If you're one of the many brides who've decided they want an unplugged wedding aka "dear family and friends please put down your smartphones/cameras/tablets and just enjoy being present," now you must decide how to firmly but tastefully share your wishes with your guests.
Here are a few ideas how you can convey to your guests that they need not play the role of wedding paparazzi and that you'd much rather have them be present, in the moment and enjoy the festivities:
1. Make a small mention of it in your wedding invitation: Yes you can give them an early heads up that this will be a wedding that you want them to fully enjoy -- meaning they need not worry about brushing up those photography skills. It's never too early to let your guests know that this will indeed be an unplugged wedding.
2. Put a can't miss sign up at your ceremony and on your reception tables: The professional photographers you hire will love you for this. It's a firm but creative way to let your guests know that you want them to put their cameras and devices down. There are so many creative and endearing ways to word your thoughts, just check out these sample signs on Pinterest for a few ideas: Unplugged Wedding Sign Ideas
3. Put a note in your wedding program: The OffBeat Bride blog offered these two great options for wording in your program:
A short and sweet version:
"The bride and groom have asked that you share in their wedding fully and not through the lens of a camera or cell phone."
A little more in depth version:
"We ask you to kindly turn off your ringers during the wedding ceremony and refrain from taking photos. We have professional photographers on hand to capture all the special moments and are excited to share their photos with you."
4. Have your Officiant make an announcement prior to the ceremony: Yes, some people won't bother to read the program or may simply ignore your note. So having your officiant make an announcement prior to the ceremony will officially put everyone on public notice. A simple, "The bride and groom have kindly asked that all their guests put their cameras and phones away and simply enjoy the ceremony!"
5. Ask your DJ make an announcement when the reception begins: If you want the unplugged rule to roll over to your reception, don't hesitate to have your DJ/Emcee or even a family member express your wishes. Remind everyone that your professional photographers are there to capture all the special moments and that you'd love for them to party the night away and enjoy the celebration without having to think about snapping photos.
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About me: I am a former BDW Bride AKA as MarieSam and was addicted to this forum as I planned my own wedding in 2009. Since 2010, I have been the proud owner of MarieSam Sanchez Photography -- a husband and wife photography team based in Southern California and documenting love all over the world.