Can you imagine being at the altar saying your “I do’s” and someone’s phone rings? Or your photographer is trying to get pictures of you coming down the aisle and all they see are guests standing up with their phones snapping pictures? Gives you nightmares right? So we ask…do you dare have an unplugged wedding? Ask your guests to leave their phones and other electronics in the car? It’s unheard of or at least that is what I thought until recently.
You might be asking “what is an unplugged wedding”? Seems like a weird topic to even address, right? Wrong! Today’s society is totally consumed by their phones, whether it be social media, work emails or selfies most people feel naked without their mobile phones. Envision this…150 guests at your wedding and all of them want to take pictures of you coming down the aisle.
Being in the wedding industry at the boutique level allows me great opportunities to meet with thousands of brides and hear their magical love stories. Most of the brides share stories and memories that are happy and exciting but occasionally we hear about the chaos and drama. Ah! The juicy stuff. While the drama may not be enjoyable for the brides telling us about it is. It gives the brides time to vent and let go of some tension regarding all the fuss of planning a wedding. We love it! It gives us an opportunity for us to connect with our Brides on a completely different level.
We hear the stories of her as a young girl dreaming of her wedding day and the beautiful wedding dress she will wear. She spent hours and hours (maybe months) shopping for the perfect wedding dress. She may have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on her dream gown or maybe is a budget conscious Bride that purchased it second hand on websites offering a big selection of used wedding dresses like SellMyDress.com.
Couples invite hundreds of their most loved family and friends and of course dream of the gorgeous “professional” photos that they will look at forever. So it is not surprising that one of the biggest concerns right now is their weddings being taken over by mobile phones or other electronic devices. You know everyone has that one family member that is over the top and obnoxious… the one that will stick the mobile phone anywhere to get a selfie or photobomb your posed pictures. Or the jealous friend that wants to make sure she gets the best photo so she can brag and what about the dreaded wedding guest that didn’t put the phone on vibrate? Ugh! So annoying.
We are happy to say that many of today’s couples are choosing to unplug their weddings by banning mobile phones and other electronic items. After all, they spend thousands of dollars on professional photographers and videographers to capture the memories the last thing they want is to see all their guests with mobile phones in the background snapping pics. Talk about ruining great pictures.
So just how do you go about asking your wedding guests to leave their electronic devices in their car? (or at least put them on silent).
Decide which parts of the wedding will be included in the ban. Do you want to unplug only the ceremony or both the ceremony and reception?
Include it in your invitations. That’s right! Let them know up front that you do not permit mobile phones, I pads, tablets or any other electronic annoyance at your wedding. Be specific about how much of the wedding will be unplugged – only the ceremony or the entire wedding. Don’t let them be blindsided when they get there, remember they are naked without it so they will need some time to come to grips and prepare emotionally to be disconnected during your wedding for a few hours.
Maybe include a cute insert in the r.s.v.p cards that reminds them. They will need to be reminded.
Have a cute sign at the entrance to the ceremony reminding them that you are serious and they need to put it in their car or out of respect at least put it on silent and leave it in their pocket. You can even have a basket decorated in your wedding theme so if they brought it they can leave it with someone for safekeeping during the event.
If you have created a website for your wedding make sure to have a page about you unplugged wedding. Explain why you and your soon to be spouse request this of them. Be cute and fun in your tone but let them know you’re serious. Remind them that they are there to share in your love story, not to be the first one to get a photo of the bride. They can’t hear your vows, feel and see the love the two of you have for each other from behind a phone.
Have your Officiate make a statement before the ceremony to remind everyone that they are there to witness your love story come full circle, not to get the best photo!
You spend so many months and sometimes years creating your love story and you want your wedding to be perfect or as close to perfect as possible. Want more tips? Check out www.sellmydress.com/unplugged-wedding-should-you/
So tell your guests to ditch the phone for a few hours and get back to a natural way of communicating…face-to-face, on the dance floor and with genuine heartfelt emotions, not emojis.
Lesley Turner is the co-owner, purchasing manager and operations director of 4 store locations for CC’s Bridal Boutique in Tampa, FL. After spending twelve years in the formal wear and wedding industry a passion inside me took over and led me to dive into a new entrepreneurship endeavour, the creation of SellMyDress.com; a marketplace connecting brides buying and selling wedding dresses online.