unplugged wedding, or at least the ceremony, is a great way to ensure your guests are really sharing with you and your fiancé and not their phones. It also allows your photographer- that you’ve probably paid good money for- to actually get those special photos.
So how does one accomplish an unplugged wedding? Here we have listed some surefire ways to keep phones down and heads up.
1. Put it on your wedding website. Your wedding website is one of the best resources for you to get information across to your guests. A simple line explaining how you would prefer guests to not use cameras is an easy way to convey the message.
2. Put it on the program. A note on the back of the program is a simply way to alert your guests to your wishes.
3. A sign. A chalkboard sign at the venue is a cute and fun way to share your thoughts. How adorable is this one from Etsy?
4. A no-phone policy- similar to a coat check. Have a basket and tags waiting for guests to tag their phone and place it in the basket as they enter the venue. At the end of the ceremony or reception and at the end of the night they can pick up their phone. To make it a smoother process enlist the help of friends to be in charge of the tagging station and there at the end to hand phones back out. In fact this has become so popular in celebrity circles they create a visiting lounge for cellphones. The idea is to set up a seating area away from the ceremony/reception where guests can check their phone, make phone calls, upload or plug it in without interrupting the wedding itself.
5. Word of mouth. Talk to some of the key players of your wedding and ask them to put the word out. Use your Best Man, Mothers, Ushers and Officiant to spread the word. In fact your Officiant can make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony restricting the use of mobile devices and cameras.
Need more inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board titled Unplugged Wedding Inspiration. Click here!