I often find myself describing the scene in an average wedding, and note how it looks to me (a sea of smartphones and tablets between me and the couple) and how it must feels to the couple (a sea of faces hidden by smartphones and tablets) I can’t help but offer some gentle advice.

Imagine yourself at your ceremony, you just delivered your vows and turn to glance out at your guests with a smile.. would you rather want to see your friends and family smiling back at you or your auntie with the bright pink iPad cover?

Don’t get me wrong I love technology and wedding hashtags although it’s my option that the wedding ceremony is a very intimate experience and should be shared with your guests free of distractions.  After all you have hired professionals to document the event so your guests can enjoy the experience with you. Right?

Although I understand sometimes it is hard to encourage hash tagging but at the same time request your guests put their phones and cameras away during the ceremony, processional and recessional ensuring a distraction-free ceremony.

Thats why I have shared these Four Tips to Ensure an Unplugged Wedding.

1. Have your Family Spread the Word
Because the default mode at weddings today seems to be to stand in the aisle and take photos, guests often need a series of reminders, and not just one! Typically, the couple can start the message by spreading the news to their families and asking them to talk it up. This is incredibly effective! If they’ve already heard, “BRIDE and GROOM have asked all guests to refrain from taking any photos during the ceremony, including the entrance and exit,” the other reminders won’t be news to them. Since you’ve hired professional photographers and videographers to capture these moments, you probably don’t want someone standing in front of them with an smartphone or tablet!

2. Signs and Programs
A tasteful sign, perhaps in a frame at the end of the aisle or on an easel, is a great reminder. I’m including the language below, in case you’d like to revise and personalize it. However, I’ve seen more than one usher standing in front of it, blocking it from guest view, and then the cameras come out. If you let the ushers know that you appreciate their help in promoting this message, and ensuring that your sign is visible, you’ll get more mileage out of the sign.

3. Ask the Coordinator or Church or Temple staff to help
If she or he knows your wishes, the ceremony coordinator can tactfully stop the guest who is positioning himself or herself near the aisle with her camera and external flash, or worse, her giant tablet!

4. Encourage the officiant to set the Tone
While it won’t help with the entrance, unless the officiant is willing to say something before the processional begins, having the officiant remind guests that you would like to have all cameras and cell phones tucked away for the ceremony will at least help with the rest of the ceremony.

As promised here is a sign you can use at your wedding. Click on the image to view the full size then right click “Save Image to Downloads.” If you have heard of other creative ways for the unplugged wedding please share them with me. Don’t forget to share this with anyone else conquering an unplugged wedding.