Unplugged weddings… have you considered having one? Or are you wondering what on earth we’re talking about?
In today’s blog, we’ll be going over what an unplugged wedding is, their pros and cons, and we’ve even asked the opinion of a wedding photographer to get an inside viewpoint. If you’re newly engaged, or in the process of planning your special day, keep reading.
What is an unplugged wedding?
An unplugged wedding means a wedding without technology, or more specifically, without phones and/or social media.
Some couples may simply give their guests a friendly reminder to keep their phones in their bags or pockets during their ceremony, whereas others go as far as asking their guests to refrain from using their phones during the entire day, and from posting about their wedding on social media full stop. Or guests may be free to take photos, but be asked to share them after the wedding has concluded.
Why do couples choose an unplugged wedding?
There are countless reasons why a couple may opt for an unplugged wedding. We think the biggest pro to having one, is that it encourages your guests to really enjoy the moment, relax, and take in your special day.
Memories that are made when you’re fully immersed in the moment, are arguably better than memories that your phone can give you.
Checking our phones has become second nature however, so a guest whipping their mobile out doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying your wedding or appreciating the day. But it can feel a little off putting if your guests seem preoccupied with Facebook, rather than your vows.
If you’re anxious that everyone is enjoying themselves on the day (side note: you really shouldn’t be, it’s your day… but we appreciate that this can be easier said than done), an unplugged wedding may take some of that pressure off.
How do phones impact wedding photos?
Then there’s the question of photos. This can be seen as a pro and a con… banning phones completely means you won’t get the candid, silly photos and selfies of your big day, but on the other hand, mobile phones can affect your professional snapshots.
We spoke to the lovely Emma at Bloomwood Photography, to ask her opinion, this is what she had to say:
“The benefit of friends and family taking photos using their mobile phones is that you sometimes get some unusual and natural photos from places that the professional photographer can’t get to. But this is often outweighed by guests getting in the way of the photographer that the bride and groom have spent lots of money on to get the photos they want.
At weddings I’ve photographed, I’ve experienced guests walking in front of my lens at key moments. For example, when the couple are walking back down the aisle or during the first dance. Also, in wide photos, you often see guests not paying attention to the happy couple, but instead looking at their phone screens.
Overall, I’d say trust the photographer to get the photos the couple want and would recommend that guests just enjoy the day and leave their phones at home.”
Nobody wants a beautiful wedding photo to be marred by bright phone screens in the foreground, or guests preoccupied with their favourite apps in the background. An unplugged wedding means you can avoid this.
What are the cons of an unplugged wedding?
However, you don’t want to feel like you’re setting rules at your own wedding, or telling people how to enjoy themselves.
We get the feeling that many couples would prefer to have an unplugged wedding, but aren’t sure how best to tell their guests without coming across as domineering.
There’s also the debate of whether you should tell guests beforehand, or on the day itself. And remember, even if you do opt for an unplugged wedding and let your guests know in plenty of time, it doesn’t guarantee that nobody will use their phone for the entirety of your special day.
Being a little flexible and understanding is important – a guest may be waiting for a pressing phone call or email, or be getting updates from babysitters.
How do I tell my guests?
There’s plenty of inspiration online about how to tell your guests politely, and often in a humorous, tongue-in-cheek way.
You could let them know on the wedding invitation, or you could go for a decorative sign at the entrance of your venue. If you decide at the last minute that you would like an unplugged wedding, a simple text may suffice, although be prepared for some guests not to have got the message! (Both literally and figuratively.)
If our couples decide that they want a phone and/or social media free wedding, we are on hand to advise how they go about this and suggest experienced suppliers who can provide signs or stationery.
Ten years ago, an unplugged wedding would be unheard of. But it’s something that many couples consider now that we live in a technology and social media addicted world.
We hope this has given some insight on unplugged weddings, and helped you come to a decision.
If you’d like to ban phones during your ceremony, but allow them at the reception, go ahead! If you’re not a social media fan and would rather your guests keep your special day offline – let them know politely but directly. Or if you’re not bothered and feel you have enough decisions to make already – that’s fine too!
You don’t have to follow the trends or do what you think is expected. Always remember, your wedding is exactly that – yours!