Brides, I have a suggestion that I’d like all of you to seriously consider. As I edit weddings, I am noticing more and more that you can’t see many of the guests’ faces because they are blocked by their phones, cameras, and Ipads! Everyone wants that emotional picture of their dad wiping a tear away, but you can’t have it if dad is holding a tablet up in front of his face to try to get a picture! Getting a picture becomes more important than just being there in the moment. There are times when you cannot even see the bride and groom because of guests focused on getting a picture or holding their Ipads up to get a shot! Guests are so eager to take a picture that they have stepped in front of Jason just as he was trying to capture the first kiss, or they go into the aisle for a better shot, meaning they are in all of the pictures that Jason takes of the bride and groom. The picture of the bride coming down the aisle is framed with all the cameras and phones guests hold out to get that picture too.
Google “unplugged wedding ceremony” and you’ll find many examples of couples asking their guests to put down their cameras and phones and really experience the ceremony. It is becoming a trend that I cannot endorse enough! At our church, the Mass begins with an announcement asking everyone to turn off their phones. This can easily be done at a wedding as well. Include it in your programs or have a sign. Let guests know that you want them to be there as a witness of your vows, to share in the experience, not to watch it through their Iphone! They can take all the pictures they want as they party at the reception, but make the ceremony a time to experience the emotion of the day.
Many wedding bloggers have featured this topic and have great ideas on not only why you should have an unplugged ceremony, but how to tell your guests. Check out the RichmondWeddings.com blog with with ideas on wording to include in your program, or even signs to put on the ceremony chairs:
The Wedding Lovely Blog featured a post by Love Above Photography on the topic as well:
And the Every Last Detail blog featured Cape Cod Celebrations sharing ideas on how to have an unplugged ceremony:
On that post, they share a link to Leah Haydock Photography who had a very insightful blog post about missing the emotion of an experience when you are trying to photograph it instead. She also shared great examples of guests’ flashes and positions ruining professional photos, and what a big difference it is when guests are all focused on the couple! I loved her picture of the guests all watching her bride coming down the aisle!
These are just some of the examples you’ll find if you search the web for unplugged ceremonies. I highly recommend that every couple considers having guests put down their phones and cameras and really feel the emotion of the ceremony. Many people think of weddings as a time to party, but the real reason for the day is the ceremony. It is the time of promises, of lifelong vows, and that incredible moment you are proclaimed husband and wife for the first time! Let your guests be true witnesses of the start of your lives together!