Unplugging…disconnecting from technology or limiting your use. I feel like it’s a topic growing in popularity these days, and it (re)surfaced again recently in terms of unplugging at weddings. I’ve heard/seen many photographers and other industry peers weigh in on this sorta hot topic, but thought I’d throw my two cents in because, 1. I made the decision as a bride to ask guests to unplug, and 2. I haven’t really blogged since I launched this thing and thought it was a little overdue!

Here’s what drove me to make the decision as a bride to ask guests to unplug.

I attended a wedding a few months before my husband and I’s wedding in 2013. I sat behind some family members at the ceremony and watched as one family member busted out her iPad to capture pretty much the whole thing. This wasn’t an iPad mini either and it had the flap/case thing that hung down as she wielded it around trying to capture shots. I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but I was pretty distracted by it and sat there praying that this iPad didn’t end up in any of the photos or impact the photographers capturing what they needed to. I know this family member was excited, but are you really taking in the moment and being there for your loved one tying the knot?

Long story short, I decided I didn’t want that for our wedding. My solution: I asked Elisabeth Rose, who did our wedding stationery (our ah-mazing wedding stationery), to whip up a small card that first thanked guests for traveling from near and far to be with us on our special day, but that also kindly asked for guests to please refrain from taking photos or video during the ceremony and be mindful of our photographers during key times throughout the night. These were placed in each chair at the ceremony. I was nervous at first that our friends and family would think it was perhaps rude or pushy, but at the end of the day we just wanted everyone to be really present, especially during the ceremony.

Thinking about making your wedding day unplugged? Here are three ways you can share the message with your guests:

  • Consider adding a little message into your wedding program. It can be funny or short, sweet and to the point. Just make sure it fits in with the style of your program. We didn’t have programs at our wedding, which is why we went with the idea to print a small card.
  • Enlist the help of your officiant. Have them make a brief statement to the guests prior to the ceremony beginning. Even better, coordinate this with your wedding planner (shameless plug) prior to the wedding so that they can ensure this takes place.
  • Signage. I love me some custom signage at weddings. A request for your guests to unplug could be a fun chalkboard sign or another type of sign that can be displayed right where guests will see it.

And please don’t get me wrong. I love seeing the candid photos that come out of weddings as much as the next gal, but I just don’t think it’s worth being the photobomb in the back of the couple’s photos.

Ultimately, it’s your day. Don’t feel as though you have to do something simply because it’s a hot topic or on trend. I’d just absolutely encourage you to think about encouraging your guests – in a manner that is in keeping with your style and the vibe of the wedding – to unplug, put those mobile devices down and just soak in the moment.