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How to Unplug Your Wedding Guests

So you’re walking down the aisle, expecting heartfelt smiles and maybe a few tears from all the beloved guests at your wedding. Instead, the faces in your crowd are watching your big moment from behind smart phones, iPads and video cameras. The screens follow you down the aisle and up the altar, where you (thankfully) turn to the officiant while they begin tweeting and sharing your day all over social media.

 

If that’s not exactly the way you want your wedding to go down, you’re not alone. More and more couples are requesting “unplugged” ceremonies, and the idea of asking people to (please) put their devices away is one of the hottest topics this season. If you don’t want people streaming an IPhone video of your wedding DURING YOUR WEDDING, you have every right to ask them to shut the phone down.

 

But first, let’s get one thing straight.

 

Asking people to respect your wishes is NOT impolite, dear bride. You know what IS impolite? A room full of wedding guests staring into their phones while you celebrate one of the most important days of your life. So, get over feeling rude or not wanting to hurt people’s feelings. This is your wedding. It’s not like you’re asking people to put their phones away during your Tupperware party (I never said I didn’t have opinions).

 

As with everything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. If you want an unplugged wedding, your request can just be a simple reminder for people to live in the moment. Attach a little message to your invitations, on the chairs, through entrance signage or have someone speak to the crowd before the ceremony starts. The wording can be your own, but I love a little something like this:

 

Today, we would love each of you to enjoy the ceremony and feel truly present in the moment with us. For this reason, we ask you to please put away any electronic devices and join us in celebrating our love. We hired an amazing photographer to capture the ceremony and will happily share these photos with you. You are welcome to take out your devices out again after the ceremony and throughout the reception. Thank you.

 

If you’re looking for something short and sweet, just say this:

 

We invite you to be fully present with us today. Please put away all electronic devices and enjoy the ceremony with us. Thank you!
See? That is a perfectly reasonable, harmless request. Good for you!

 

One more thing you can do for guests who don’t part easily with their phones…ask your wedding photographer to take a few great shots and post them on his or her own social media so they can be shared. You need to arrange this beforehand and then make this nice gesture known to your guests—with a little shout-out to your generous photographer.

 

If you decide you definitely want to plan an unplugged wedding, there are lots of creative ways to get the word out and help people feel comfortable with your decision. You can reach me at rebecca@simplydevinesd.com for more tips, or stop by and visit me at my location in Huron.

 

Have a great day, and don’t forget to unplug every now and then!

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