Even if you’re armed with a stellar wedding planner and an army of supporters that includes friends and family, planning a wedding still takes a lot of time and energy. There are flower arrangements to select, center pieces to construct, catering suppliers to hire, a wedding dress to fit, and the list goes on. Chances are that in the midst of the wedding-planning chaos you might be missing an idea worth considering. Increasingly, new brides are choosing to “unplug” their wedding ceremonies and receptions. Unplugged weddings ask that guests be present with the couple on their special day and refrain from using their phones for anything other than emergencies.
This may sound extreme, especially for brides who are planning to hashtag their nuptials for social media, but the benefits are obvious. By relying on the photographer (and/or videographer) you hired, you are assured only the highest-quality and most flattering pictures to remember your wedding day by. By letting guests snap away on your big day, you might end up tagged or memorialized in ways that are beyond your control.
However, unplugged weddings aren’t only about control and a great crop of professional pictures; they are intended for the bride and groom to really connect with their guests. By Snapchatting, Instagramming, and Facebooking your every moment, you are participating in a virtual version of the event instead of the real thing.
That being said, if unplugged weddings still sound unnecessarily strict, there are some alternatives you can employ instead. Some couples ask that guests only “unplug” during the wedding ceremony and allow phones to be in use during the reception. This kind of compromise pleases all parties and ensures that guests can still manufacture their own digital memories of the special event. Other couples choose to install photo booths, photo walls, or distribute personal disposable cameras for every guest to use, which are then collected after the ceremony so that the newlyweds can witness their special day through the eyes of loved ones.