How to have an Unplugged Ceremony in 2021


November 2020

Kaitlyn Neeley

Before every wedding ceremony I shoot, I prep myself. I do my test shots, find the right places to stand, give directions to my second shooter, and get ready for the big moment. I don’t want to miss out on anything because this is THE moment everyone has been waiting for. I want to capture reactions, variety of angles, and every moment of joy and emotion during the ceremony. My couple is trusting me not to miss this!!

Sometimes, as I’m grabbing the shot of the bride walking down the aisle with her father, not one or two, but three or four relatives are turned towards the bride with their arms out holding cameras or phones to try and capture the moment. And they have no idea that their heads and arms are blocking me from capturing the bride. I try to sneak around them, but their phones and cameras are still in the photos. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence, but fortunately this can almost always be avoided.

man and woman kissing on wedding day in omaha during unplugged ceremony

Enter the Unplugged Ceremony

I am a HUGE fan of an unplugged ceremony. What’s an unplugged ceremony? As a bride and groom you’ll ask your family and friends to turn off their phones and avoid using cameras during the ceremony. This ensures there won’t be any phone calls or cameras going off (besides mine) during the big “I do” as well as prevent arms and phones from blocking the aisle.

Unplugged ceremonies are also the best because they allow your guests to be present and enjoy the moment in real time instead of viewing the ceremony from their phone screens. With this day and age, we often gravitate to our phones to capture moments instead of taking it in and etching it into our memories. Encourage your guests to be present and save the photos for later in the day. Allow the professionals to take care of capturing this for you so that all of your guests can have the chance to savor the moment.

Here are three ways to notify your guests that your wedding ceremony is unplugged.

  • Post a sign – Create a cute sign and place it in a space that is visible to your guests when they walk in. Putting a little disclaimer about an unplugged ceremony helps notify the guests.
  • Have the officiant remind everyone – before the ceremony begins, ask the officiant to remind your guests to turn off their phones for the duration of the ceremony. Let them truly enjoy and be present for the ceremony.
  • Place a reminder in your programs – this is the perfect spot to remind your guests that you are planning and hoping for an unplugged ceremony. Encourage them to do their part and turn off their phones.

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