My initial thought as a photographer and as someone who didn’t “unplug” my wedding is, ‘yes’. Here’s why...
You have spent months, maybe even years, planning and preparing for this day. From the big details of where and when, to the little touches specially designed to put a smile on your groom’s face. I want to encourage you to take a moment to think about the day. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Seriously, close your eyes and envision it if that helps.
Do you have your vision?
Now, fast forward to the day of. You’ve just said, ‘I do’ and you’re on cloud nine, rushing down the aisle, with your photographer in tow. While they are capturing some post-ceremony moments of you and your beloved, your grandma pops up next to them to capture the same pictures with her phone… she might even be so bold as to ask you to look at her.
How awkward on a number of levels. Nobody wants to bounce grandma. She’s excited and you’re not looking to squash that and yet, having her camera in addition to the photographer you paid, causes an unpleasant situation on a day when your biggest concern should be sending someone out for more ice (a problem you were unaware of because your rad coordinator handled it like a boss).
You also might consider that if your guests are standing on the sidelines as your personal paparazzi, they're not participating in the celebration that was intended to include them and what a bummer that would be.
Image by Margaret Jacobsen
So when, where and how do you let them know?
On your invitation,
Include it with your invitation. It could be a separate card or it could be right on the invitation (I would do this because that little card might get their attention upon opening but no one is putting that on their refrigerator).
Now, how do you say it. It could be a clever rhyme, or be on the nose. Here is some sample language for you to consider,
We're having an unplugged wedding!
“We’ve asked a professional photographer to capture this special day so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy it with us. ”
“As we tie the knot, please be our guest and let our photographer take care of the rest!”
On the day of,
Remind them again on your wedding day. You can do this on your program, or with a beautifully crafted sign before they take their seats.You can even have someone announce it before the ceremony starts.
Welcome to our unplugged wedding!
“We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony, please turn off all phones and cameras. Thank you!”
“The bride and groom kindly request an unplugged ceremony. Please turn off all devices and enjoy being fully present in these moments with us.”
“The greatest gift you can give us today is to be truly present, please turn off all phones and cameras and enjoy these special moments with us. ”
“Thank you for coming! We have but one plea. Please keep our ceremony camera-free. Though our I Do’s are unplugged, our reception is not. Once our vows are exchanged, you’re free to take a shot!”
How ever you say it, clear is kind. Set your day up for success by setting clear expectations.