With the ability to pull out your phone and document the world around you it’s no surprise that phones are becoming increasingly popular at weddings. While this can lead to an abundance of great photos, especially with photo-sharing wedding apps, they can also be distracting and take away from your special day. One photographer summed it up with this photo & comment
Right, I’ve had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings. I want to plead with you, and I’m going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony.
Look at this photo. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way.
Now we’re not putting the blame entirely on the guests. It’s understandable to want to document these moments, and with the technology of phones it has become easier than ever. Yet there are ways to go phone-free and ensure your guests are observant, engaged, and don’t feel as if they’re missing out. Such as making sure your photographer knows you’re having an unplugged wedding, having him/her take plenty of photos, and remembering to distribute these photos among your guests to give them something to remember the wedding by.
Make a Sign
Highlight it in the Program
Putting a simple note in your wedding program will ensure those who missed the sign are aware of your requests. Here is a template you can use
We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! This in mind, we invite you to put down all your favorite devices and just be present in the moment with us. Please leave your camera in your bag (we’ve got photography covered!), and put your cell phone on mute (we promise they’ll call back!).
We’re happy to share our professional wedding photos later, but the greatest gift you can give us today is just being fully here with us in this sacred and special moment.
Appoint a Friend to Monitor for Phones
We know, having phone police at your wedding may be… odd. However, appointing a friend to ask that somebody put their phone away in a polite and drama-free way will ensure all guests are on the same page.
Have Your Officiant Ask Guests to Power Down
Before the ceremony begins ask your officiant to say something like
The couple respectfully requests that all guests honor the sanctity of this moment by turning off cell phones and cameras.
This will be another polite reminder to not pull out phones or cameras and will inform any of those who missed the request.
After the wedding be sure to share some of the photos your photographer took with your guests. Also, keep in mind the reception is different. In fact, some of the best reception photos come from guests who are capturing the experience for themselves. We recommend using an app such WedPics or a comparable app. This will allow all of the reception photos to be stored in one community album accessible by all guests. This makes for a great time during and after the reception.