What You Need to Know About Unplugged Ceremonies What You Need to Know About Unplugged Ceremonies
An ‘unplugged ceremony’ is about being fully present. It’s a concept we don’t get to experience too often now that we are in the... What You Need to Know About Unplugged Ceremonies

An ‘unplugged ceremony’ is about being fully present. It’s a concept we don’t get to experience too often now that we are in the age of technology. Most people, not just Millennials, admit to the fact their phone is tethered to them 100% of the time.

But what if for one brief moment, the only person looking through a lens was a hired professional…

If this idea doesn’t sound too crazy, it may be time you and your partner considered an unplugged ceremony.

Unplugged Ceremony (n): a wedding ceremony held where guests do not use their cellphones, iPads, or even old-school cameras to take photographs.

“But why is this important? I don’t care if my guests take photographs.”

And to that, we answer with these wedding photographs:


Photo Credit: Amber Wilkie Photography


Photo Credit: http: Cordel Photography

While you may not think you’ll mind if your guests take photographs, you have to realize it will affect the quality of your wedding pictures. Do you really want to spend thousands of dollars on hiring a professional, only to have some of the most important memories of your life ruined because of a guest?

That’s what we thought.

If you’re leaning toward having an unplugged wedding or ceremony, here are five tips you need to know for making your wedding day run smoothly:

  1. Collaborate

Your professional Indianapolis wedding photographer is someone you’ll want in your corner with this project. If they’ve been photographing weddings for any length of time, they are bound to have suggestions on how to structure your unplugged ceremony.

Most guests take photographs because they want to remember the moment instantly via their phone or social media. See if your photographer would be comfortable with editing three to five images that night that guests could use to share. It’s a win-win for everyone: your photographer will garner more exposure, and the photographs your guests share will be beautiful, not terribly pixilated iPhone shots.

  1. Assure Guests There is a Professional

Although you know you’ve hired a professional, some guests might be itching to play photographer for you. Quell these notions by introducing your photographer to guests and assuring everyone you feel very comfortable in relying on your photographer and second or third shooters to capture the day.

When guests know there is a professional onsite, they usually tend to back off.

  1. Give Directions

Not everyone will know what an Unplugged Ceremony is, so make sure you give proper direction. Some ideas include:

  • A sign at the entrance of the ceremony space explaining what an unplugged ceremony is
  • A snippet in your programs describing an unplugged ceremony
  • A quick mention of your requests to have no cameras or cell phones out by the officiant before the ceremony begins

Most guests will get the memo with the first direction, but it’s never a bad idea to have two just incase.

  1. Enforce the Rules

Despite all of your attempts at explaining why you want to have an unplugged ceremony, you may have one or two guests that just don’t get it.

If you’re concerned about a guest taking photographs while you’re walking down the aisle, have one or two ‘camera bouncers’ appointed to politely ask the person to stop taking photographs. These helpers should not be the photographer – he or she will have enough to do without bossing around your unruly guests.

  1. Explain the Benefits

While your guests may be planning on using their iPhone photographs to remember your wedding day for a lifetime, their thinking may be flawed. Looking at a camera screen during a special moment is not the same as being full present and engaged; your brain will not log it in the same manor.

On your wedding website or in your welcome basket for guests at the hotel, explain the benefits of enjoying the moment, not staring at a phone.

Are you and your partner considering an unplugged ceremony? How do you think your guests will react? Leave us a comment below!

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