Should We Consider an Unplugged Wedding? {Wedding Planning Advice}

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

What is an unplugged wedding and should you have one?   An unplugged wedding is a wedding where the bride and groom ask their guests to refrain from taking pictures.  There are some really good reasons you should at least consider this option.

1. Well intentioned guests can ruin pictures of moments that can’t be done over.

Before going further I want to say that I hold no ill will towards guests who are taking pictures. They have the best intentions. They are filled with joy and happiness and want to document what’s happening.  Certainly as a photographer I can understand that.  But their good intentions don’t change the fact that there is a pretty good chance they will get in the photographer’s way and possibly ruin moments that can’t be done over.

Guest in the way as bride walks down the aisle-unplugged weddingThe flash on a guest’s camera ruined this first kiss photo.  A guests flash goes off during the first kiss

2.You can focus on what matters.

I work really hard at being as unobtrusive as possible so my clients won’t be distracted by me during the ceremony. We all know just the presence of a camera changes the dynamic of the moment.  I think your experience will be better when you aren’t thinking about having your picture taken while coming down the aisle.

Lot's of guest taking pictures at the Pickering Barn in Issaquah

 3.You can share the professional pictures with them

My clients receive all the digital pictures with the rights to share them with family and friends. Your guests can relax and enjoy the moments knowing they will get to see the professional pictures later.

Should we make the whole wedding day unplugged?

I don’t recommend going unplugged for the entire day, although the thought of not having to battle for position for the cake cutting is appealing. 🙂  I really only recommend having an unplugged wedding ceremony.  Why just the ceremony? Wedding ceremony moments happen faster and are more brief. Once they are gone, they are gone. If a guest gets in my way during the first dance I have an opportunity to move around and get the shots I need.  I have more time because the dance will likely last anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.  If a guest gets in my way while the bride comes down the aisle or during the first kiss there isn’t much I can do about it.


The wording is important

Unfortunately if you are not clear about your intentions to have an unplugged wedding ceremony your guests may not get the picture.  (did you catch that pun?)  It’s important that you have your officiant ask the guests not to take pictures.  The exact wording can be different but it has to be about the pictures.  If you simply say no phones your guests will think that you are referring to silencing your phones.  It’s true, I have seen it.


How do we ask our guests to go unplugged without sounding rude?

Great question. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest for cleaver and fun ways to ask your guests to go unplugged.   Here are some links for you as well as some other links on this topic.


13 Unplugged Wedding Signs To Remind Guests To Stay In The Moment

Pinterest is always going to have great ideas

“Unplugged Weddings”: Preventing Guests From Destroying Your Photographs