Imagine this with me‭…. ‬you’re in my shoes‭…. ‬the most important moment of the day is about‭  ‬to happen‭. ‬You’ve checked your camera settings‭, ‬you’ve taken test shots and you’re ready to capture the bride coming down the aisle to her groom‭. ‬You want to capture reactions‭, ‬variety of angles‭  ‬and every‭  ‬moment of joy and emotion in those few seconds‭.  ‬

However‭, ‬just‭  ‬as everyone stands and the music plays‭, ‬not one‭, ‬but three different family members and friends get so excited that they take just one step out into the aisle with their iPhones in hand trying‭ ‬to capture‭  ‬the moment‭.  ‬I’m scrambling‭. ‬My couple is trusting me not‭  ‬to‭  ‬miss this‭!!! ‬

But now‭ ‬I’m dodging guests who are trying desperately to have a good Insta-story to share and‭  ‬they have no idea‭  ‬that‭  ‬the‭  ‬back of‭  ‬their heads‭, ‬their arms and their‭  ‬phones are blocking me from capturing the bride and her dad walking‭  ‬down the aisle‭.  ‬It’s honestly one of the most terrifying things that can happen to a photographer during a‭  ‬ceremony‭ …. ‬and the hard part is‭, ‬it‭ ‬can always be avoided‭.  ‬

This issue is a growing one‭.  ‬Every wedding season we experience more and more of these issues‭. ‬However‭,‬‭ ‬there is a solution‭! ‬We highly recommend having an‭ ‬“Unplugged Ceremony”‭.  ‬This is just another way of saying that you want only your photographers to be capturing photos and you would like everyone else to enjoy the ceremony instead of trying to capture it themselves‭.   ‬

Wedding guest with cell phone blocking the bride and her dad as they walk down the aisle

Having an “unplugged ceremony” means that you ask guests to be fully present in your wedding by putting away their mobile phones and cameras. Your professional photos will be stunning without your guests holding cameras and they will be fully present to participate in your day. Plus you will be able to share the files you receive with your guests via your beautiful online gallery!

Benefits of Unplugging

  1. Your professional photos won’t be full of others taking cell phone photos. Obviously I’m a little biased, but this is the BIGGEST reason I recommend unplugging!
  2. Your guests will listen and get to take in all the little magical moments more.
  3. It will minimize distractions during the ceremony, for all the guests around each other AND for the couple.
  4. You’ll have better control over when these life-changing moments are added to social media.

Okay, so I’ve convinced you to have an unplugged ceremony. But now what? How do you ask all of your guests to put away their phones when they’re ALMOST as excited as you are?

Sign asking for guests to keep their phones away; bride and dad walking down the aisle unobstructed, and the first kiss without a cell phone in sight

How to ask your guests to unplug

1. Preparation :‭ ‬Include a quick line on your invitations.

2. Signage :‭ ‬Have a simple sign that guests see as they are entering the ceremony

3. Spoken :‭ ‬Have your officiant politely announce that you have a professional photographer on site and to keep phones away

4. Program :‭ ‬Include your Unplugged Ceremony request in your program design

To be honest, there’s really no reason NOT to have an unplugged ceremony! As long as you have 100% trust in your photographer that they can capture all the big moments (and DON’T hire them if you don’t have this faith in them), then everyone else should be able to relax and enjoy the day.

If you found this helpful, then make sure you check out tons of other helpful advice in the Client Corner!