You’ve probably read the epic rant an Australian wedding photographer posted on Facebook in November about guests getting in the way of his professional shots with their cell phones.
Wedding guests aren’t trying to be bothersome – they’re just excited. They want to capture the memories, too! But if you let them know that you’re having an unplugged wedding and you do it in a fun way and you also let them know you’ll be sharing photos on social media later on, they’ll happily put away their phones and cameras to just enjoy your day.
Announce it ahead of time
Post our unplugged wedding wishes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and your other social media so guests aren’t surprised when they get to the wedding. Use wording something like this:
“We’re so happy you’ll be at our wedding!
We want you to enjoy every moment with us.
Please silence your phones and put your cameras away until we announce a photo opportunity.
We promise we’ll share our professional photographer’s shots with all of you here asap!”
Use cute signage
Put up signs that match your wedding décor to remind guests about your unplugged wedding request. Create several of them so they’re visible at each entrance, and also put one on the guest book table and beside the programs.
Speaking of programs…
Print a message similar to the one we suggested above in your wedding programs or on an insert card. Thank guests for being at your wedding. Tell them how excited you are that they’re celebrating with you. Tell them to sit back and enjoy the ceremony. Then ask them to put the tech away. Use humor if that’s your style (“We want to see your faces, not your phones!”).
On the seats
If you don’t want to take away from the look of your programs with a printed note or insert, place the insert card on every seat. Guests won’t be able to miss it and are more likely to put things away right away.
Before the ceremony starts, ask your officiant or the best man to make an announcement about the no-phone-or-camera policy.
Provide photo opportunities for guests
Build in places for guests to take photos, and you’ll prevent some of them from taking sneak shots.
- After your recessional, walk back up the aisle and pose at the front for photos
- Pose by your getaway vehicle for a few minutes before taking off
- After your grand entrance at the reception, take time for some photos with the entire wedding party.
- After your first dance, let guests take photos of you on the dance floor. Here’s your chance to ham it up for guests and have some fun.
It’s up to you when to call off the photo ban at your wedding. Just be sure to ask guests not to post photos of your wedding to social media before you do!