Social Or Unsociable Media – Where Do You Stand On Unplugged Weddings?

Whilst we are awaiting a bride’s arrival and all the guests are assembled it is a perfect moment to make any ‘housekeeping’ announcements about the proceedings of the day.  I have, after all, a captive audience.

Couples often ask me to inform their guests when and where a confetti shower is to be held, whether photos are allowed during the ceremony and of course to request that all phones are put on silent.  It hasn’t happened to me yet but it’s inevitable that one day there will be a ‘quack quack’ or an equally intrusive and distracting ringtone that will go off!  To be honest I think it would be more embarrassing for the person who’s phone it is rather than the rest of us!   That by the by, this is an excellent time for me to remind everyone of the boundaries regarding phones and social media.

‘unplugged weddings’ have become something of a hot topic and the question of whether or not you allow any photos to be taken at all and when and whether or not you allow the posting of them to social media.  Here’s my opinion but I’d love your take on it too.

I think it’s all about timing and common sense.    There would be nothing worse than at that long-awaited amazing moment of your walk down the aisle to be greeted by a sea of phones rather than all your friends and families’ happy smiling faces.   You will have, more than likely, paid for a professional photographer to capture every precious moment and to capture the joy on the faces of not only you and your bridal party but also all your guests.

But this is your wedding day and you set the rules.  So, create the boundaries that suit you. Also bear in mind that your guests will be equally excited and will want to share the experience and some of those spontaneous moments that a pro isn’t always there for.

You may regret a completely ‘unplugged’ decision.  You could miss out on your friend’s photo experiences and the hysterical Facebook fizziness of the afterglow reactions and interactions at post wedding debriefs.  With social media featuring so strongly in our lives with most people using Facebook or Instagram daily it’s fun to see photos of special occasions posted, tagged (create your very own personal wedding hashtag), shared, commented and just enjoyed.

Therefore, before you say zero photos at your ceremony consider an instruction to your guests along the lines that all phones be kept at shoulder height and not held in the aisle.  By doing this it won’t obstruct any of the professional photographers’ shots and will be less obvious and intrusive.   And request that the images are not posted on any social media platform until you have done so yourself and of course using the hashtag of your choice.  That way you are in control.

But it is YOUR day.  So, if you decide that you want no photos and you don’t want your guests distracted and to be 100% present make sure they know it’s an ‘unplugged ceremony’ and exactly what that means.  A simple announcement such as “No photos during the ceremony, you’re welcome to take photos before or after…” does the job perfectly.