Unplugged ceremonies are becoming more prevalent these days. It’s a bold move to instruct your wedding guests to leave the cell phones at home or in their pocket. After all, we live in a culture that is dead set on documenting every moment, even though the moment is being recorded by everybody else around them.

Wedding photographers lament how beautiful group shots are ruined due to a sea of cameras standing all around. When the shutter clicks, there is confusion about which camera to look at or they become distracted by so many people taking the picture all at once. You see eyes darting off into multiple directions and the purity of the shot is ruined.

There’s also the selfie. It’s becoming quite apparent that people are in love with the idea of taking selfies, no matter where they may be. Not only will you find guests taking pictures of themselves but bringing out the selfie stick! Eek! Retract that stick! There is nothing more obnoxious than having that perfect moment of a bride entering the aisle ruined by an overly eager amateur photographer trying to upload every moment onto social media.

The idea about an unplugged ceremony is more than just about ruined wedding photos. The Wedding day is the most important day of all for the bride and groom. And they want this moment to be shared with their friends and family. How can that happen when friends and family can’t be seen, as their faces are blocked by cell phones, iPads and selfie sticks. And because of this, we are seeing couples becoming aware and sensitive to the idea of guests taking photos during their wedding and posting on social media.

How do you prevent your friends and family from taking pictures of you on your special day without making them feel bad? Here are three simple ideas on how to enforce an unplugged wedding:

  1. Make sure to publish the rule before the any invitations are sent out. Don’t be afraid to overdo it. If you have a wedding website (which we highly advocate), post it. Don’t feel bad to include it in the invitations mailing. Also, post signs around the wedding area. Etsy and Pinterest have pages filled with signs that read something like “We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony. Please turn off all mobile phones.”
  2. Allow the officiant of the wedding do some of the dirty work. Instruct the officiant to remind everybody before the procession starts about the use of cell phones and picture taking. Turn off your phones!
  3. How about a Cell phone valet? Could you even imagine asking your guests to go without their phones for 30 minutes? Ha! Do it! It’s your wedding!

This is an aggressive strategy, but family and friends should respect it, as they know how special of a day this is for you, the bride and groom.

So the next time you are considering pulling out the cell phone to take a selfie at a wedding, consider what the day is really about. While selfies and cell phone pictures have become a social trend, you might be missing out on the human experience. Look up, look out and enjoy what is happening from the vantage of your eyes and ears!

Cole Drake Events can help you with your unplugged wedding. Cole Drake’s philosophy is more is just more…it’s NOT better. Over doing anything from food to event design is just overwhelming. Keeping things authentic to who you are as a couple is key. If you are already over the top…well, more is better for you and we probably are not the best option for your ostentatious, contrived overly priced day.

We are a dynamic team of planners in Wine Country with a combined experience of more than 20 years of wedding & event design/production, restaurant and hotel management. We are professed foodies with a penchant for using sarcasm and humor to navigate the planning process. Surrounded by the most inspiring vistas (in our humble opinion), the best cuisine (well-known fact) and the most creative people (they are nutty artisans who have more fun than should be legal) we deliver exquisite events and experiences that are keenly focused on alluring your five senses.