10 Reasons to Have an Unplugged Ceremony

August 12, 2022
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Have you been invited to an unplugged ceremony and wondered what it is? Also: have you ever thought of whether or not you should attend an unplugged marriage ceremony? 

Both are good questions, and rightly so, as many people who get married don’t know what this wedding ceremony experience is all about.

The concept of unplugged marriage is a ceremony performed without the usage of electronic devices like phones, cameras, tablets, etc. 

So in this blog post, I will answer questions that can help you decide whether or not you should host an Unplugged Ceremony. Continue reading to explore the ins and outs of an unplugged ceremony. 

What Is An Unplugged Ceremony?

An Unplugged wedding ceremony is a celebration of your love that takes place without using technology from guests. Technology includes cell phones, iPads, laptops, and other handheld devices. You may be wondering, why would anyone want their wedding to be unplugged?

For many couples, the idea of an unplugged wedding seems like it would be a nightmare. A moment without your phone can make you feel like you’re missing out on all the important highlights. 

However, there are many benefits to having an unplugged wedding ceremony.

More couples are choosing to have unplugged wedding ceremonies to reconnect with each other and ourselves. These events encourage guests to put down their phones and focus on what’s essential: witnessing you marrying the person you love!


What Do The Guests Do During An Unplugged Ceremony?

You will be the center of attention during an unplugged ceremony. Your guests are the ones who will be present, enjoying the day with you and your partner. The guests should be able to watch and enjoy the ceremony without distractions from their phones or other devices.

The answer to this question depends on the type of ceremony you are having. If you’re having a civil ceremony, guests can be seated or standing, depending upon the venue and how many guests are in attendance. If you’re having a religious ceremony, all the guests will be seated and quiet during the entire ceremony.

The best way to handle this is to discuss it with your guests ahead of time and let them know what they can expect during your unplugged ceremony.

If you want your guests to help you celebrate by participating in some way, there are several ways that can be done:

Everyone stands up when you come into view as you walk down the aisle and remain standing until after exchanging the vows. This can mean getting up from their seat or standing up from where they are sitting. (This idea works great for outdoor weddings!)

Everyone claps when you come into view as you walk down the aisle and remain clapping until after exchanging the vows. This can mean getting up from their seat or standing up from where they are sitting. (This idea works great for outdoor weddings!)

The officiant asks everyone else to turn off their phones to focus on what is happening. Turning off electronics may seem like common sense, but it’s important not to forget this step! Many people forget how distracting their phones can be when they’re not paying attention to them!

How Do I Ask My Guests To Put Away Their Phones And Cameras?

The key here is to be as friendly and non-confrontational as possible. Please don’t yell at your guests or make them feel like they’re doing something wrong. Instead, explain you’d like to experience your wedding in the present moment with your guests without all the distractions.

Explain to your guests that you have a professional photographer to photograph the big moments and the small details in between. You can explain that you want to capture moments on a professional camera, but there will be plenty of time for cell phone pictures later at the reception. Make guests aware that having an unplugged ceremony will eliminate distractions for the professional photographer with who you’ve invested thousands of dollars. Also, having electronic devices can potentially photo bomb your professional photos.

If you’re worried about being too pushy, it may help to give everyone some time with their phone before the ceremony starts. Give guests 30 minutes before the ceremony so they can get any last-minute messages out of their system. 

When the ceremony is over, everyone exits their seats. You can tell guests that this is your chance to photograph everyone and enjoy cocktail hour. 


10 Reasons to Have an Unplugged Ceremony

1. Your Guests Will Be Present

The most important people in your life are the ones who are there to celebrate with you. Whether they’re family, friends, or both, they mean the world to you, and it’s meaningful that they experience this special moment with you. There’s no better way to express your love for your partner than by having an unplugged ceremony with undivided attention on the two of you.

2. You’ll Get Better Pictures.

You will receive better photos from your professional photographer. There will not be any guests with their phones in the air while professional photos are taken. There will not be any guests hanging in the aisles trying to get a good angle with their iPhones. The images will look beautiful with all your guests paying attention to you.

3. It’s A Great Way To Keep Guests Occupied While You Get Ready

If you’re planning on having an intimate wedding with only close family members and friends in attendance, then having an unplugged ceremony is a great way to keep guests occupied while the couple gets ready for the big day. Guests will make it a priority to photograph as many things as possible before the ceremony begins keeping them occupied before the wedding starts. 

4. You’ll get to Enjoy Your Wedding Day.

You’ve spent months planning your wedding; don’t spend it watching your guests scroll through their phones. Many couples choose to have an unplugged ceremony because they want to enjoy the moment, and with all the distractions that come with modern technology, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s happening right in front of them.

5. It Preserves the Moment

You’ve heard it said that the best camera is the one you have with you. But what about the best photographer? The same principle applies. So, if you’re going to have a wedding ceremony, why not make it memorable? An unplugged ceremony lets you focus on each other and your vows instead of worrying about your guest snapping pictures. You will have a professional photographer with good lighting and take your photo at all the right moments.

6. Bystanders Can Get In The Way Of The Professional Shots

The best professional shots are taken when everyone is in place and ready to go. Bystanders can get in the way of those moments; sometimes, they don’t know when to step back or how to get out of the shot. 

An unplugged ceremony lets everyone know that this event is not for them; they must be respectful of that by following the rules. Staying off to their devices will show great respect to you. 

7. Phones Will Not Ring During Your Ceremony.

You don’t want phones to ring during your wedding ceremony. Maybe it’s someone calling saying they’re stuck in traffic on the way to the venue, or perhaps it’s just friends calling to see how things are going. Either way, they do not need to interrupt guests from witnessing your special day.

8. No Accidental Flash Photography from guests

You may have heard horror stories about wedding photographers who have strange light in their professional photos. It can happen when a guest tries to take a picture with their phone and accidentally triggers the flash. 

The result is usually a bright light coming from above, causing everyone in the picture to squint or even close their eyes for a moment before realizing what happened and returning to normalcy. This is distracting and causes terrible lighting for the professional photographer you’ve hired.

9. Your Friends and Family Will Thank You for It

If you’re like most people, your family and friends will be able to relate to this moment in your life. They’ll love the idea of an unplugged wedding ceremony because they’ll be able to witness your ceremony without the distraction of their phones or anyone else’s phones. 

10. You’ll have a Better Connection with Your Spouse

Guests not glued to their phones during an unplugged ceremony will be less of a distraction. You can focus on your spouse without your guests becoming paparazzi-like. While you say your vows, not only will you become more present, but so will your guests. This will help strengthen your marriage in a way that goes beyond just saying “I do.”


Unplugged Ceremonies celebrate the ability for communication, friendship, and love to flourish without the distractions of technology. The reasons for having one are as differ from wedding to wedding.

Your reason might differ, but I’m sure it’s a worthy cause. Whether you need a break from the stress of technology or wish to start experiencing life at a slower pace, an Unplugged Ceremony is worth trying.  If are planning an unplugged wedding, I would love to take professional photos for you. Let’s connect here, so head over to my contact form!