If you’re knees deep in planning your wedding, you might have asked yourself the question:
– “Should I ask guests to put away their phones on my wedding day?”
And you wouldn’t be alone! After all, there’s no etiquette regarding phone usage at a wedding.
So it may not come as a surprise that most of my couples have asked me – their wedding photographer – at one point or another for my honest take on whether they should ask their guests to turn off their phones and cameras. Or if they should just leave everyone’s phone usage in their own hands.
And my first instinct as a photographer is to tell them how I prefer a strict no-phones policy (or at the very least: no phones during your wedding ceremony), since that will make my job so much easier.
But to be honest, it’s your wedding – your rules. So, if you’re cool with your guests having their cellphones up, then I’m cool with it too. If you let them snap pictures of you throughout the ceremony, then I will too. And if you’re okay with your nearest and dearest taking a selfie or two at your reception – then I won’t be the one to ruin the fun.
I mean, I get it: we’re living in the digital age. So it’s not easy to avoid the prevalence of smartphones or the constant urge to document every aspect of our lives – and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that.
With that being said, I’m giving you a photographer’s take on the top pros of having an unplugged ceremony. So by the end of this blog post, you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether or not asking your guests to put their phones away is the right choice for you!
1. Preserves the intimacy of your ceremony & reception
Your wedding symbolizes the union of two individuals, the merging of two souls, and their commitment to a lifelong journey together.
This is an experience you want your guests to live with you to the fullest. To immerse themselves in the moment, and share your happiness to the fullest.
And by asking them to refrain from using their phones during the ceremony, you’ll make way for an atmosphere that fosters deep intimacy and undivided attention.Which in turn will lead to a more meaningful and personal experience for everyone involved.
2. Makes it easier for your photographer to take photos
Capturing the essence of your beautiful ceremony is going to be one of my biggest responsibilities as your photographer on your big day. You want to get breathtaking ceremony photos of your most sacred moments. And that’s exactly why you hired a professional – me.
But imagine coming down the aisle while your guests hold their cell phones in the air, trying to take pictures of the bride and groom – you guys – as the ceremony begins.
Even if they do it respectfully (which I’m sure they will) – all the cellphones (and hands) in the air will obstruct my view and make it harder for me to get clear shots of the two of you.
And the fact that I’m not exactly the tallest person doesn’t help either…
But imagine how much more freedom I’d have if I could navigate anywhere easily to seize every heartfelt exchange, tear, and smile – without having to compromise on my position & angle to get a great view.
This kind of freedom will enable me to deliver photographs that truly reflect the magical atmosphere and deep emotions of the beautiful day you get married.
3. Helps your guests stay present
When you look back at your wedding photos, what do you want to see?
Do you want to see people stuck to their phones, watching your most intimate moments on their screens while trying to get that one perfect shot?
Or do you want to see all your loved ones, fully present in the moment, taking in the beauty of your special day with their own eyes, engaging in conversations, and forming genuine connections with each other?
There’s no right or wrong answer here – it’s your wedding after all. So your answers are the right answers.
But the question remains: how do you want to remember your wedding?
Having an unplugged ceremony and encouraging guests to disconnect from their devices from the start of the ceremony will minimize distractions and help your guests to be present and focused throughout the day. And it will enable them to becomes active participants – rather than mere spectators – in the celebration of your eternal love & joy.
And this will enhance your – and your guests’ – entire wedding experience.
4. Enhances your captured wedding memories
If you put it all together, you might start seeing a pattern.
Banning phones will lead to a more intimate ceremony.
– and that will come across in your wedding photos.
An unplugged ceremony will make your photographer’s (and videographer’s) job easier.
– and that will allow us to take better photos easier.
Taking a break from their phones while you get married will help your guests stay present.
– and more genuine moments mean photos filled with more emotions.
So the bottom line is that going unplugged for the day won’t just lead to a better time for everyone involved.
It will also lead to better photos – frozen memories that capture the magic of living in that fairytale moment.
Your once-in-a-lifetime – without distractions.
So, should you ask your guests to put away their phones on your wedding day?
That’s something only you can answer.
But if you do decide to go for a ceremony without cellphones, you’ll need to let your guests know! I mean, your guests won’t be able to respect your wishes if they don’t even know about them in the first place…
So, you can add a few words in your invitation cards, or you can put it on your wedding website (if you have one). You can even have your officiant make an announcement on the spot.
Or you can find some middle ground and tell your officiant to give you guests a minute to snap a few photos & videos after you’ve both walked down the aisle – but before the ceremony begins. This way, everyone can have their special photo of you & your soulmate on your big day – but phones still won’t be a huge distraction.
But regardless of how you want to do it, your loved ones need to be aware of your wishes – and your wedding guests may need to be reminded.After all, everyone wants you to have the happiest day of your lives.
But you might have to tell them how they can help make that happen…