Imagine this, you are standing at the front of the aisle and you cannot see your fiancee becasue guests are leaning and standing in the aisle to take a shot of you. You can’t see the expression on your fiancees face, but you do see him straining to see you. Then you notice one of your close friends not looking at you, but at her cell phone. Everywhere you look you see your favorite people staring at their favorite devices. All in all it wasn’t the moment you thought it would be–people seemed more interested in taking pictures than being present in the moment with you.
When your photos come back from your wedding photographer, all of your Ceremony photos are framed with guests holding devices. People are smiling, but they’re all staring at little screens. I know that it can be super-frustrating to spend a small fortune on wedding photography and have guests block your photographers shots, or spend your entire wedding with a phone in front of their face.
But how do you get family and friends to understand that you want to have them present and not using devices during the ceremony? Let’s be honest, posting a sign or making an announcement on their own might not work. So what can you truly do?
Communicate your desire and expectation for an unplugged ceremony upfront and remind guests by doing the following:
– Include a request for the ceremony to be device and camera free in your invitation.
– Add a graphic to your wedding website to further illustrate your point. You can include links to articles about the Unplugged Ceremony or add ceremony images peppered with guest devices.
– The week before your wedding post these photos on social media.
– Post a sign as people enter the ceremony space that asks the guests to put their devices away.
– Include this instruction in your printed program.
– Before the Ceremony begins have a family member or officiant read this short request “Before we begin, the Bride and Groom have requested that you put your devices away during their ceremony, that you watch with your eyes and not your cameras, and that you all be present in the moment with them. The Bride and Groom asked photographers to be here today and they are more than happy to share their fabulous photo gallery with you.”
I realize that it is impossible to get everyone to comply. But if you follow these steps I bet you will be pleasantly pleased to see how many people put down their cell phone and truly enjoy your wedding ceremony with you.