Unplugged Wedding – Should you have one?

December 14, 2015

An Unplugged Wedding refers to a wedding where the use of all mobile phones (and sometimes even cameras) is forbidden. The Unplugged Wedding is slowly gaining popularity, but is it for you?

Usually the banning of mobile phones is only during the ceremony, but some couples choose to have their whole day unplugged (good luck with this one!)


Reasons to have an Unplugged Wedding

There are 3 reasons to have an unplugged wedding. First, the wedding couple want their guests to be absolutely present. They want them to witness their special day through their eyes, not through a screen.

unplugged wedding | guest using a mobile phone
As much as find this photo pretty cool, it’s a shame that this guest is more concerned with getting a photo than in what’s happening in front of him.

Secondly, preventing guests from using their phones means that you can control what is put on social media. Perhaps you don’t want iPhone images of your first kiss to be on Instagram before you’ve even stepped foot off the aisle.

Finally, and more importantly perhaps for me as the photographer, the unplugged wedding prevents your wedding photos looking like this:

benefits of an unplugged wedding
iPads are becoming more and more common at weddings, particularly with the older generation!

Then there are the guests who like to bring bigger cameras. I’m totally cool with this too, as it means more photos for you guys at the end. However, it does mean that there’s more chance of this happening…

in favour of the unplugged wedding - photographers fight over the shot
Having 20 backup wedding photographers is always nice, but as long as they don’t ruin our shot!

Having said this, weddings that are ‘plugged’ (?!) are still by far the norm and I deal with it the best I can.

I completely understand that your guests are free to do what they want, and of course I don’t mind if many of the photos show your guests taking photos with their phone. At least it shows they’re interested :p

As for your guests bringing their own fancy dSLR cameras, well at least they’ll be getting other angles…!

uncle bob gets an interesting angle at a wedding
Sometimes I can’t even compete with wedding guests who choose to bring their own cameras!

Allowing your guests to take photos during the ceremony can be like having 100 extra photographers. On the other hand, you may decide that you’d prefer to have 100 guests, and only 1 photographer.

I’ll leave that decision up to you, but I think I know what I’d prefer if it were me getting married…


Unplugged Wedding Sign Wording

In addition to the celebrant reminding guests at the start of the ceremony that the service will be an unplugged wedding, it’s common to have an unplugged wedding sign near the front of the altar too.

Here are some examples of unplugged wedding signs. You can also copy the text below which I have seen on unplugged wedding sign designs at recent ceremonies I have covered.


Unplugged Wedding Sign | Option #1

Welcome to out Unplugged Wedding Ceremony!

We’d love it if you were fully present with us during our ceremony… so please turn off all mobile phones and cameras.

We promise to share all the beautiful photos taken today by our wedding photographer with you!


Unplugged Wedding Sign | Option #2

Oh Snap!

Thank you for coming, we have but one plea…

Please keep our ceremony camera-free!


Unplugged Wedding Sign | Option #3

We’d love to see your faces… not your devices 🙂

Please keep your phones and cameras in your pockets until after the first dance.

Thank you for respecting our Unplugged Wedding!


Unplugged Wedding Sign | Option #4

Welcome to our Unplugged Wedding Ceremony!

We invite you to be fully present.

Please turn off your devices.

Thank you!


Unplugged Wedding Sign | Option #5

This is our ‘unplugged wedding sign’ asking you to keep your cameras and cell phones in your pockets until after the ceremony!

Thank you so much for your consideration!