In this day and age of social media and selfies, many couples are choosing to have unplugged wedding ceremonies. And it may seem like a lot to ask of your guests to put their phones away during your ceremony but going device-free for the 30 or so minutes it will take you to get married will allow your guests to truly be present in the moment. Plus, with a professional wedding photographer documenting your event you'll have plenty of pictures. As an added bonus to a device-free ceremony, the pro photos of your guests won't be of them with their faces buried in their phones!
But if disconnecting from your device seems daunting, consider having a selfie section during your ceremony. At a recent wedding that I attended as a guest, once everyone was seated and the entire wedding party (including the bride) had walked down the aisle, the couple had the officiant ask everyone to take out their phones, snap some photos and even snag a selfie. Using a selfie stick the officiant grabbed a group selfie with the bride, groom, and everyone in the audience. Once the merriment was done (the whole process took maybe two minutes), he conveyed the bride and groom's wishes that guests put their phones away for the remainder of the ceremony.
The result was the best of both worlds: the selfie section images were some of the bride's favorite photos and a device free ceremony allowed the guests to be engaged participants in the ceremony.
If you do want have a truly device-free ceremony, there are a few ways to alert your guests.
- Pre-wedding, spread the word to your close friends and family.
- When designing your wedding programs include a note about the fact that you'd like your ceremony to be selfie-free and why
- Have a sign, like the one pictured above by Chic Signs, at your ceremony site where guests are sure to see it when they're seated
- Ask your officiant to make an announcement at the start of your ceremony
Lastly, it's important to realize that sometimes no matter how many times and how nicely you ask, some people will just ignore your wishes and snap shots during the ceremony. And while it's a bummer, don't make a big deal about it. Sometimes in the infamous words of Elsa, you've got to just "Let it Go!"