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What’s an Unplugged Wedding? | Wedding Tips for Brides and Grooms

You’re planning your big day and everything starts to come together.  From the moment that they popped the question, you’ve had a vision in your mind.  You’ve spent time with your fiance and wedding planner putting together the perfect day.  Anyone and everyone can understand that you want to have a stress free wedding day.  When it comes to wedding photography, we always try to make sure that we get the best photos possible.  Sometimes, the best way to do that is with an unplugged wedding.

We’ve talked about unplugged ceremonies in the past, but never really elaborated on some of the better points.

What does an Unplugged Wedding mean?

An unplugged wedding is where the use of phones, iPads, tablets, and other handheld cameras are prohibited during the ceremony.  Something this applies to the reception, but rarely it doesn’t.  This is mainly to keep wedding guests in the moment with the couple.  Also, it prevents people from uploading a bunch of pictures online for people to see.

Even though the tech behind cameras has improved a lot, the skill behind a great photograph is still necessary.  The image that a professional will take will be better than the pictures a family or friend takes.

unplugged wedding

Why should I have an Unplugged Wedding?

There’s a whole bunch of reasons you should have an Unplugged Wedding.  Everything is connected to your smartphones and tablets.  I totally get why people want to photograph you on your big day.  It’s a social statement saying that you were there.  You witnessed the newlyweds next step.

People Will be In the Moment

Have you ever heard the saying “the pictures don’t do it justice”?  The same can be said for the screen on a phone.  We’ve traveled all over the world for weddings, but the photographs will never do the place justice.  Looking at life through a screen will never be the same as actually witnessing it.

You Won’t Stare at Backs of Phones

It sounds weird talking about it, but the easiest way to explain it is this.  When you’re walking back up the aisle after your first kiss, what do you want to see?  Would you like to see the faces of your closest friends and families witnessing the most important day of your lives?  Or would you like to see the back of phones?

Wedding Photos Won’t be Compromised

It’s definitely one thing that most people don’t think about, but a wedding guest taking their phones or cameras out may ruin your photos.  All it takes is one second for a moment to disappear.

In that same moment, a wedding guest tries to take a picture, the flash pops up, and the picture that the professional takes get overexposed and everything turns white in the photo.

The odds of it happening are slim to none.  When it does happen, it’ll be difficult to recover the image, if at all.

wedding guest taking a picture during ceremony on cell phone

How to tell wedding guests about Unplugged Ceremony?

Alright, so if you’re still interested in having an Unplugged Wedding, how do you tell your guests?  What do you tell them?  Most of all, how do you tell the guests without being rude?

Include it in the Invitation

You can tell guests right at the beginning of it all.  You can tell them from the get-go with the Invitation or even the Save-the-Dates.  It’s good to get the bug in their ear early on.  Wedding guests will be less likely to be surprised on the day of.

Use a Sign At the Ceremony

One of the most common ways to tell wedding guests that you are having an Unplugged Ceremony is a sign at the beginning of the aisle.  This way anyone and everyone will see it as they walk down and find their seats.

unplugged ceremony sign

Wedding Ceremony Program

It’s very common for guests to be given a wedding ceremony program with information about the wedding party, music, and family.  You could squeeze in a small reminder of your Unplugged Ceremony this way as well.

Have the Officiant Say Something

Even though wedding planners or coordinators run the entirety of the day, Officiants really shine during the ceremony.  Everyone is going to pay attention to them as they start the ceremony.  A kind reminder from the officiant to not take photographs with cell phones, tablets, or flash photography is also a nice option.

Should the entire wedding day be Unplugged?

That’s totally and completely up to you.  Most of the time, that’s not the case.  The wedding ceremony is usually the most important time of the day where the idea of an unplugged wedding comes to mind.  The reception is usually where most couples don’t necessarily care.  Marta and I rarely ever see this, but sometimes they’ll ask for pictures not to be taken during dances or speeches.

Furthermore, I’ve heard of people doing a complete and total social media blackout or a temporary hold off until the couple officially announces it online.  Again, that’s totally and completely up to you all, but the options there.


At the end of the day, this is all up to you all.  You’re more than welcome to choose to have an unplugged wedding or not.

Will it make the job of the photographer easier?  Totally.

Will it help people actually pay attention to your wedding and live in the moment?  Yup.

Will we be unhappy if you choose not to have an unplugged wedding?  Nope.  It’s really up to you all.  The decision to have an unplugged wedding or even the ceremony alone is up to you.

More than anything else, we want you to be happy.  Marta and I just want you all to have a ridiculously awesome day like no other.  No matter what happens, that’s always the goal.

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