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We're Chris and Micaela—ice-cream-lovers, encouragers, and wedding photographers based in Miami, Florida and Guelph, Ontario! Our passion is photographing timeless weddings for joyful couples who put their marriage first! Grab a pint of your favorite ice cream, curl up on the couch, and enjoy viewing some of our recent weddings, getting all the latest planning tips, and seeing what happens behind the scenes!

WELCOME TO OUR BLOG!

We're Chris and Micaela—ice-cream-lovers, encouragers, and wedding photographers based in Miami, Florida and Guelph, Ontario! Our passion is photographing timeless weddings for joyful couples who put their marriage first! Grab a pint of your favorite ice cream, curl up on the couch, and enjoy viewing some of our recent weddings, getting all the latest planning inspiration, and learning from our best photography tips!

WELCOME TO OUR BLOG!

We're Chris and Micaela—ice-cream-lovers, encouragers, and wedding photographers based in Miami, Florida and Guelph, Ontario!

Our passion is photographing timeless weddings for joyful couples who put their marriage first! Grab a pint of your favorite ice cream, curl up on the couch, and enjoy viewing some of our recent weddings, getting all the latest planning tips, and seeing what happens behind the scenes!

Unplugged weddings are becoming more and more common these days, and as photographers, we’re here for it!!

If you haven’t heard of an “unplugged wedding,” all it means is that the bride and groom have asked their guests to set their phones down and be present on their wedding day. Particularly during the most important moments, like the ceremony or the first dance!

This is something that has become more and more necessary now that we live in such an online world! It’s an automatic instinct to pull out our phones and take pictures or videos when something is happening.

The problem is that this not only pulls us out of the present and keeps us from fully enjoying the moment…

But it also causes us to be less aware of our surroundings.

That’s why well-meaning guests sometimes accidentally get in the way of the professional photographers and videographers that the bride and groom have paid thousands of dollars to capture their day!

We know they don’t mean any harm! But it can keep us from doing our job properly and getting you the photos you’ve always dreamed of…

And in the worst-case scenario, we’ve even seen guests get in the way of the groom seeing his bride while she walks down the aisle – and they were so busy looking at their phones, they didn’t even realize it!

Having an unplugged wedding can remind your guests that they don’t have to worry – the moment will be captured by the professionals, so they are free to just enjoy it!

Note: The photos in this post were mostly captured to illustrate the importance of unplugged weddings!

At each of these weddings, we also captured many photos that de-emphasized or hid the cellphone users!

For the most part, if one or two guests pull out a cellphone or camera, we know tricks to hide them from the sightlines of our cameras! But sometimes it’s just not possible, which is why unplugged weddings are highly encouraged.

So how do you have an unplugged wedding? Here are some options!

1. Have your officiant announce that you’re having an unplugged wedding.

This is by far the easiest way to ask your guests to put their phones away!

Just before the ceremony begins, you can have your officiant say something like this:

“{Your name} and {your partner’s name} have asked that you turn off your phones and cameras and enjoy being fully present during this special moment. Their professional photos will be available after the wedding!”

You can tweak that wording however you want depending on what you’re asking for. You can ask for no photos or videos to be taken at all, no use of cellphones or cameras, no social media posts until the next day, or you could simply ask that your guests stay out of the aisle and out of the way of your photography team.

Being specific will make it easier for your guests to follow your requests!

We recommend that even if you use some of the other ideas below, you still have your officiant announce it! Some guests may not notice the signs or read the program, and some might just need a reminder 🙂

2. Let your guests know on your invitation or wedding website!

You can mention that you’re having an unplugged wedding on your save the dates or invitation, just so people are aware beforehand!

Or better yet, you can include a note about it on your wedding website! This is a great place to be very specific about what you are asking of your guests since you can use as much space on your website as you’d like to explain it.

3. Make an unplugged wedding sign!

You can put a sign at the entrance to your ceremony location that explains your request! You can make the wording traditional, clever, or even funny, and make the design fit with your wedding’s theme and colors – Pinterest has a lot of ideas!

4. Put it in the ceremony program.

If you’re handing out paper programs at the beginning of your ceremony, that’s another perfect spot to request that your guests go phone-free!

Again, use this as an opportunity to be very specific! Share exactly when your guests can and can’t take photos, so they know how to respect your wishes!

5. Think outside (or inside!) of the box.

You can get creative and think of an incentive to have your guests choose to go phone-free, or you can borrow ours!

For us, we chose to use a tradition from Micaela’s family to gently enforce our unplugged wedding!

At the beginning of large family gatherings like Christmas dinner, Micaela’s Uncle Bob collects everyone’s phones (it’s totally voluntary, but almost everyone participates!). Then, at the end of the night, he has one of the youngest kids draw a phone out of the bag, and the owner of the phone gets a cash prize!

For our wedding, we purchased a lockable box from Amazon and made a simple sign. Anyone who voluntarily left their phone locked in the box from the beginning of the ceremony until the end of the first dance (which was less than two hours) would be entered to win $100!

It worked perfectly! Most of our guests were happy to leave their phone in the box for a couple of hours and then continue taking photos for the rest of the reception 🙂 Micaela’s little sister (and flower girl) Sophia drew the phone, and Uncle Bob provided the prize!

You’re welcome to use our idea, or you can think of something unique that will work well with your own family’s personalities and traditions!

6. Enforce your unplugged wedding with Yondr!

If you’re serious about having your guests go phone-free during part or all of your wedding day, you can use what some schools and music artists like The Lumineers have used to create phone-free environments: Yondr!

Yondr is a company that provides lockable phone pouches, so your guests can have their devices with them at all times, even though they won’t be able to use them!

And finally, don’t stress too much about it!

You can request that your guests respect your wishes for an unplugged wedding, but some of them may not realize, or may choose not to listen.

As photographers, we understand and expect this!

We will work around your guests and do our very best to capture the wedding photos of your dreams, no matter what!!

So if you’ve chosen to have an unplugged wedding, do what you can to inform your guests, and then just relax and enjoy your wedding day!

Are you having an unplugged wedding?

Comment below to let us know how you’re going to announce it!

And check out our series on choosing the perfect wedding ceremony time!

three wedding guests capture the bride walking down the aisle on their cellphones

Planning Tips, Wedding Tips

May 12, 2020

6 Ways to Have an Unplugged Wedding

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about us ⟶

Hey, welcome to our blog! We're Chris and Micaela—ice-cream-lovers, encouragers, and wedding photographers based in Miami, Florida and Guelph, Ontario! Our passion is photographing timeless weddings for joyful couples who put their marriage first! Grab a pint of your favorite ice cream, curl up on the couch, and enjoy viewing some of our recent weddings, getting all the latest planning inspiration, and learning from our best photography tips!