How to Have an Unplugged Ceremony

Unplugged ceremonies are becoming more and more common. As a photographer, bride, and wedding guest I love them. They help guests focus on what is actually happening rather than getting the best photo or video of your ceremony. This is the moment you are actually getting married after all. It is the reason everyone is there! Plus, they make your professional wedding photos and videos better by removing obstacles and distractions. Nothing is worse than a shot of the bride walking down the aisle with dozens of cell phones pointed at her! You want to see the faces of your loved ones, not their screens.


What is an unplugged ceremony?

An unplugged ceremony is one where all guests are asked to keep their phones and cameras off or put away. Typically the bride and groom will have a sign or note in their program asking guests to set their devices down and simply enjoy the ceremony, technology free.

As hard as some couples try to have an unplugged ceremony, sometimes guests refuse to comply or simply don’t understand. Here are some tips for making sure that your unplugged ceremony goes off without a hitch!

1. Have a sign as guests enter. Posting a sign that all your guests have to pass on their way to their seats will let them know your expectations.

2. Include a note in your program. It is helpful to explain your reasoning behind the unplugged ceremony to your guests. Plus seeing another reminder once they are in their seat will let them know that you are serious! Here is sample text you can use:

“We will share the professional images with you following our wedding day and ask that you respect the privacy and sanctity of this service by refraining from taking photos and videos during our ceremony.” 

3. Have your officiant make an announcement. As your officiant is welcoming everyone (before the processional begins), ask them to remind your guests of your desire for an unplugged ceremony. If they didn’t read the sign or the program, it is nearly impossible to ignore a personal reminder!


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