How To Have an Unplugged Wedding

September 22, 2020

How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
Photo by Juicebeats Photography

How To Have an Unplugged Wedding

Once brides and grooms have committed to hosting an unplugged wedding, it’s time to notify their guests. While one might think that asking people to leave their phones in their pockets is enough to convince them to refrain from taking pictures, it might not be. The tech-free wedding trend certainly isn’t for everyone. For couples wishing to take this gadget-free plunge, how exactly can they enforce a no cell phone policy without taking out all the fun? Here’s how to make those unplugged wedding wishes known without ruffling feathers.

How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
View this Chic November Wedding

The Benefits of Unplugging

Attending a wedding where every guest has a smartphone glued to their hand can put brides and grooms in a complicated position. On the one hand, couples love when friends can document the wedding day. However, this comes with a price: distracted guests, a sea of smartphones, and possibly ruined moments. Because of this, more people choose to plan an unplugged wedding where guests are encouraged to participate. When guests actively engage in the ceremony, the intimacy of the event only intensifies. 

Eliminating phones and cameras is also a benefit from a professional wedding photographer’s perspective. Photographers don’t have to struggle to find visually appealing angles because phones are in the frame. No couple should have extended limbs or bright cell phones in their professional photos. 

How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
View this Simply Sweet Affair

Give Guests Warning Before The Big Day

It’s better to break the news to guests sooner rather than later. Fortunately, there are several ways to accomplish this. Couples can include an announcement on a wedding invitation, wedding website, or on social media. Some brides and grooms may even opt to put an announcement in a welcome bag in a guest’s hotel room. Here are some other options to notify guests.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

After the bride and groom have sent out the initial message on their invitation or website, it can’t hurt to include a few friendly reminders before the ceremony begins. 

Placing a pretty sign at the front door of the venue will ensure that everyone gets the message. A sign could say, “We’ve asked a professional photographer to capture this special moment to sit back, relax, and enjoy it with us. Our beautiful images will be available for you to view and share after the wedding.”


Make Use of Ushers & Officiants

Sometimes, being given instructions by an actual person can make a big difference in someone following directions or not. This is where trusty ushers come in. As ushers guide people to their seats, have them politely remind them to turn off their cell phones. Likewise, when the officiant approaches the altar, he or she can also give a gentle reminder before the ceremony begins.


Designate Phone Time

Having an unplugged wedding can mean different things to different people. With this in mind, wedding couples should decide what they want in terms of technology on their wedding day. Can phone be used at cocktail hour or the reception? Or not at all? 


If the bride and groom opt for a completely cell-phone-free wedding day, it might be useful to give guests a few opportunities to sneak in a few shots. Guests will have the opportunity to take a picture of the bride and groom when the photographer is finished. Or during cocktail hour or the reception. 

Another fun idea is to provide a photo bus where guests can document the day in a manner that doesn’t diminish the special moments. And the photo from the photo bus can serve as a wedding favor too! 

How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
Photography by Derek Halkett Photography

Tips for Wedding Guests on Phone Etiquette

Even if the wedding you’re attending isn’t unplugged, being a good wedding guest is essential. Here is how to enjoy the bride and groom’s special day without taking away from it. 

-If you must take a picture or two, do so quickly. Avoid having your phone out for an extended period. 

-Never bring a tablet to a wedding to take pictures. They’re too big and block other guests’ views.

-Be courteous toward the professional photographer and allow them to complete their job. 


Discouraging phone use at a wedding ceremony can foster a bond between newlyweds and their guests. But, it’s a decision that needs to be made by the couple themselves. If you are interested in having an unplugged or plugged-in wedding, we would love for you to be here with us at The Magnolia Venue. Please contact us for your mountain wedding or event. 

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