We live in a highly connected world where technology enables us to take high quality photos with an ordinary smartphone and upload them to social media in an instant, for friends and family to see. With the ability for us to record, document and broadcast all events of our daily lives now such an effortless task, it’s little wonder that many wedding ceremonies are now often plagued by guests taking pictures, recording videos and keeping an eagle on the reactions they receive (likes, comments, shares and so on), rather than the wedding itself. But is your guest’s preoccupation with their phone and other technology a good thing, or does it detract from your special day?

An Unplugged Wedding – Guaranteeing the focus is where it should be

Even older generations have embraced the age of the smartphone and the convenience of being able to share their precious moments with such ease over the internet. However, even those amongst us who enjoy the benefits of such technology may be dismayed when they discover that their wedding photos – which have been meticulously shot by a professional wedding photographer, have been tarnished by the images of their guests paying attention to their phones, tablets and cameras, rather than the ceremony.

There’s also the issue of privacy. Sometimes couples don’t wish to have photos and videos of their wedding to be published online. They desire to reserve this privilege exclusively for themselves. When the bride and groom invite guests to their wedding, they want them to bask in the wonders of their special celebration, admire the work and effort that has been committed and above all, enjoy the day as it was intended to be enjoyed.

Should smartphones be banned from your wedding?

For the sake of emergencies, it’s important that your guests are still able to bring their phones along to the ceremony with them. It’d be unreasonable to demand otherwise, particularly if guests have friends or family who are ill at the time or who are elderly and more at risk. You might however consider politely asking your guests to refrain from taking photos during the actual ceremony, for reasons explained above.

Asking your guests to keep their phones and cameras down

On the wedding invitations & program

Consider placing a simple request on your wedding invitations and wedding program for all attendees to keep their cameras, phones and tablets down while the ceremony is in progress. In the case of phones, politely ask all guests to switch them to silent mode to avoid any unwanted disruptions.

Before the wedding begins

Another good idea is to have somebody from the wedding, such as a master of ceremonies notify everyone in attendance to kindly put their devices away, explaining to them that there will be a wedding photographer on-hand who will be capturing all the special moments throughout the day.


One of the most popular ways to remind guests not to take photos during the ceremony is to simply erect a sign outside the venue. Don’t be afraid to add a little humour into the message to help allay any concerns that that your guests may feel as if you’re behaving like an overbearing dictator by asking them to put their beloved phones and cameras away.

unplugged wedding

To Do or Not to Do

The aim this blog post isn’t to persuade you to have an unplugged wedding, but to alert you to the possible side effects of allowing your guests to freely take photos during the ceremony. The decision to have an unplugged wedding or not must be made well in advance of the actual wedding date.

Some couples may find that they’re more than happy for their guests to take their own snapshots throughout the wedding, but others may realise that they haven’t considered the implications of doing so and may be concerned that smartphones and cameras may detract from the intimacy of such a special occasion.

If you’ve gone to the trouble of appointing a professional wedding photographer to capture your wedding, you’d like to be certain that they can take the most spectacular photos possible and produce a wedding album of glorious photos that you will cherish forever.