In an era where technology essentially runs our day to day lives, it can be all too easy to tune out of the special moments in order to be “logged” in. Today, anyone can broadcast to the world, in real time, every precious, private, moment with the click of a button from virtually anywhere. For couples planning their wedding, the idea of constant tweeting, texting, or posting from their guests can be a concerning one. For various reasons, a growing number of couples have opted to keep their big days “unplugged” (that is, without social technology) for a variety of reasons.
Unplugged weddings stipulate that guests will be expected to keep their phones and tablets away at home, in their cars, or in their purses and to refrain from tweeting or posting to the internet throughout the duration of the event.
Unplugged weddings might appeal to couples for a variety of different reasons. Keeping photos off the internet ensures that the couple themselves will get first glance at their wedding photos. The wedding itself might be a bit of a secret or surprise, meant to be revealed to the general public at a later date. Couples might want guests to feel comfortable at their event, without having to worry about an unflattering or discriminating photo surfacing without their consent. The list goes on and on.
For some couples, it may not be a big deal. Maybe you are having a destination wedding and many of your dearest couldn’t make the trip so you live stream your ceremony. Maybe you are employing a hashtag for your event, so that all of the silly, candid photos your guests take will be collected together in cyberspace.
Speaking of the photographers, Corey Ann of Corey Ann Photography offers a unique perspective on unplugged weddings in her blog. To have a couple a spend large amount of money on a top photographer, only to have their photos “photobombed” by an amateur i-Phonetographer, is almost as depressing as leaking a photo of the bride pre-ceremony to a site where the groom accidentally sees it.
If an unplugged wedding sounds like an option for you, there are ways to ensure that your guests comply. One way is to ask your officiant to kindly remind guests to put away and turn off all mobile devices during the ceremony. Most people are going to respect the wishes of the priest! Another is to ask your DJ/ Host to ask the same at the beginning of your reception. Be aware that parents (especially of smaller children!) might be wary if asked to leave their phone at home or in the car. In the end, it is up to you how much you want to reinforce this rule.
You can always have your wedding planner be the Technology Enforcer 😉