Faces without eyes:
It’s done, you’re married! CONGRATULATIONS! As you recede down the aisle as a newlywed couple you notice something. None of your guests are making eye contact. Instead you just see the backside of little square rectangles as people watch your wedding through the display on their smartphones and you realize nobody has been present for your wedding.
This is a scene I’ve seen replayed countless number of times. It started getting bad around 2009 to 2010 and it continues to get worse, especially with social media as everyone want’s to be the first to post an image from your wedding on FaceBook or Twitter. As a photographer this creates an additional challenge and sometimes even causes missed shots as guests will quite frequently jump out in the middle of the aisle or stand up and put their cell phone over their head to take a photo completely blocking my shot. So what can you do to prevent this? The solution is the Unplugged Wedding!
Your guests won’t know it, but you’re helping them practice mindfulness:
More mindful couples have become aware of this trend of guests not being present at weddings and are having Unplugged weddings. What is an Unplugged Wedding? I suppose we’re borrowing the name from MTV. It’s not so much an Unplugged wedding as it is a device free, or powered down wedding (you don’t want people texting during your wedding either (I’ve seen this)) but “Unplugged” sounds nice and many people have a positive association with the word because of all the wonderful music performances that have come out of MTV and VH1’s “Unplugged” TV show.
How do I do it?
The idea is that when you send out the formal invitations, you also include a little leaflet telling your guests that you’re having an Unplugged Wedding. On the wedding day you can place signs up reminding people that you’re having an unplugged wedding or you can have your ushers hand out more of the leaflets that you included with the invitations. I also suggest having your officiant make an announcement before the processional and make sure he or she emphasizes that this is something that is important to you.
Wordsmith (do we have to hire Jason Mraz?)
There’s many ways you can word it however the basic idea that you want to get across is that you’d like your guests to completely power down their cameras and cell phones until after the first dance explaining that you want them to be fully present so you can fully connect with them and share your joy. Some couples remind the guests that they’ve hired a professional photographer (and often videographer) to document the event. I’m not the best wordsmith in the world but I did some searching for you and found TONS of wonderful ideas on Offbeat Bride and Pinterest so I leave you with these links: