If you've hung out on the bridal interwebs for any length of time recently, you're seeing more and more articles on the topic. By simply googling, "unplugged wedding ceremony" you'll get hit with pro/cons, how to achieve one, 13 photos that were ruined by cellphones.. The spin off topics go on and on. I've had my fair share of iPads popping out but I truly have been so unbelievably lucky.
BUT just because I've been lucky, doesn't mean that I don't want you to consider one. As technology seems to be an extension of ourselves this is something I want you add to your "wedding discussion to-do" list.
- Presence Over Technology: I want you to think of a time. Whether it was a concert, a conversation with a friend, dinner with your significant other.. A time that you had your phone out & were semi-distracted. Do you remember the way the lead singer made you feel? Do you remember exactly why your friend was frustrated with her job? What about the sweet words your significant other said to you as they sipped their cocktail? I'm going to guess that there is a time, that you have pinpointed, that you know you were not all present for. A time that you don't fully remember because you were staring or even glanced at your phone screen. Your wedding day is a remarkable & MEMORABLE day. Encourage people to be fully present.
- Unwanted Flash/Noises: There is a really good reason that 1) my camera goes into silent mode (during the ceremony) & 2) I refrain from flash if I can. My main goal during your ceremony is do be as unobtrusive as I possibly can. Minimizing my sounds and distractions are two ways that I make sure YOU are fully present during your ceremony. It is without fail though, that a guest doesn't have their phone silenced (which, YIKES!) and the sound of the phone shutter is clear as day.
- Guest Announcement: Maybe you'd prefer the not-so-flattering blurry-because-its-been-zoomed-in-x-100 to stay off of Facebook.. At least until the crispy clear, high resolution, vivid image goes up from the professional. Maybe you're reading this and realizing that you and your husband (or wife) want to be the one to post the, "hey! We did a thing this weekend" announcement.. Or the double yikes is that your crazy cousin carl posts an image of you prior to the ceremony. Oh no he didn't finger snaps.
- Professional Images: This one feels silly even adding because, duh.. I did have a really, really close call one time during the recessional. Bride coming down the aisle (I obviously hug to the side so the groom has a great shot of his bride) & a guest stepped out right in front of me with their cell phone (tear). Fortunately, the aisle was long so I had enough time, but that could have been a very uncomfortable conversations had it not been. I really don't think I need to expand on that more ;)
I have had my fair share of ceremonies that didn't allow cellphones.. & I have noticed a few things with those unplugged weddings. Guests are more receptive to emotions. This means during your vows they'll tear up & during your first kiss they'll have two hands to clap with. They also interact more with each other. With phones put away, people mingle more, catch up more, and chances are they walk away holding 20 STRONG memories from your wedding day verses 10 hazy memories.
Ultimately, I'll support you in whatever you decide but as someone who's setting the phone down more, it feels really really good. Have your wedding day be one of those really really good days :)