For just a moment, I want you to relax and envision your wedding ceremony – all the planning is long done, and the day is here. The decor has all been set up, the guests are in their seats, and you’re walking toward the altar. You see your officiant and your best friends, maybe spot your mom on the front row, and then you see your partner, all smiles and happy tears. You take each others’ hands, repeat your vows, and share the most perfect first kiss.
Two months later, you receive your wedding photos from your incredible photographer, and you can’t wait to relive every special moment of your whirlwind of a wedding day. And then you see it – the ceremony photo that would have been perfect for your bedroom wall, if only Aunt So and So’s iPad wasn’t in the shot. Your likely won’t even get most of those otherwise awesome photos because someone’s cell phone is blocking your faces.
We live in a time when everyone has a device basically super glued to our hands, and it’s just become the reality and expectation that people will have their phones and tablets with them at your wedding. Guests want to take photos, and maybe it’s because we love the instant gratification about being able to see and share a special moment. But that doesn’t mean you have to have those devices in your photos.
Some of our couple’s have been stressed about cell phones showing up at their ceremony, and they worry that they’ll notice all the devices pointing their way as they walk down the aisle. The last thing you want is to see something that will upset you right before you get married! Others aren’t aware of the problems that can come up if you don’t have an unplugged ceremony – you may end up with those photos with devices in them, but we’ve seen instances where the photographer wasn’t able to capture the first kiss because someone’s phone was blocking their view. And of course, if guests are taking photos of your wedding, they’re also sharing photos – having an unplugged ceremony guarantees that you’re able to be the first person to share those stunning professional photos from your ceremony, instead of being tagged in cellphone pics.
Now that you know you want to keep the devices away from the ceremony, there are a few ways to announce that you want an “unplugged ceremony.” You can have a sign at the back of the ceremony space that guests will see when they walk in, and there are signs ranging for simple to sweet to funny that can all ask the same things of your guests. You can ask the officiant, DJ or planner to make an announcement for guests to put their phones away right before the start of the ceremony. And you can choose to leave a note in the programs letting guests know how they can see the photos after the wedding day.
However you choose to make the request, you’ll never regret having an unplugged ceremony. Trust me when I say I really wish my mom wasn’t holding her phone in all of my ceremony pictures (shrugs).