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Unplugged wedding ceremonies

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Unplugged wedding ceremonies have become more and more popular every year since I became a celebrant in 2013. What is an unplugged wedding ceremony? Why should you consider having one? In a related question, how do you feel about people posting photos on social media?

What is an unplugged wedding ceremony?

An unplugged wedding ceremony is one where you ask your guests to not to take any photos during the ceremony.

Why would you have an unplugged wedding ceremony?

There are several reasons you might consider asking your guests to put away their cameras and phones during the ceremony:

  • you’ve hired a (probably expensive) professional photographer and you don’t want anyone to get in their way
  • you want your guests to be truly present during the ceremony rather than fiddling with Instagram filters, and
  • when you look out at your guests, you want to see their faces, not the backs of their phones.

Is it compulsory?

Absolutely not! As with anything other than the legal requirements, having an unplugged wedding ceremony is definitely not compulsory. It’s just something for you to consider. Your photographer may thank you for it.

A related question on social media

You also need to consider how you feel about guests posting pictures of your wedding on social media:

  • do you want them to refrain altogether? I’ll note this request is highly unlikely to be complied with, especially as guests have a few drinks.
  • do you want them to wait until you’ve posted? If you choose this option, I encourage you to post something soon after the ceremony. This will allow your guests to feel comfortable posting their party pics throughout the night.
  • do you want them to post ALL the pictures, and even have a wedding hashtag? You don’t need to be too clever with your hashtag. Make sure you tell your celebrant what the hashtag is so they can announce it during the ceremony.

If you’re not keen on your wedding being splashed over social media, that’s okay! There are all sorts of other services that allow people to upload their photos so you can still access them.

Lots for you to think about!

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