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How To Have An Unplugged Wedding

How to Have an Unplugged Wedding

In today’s world, smartphones are everywhere. They are in our pockets when we eat dinner and, in our hands, when we should be spending time with family. It is for this reason; that many couples are deciding they would rather not share their special wedding day bliss with smartphones. They want their guests to attend without dinging notifications, annoying ringtones, and camera phone clicks. Erin Morrison Photography understands and we are here to provide you with helpful tips on how to have an unplugged wedding. Yes, you can do it without upsetting your guests!

How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
Woodland Inspired Wedding at The Quarry

6 Benefits of Having an Unplugged Wedding

An “Unplugged Wedding” is a wedding where guests are encouraged to turn off cell phones and other electronic devices. Is an unplugged wedding right for you? Only you know the answer to this big question.  As with most things “wedding-related”, you have tough decisions to make. There are many reasons couples now feel that a phone is best left in their pockets. Some of the most basic include: Keep Guests “In the Moment”. Too often we get distracted by smartphones and by leaving them out of the wedding, you know your guests are just going to be there to share your joy.

Ensures Everyone Can See You

When a bride walks down the aisle, guests want to see her. They don’t want to see your aunt Bessy’s cell phone while she tries to capture the moment for herself. Not to mention, we know you would rather see all eyes on you in your gorgeous dress. We know, that when you look back at your wedding day memories, you don’t want to see a phone, tablet, iPad, or camera covering the face of those you care about. You want to see their joy, their tears, and their support. 

Will Keep Guests in Their Seat

 Remember your parents standing in the aisle of your school play? When they were trying to capture photographs or video of your performance on stage? Your wedding day is going to be similar, but on a bigger scale. More family members will be standing in the aisle or hanging out there to get the perfect angle. This can make a big mess of things when all they should be doing is listening while you express what’s in your heart before everyone.

You Have More Control

Although posting wedding photographs on social media can be a lot of fun, you may not want 5,000 posted from various camera-happy family members. You are in control of who and what gets shared if you save the photography for a professional. This leads us to number five:

Your Wedding Photographer Will Thank You 

Your wedding photographer is someone you have chosen and put your trust in. By unplugging your wedding ceremony, you are making sure that they can do the job you have asked them to do. In our opinion, nothing would be worse than having someone stand up to take a photograph while we are trying to capture that first kiss as husband and wife. It is a moment that cannot be “redone.”

How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
Sustainable Wedding at The Quarry Venue Knoxville

How to Unplug Your Wedding Without Offending Guests?

If you want to have an unplugged wedding, we suggest you consider these tips and ideas for pulling it off. Your guests will really appreciate knowing in advance that they can disconnect from their phones. It will give them time to prepare themselves for the occasion.

Include Announcement in Invitation

If you haven’t sent out your wedding invitations yet, now is a great time to express that your wedding ceremony will be device free. Include an insert card in your invitations that states that you are having an unplugged wedding. It’s an eloquent way of letting people know about the guidelines for your event. Your guests will really appreciate knowing that they will be disconnected from their phones during your wedding in advance. It will give them time to prepare themselves psychologically for the occasion.

Include Announcement on Wedding Website

State that you will have an unplugged wedding on your website. Make sure that you include information about your wedding being an unplugged wedding somewhere on your website. You don’t have to give information its own page. However, you should certainly provide thorough information about your unplugged wedding in the FAQ section or Details section.

Add To Your Wedding Program

Add that you will have an unplugged wedding to your ceremony program. Some people need to be reminded. They might have spaced out and missed the other signs, or they might simply be distracted by the other events of their day. They might need to be reminded of the rules. That is why you will need to add this to the ceremony program. When they view it, they will be reminded to be fully present for this special celebration.

Make a Pre-Ceremony Announcement

Make a pre-ceremony announcement. People lead busy lives. They might be flustered when they arrive at your wedding and need a reminder. Have your officiant make a quick announcement that this is indeed an unplugged wedding after everyone has taken their seats and before the ceremony has begun.

Make an Unplugged Wedding Sign

Your guests will never know that you want them to leave the devices out of your wedding unless you tell them. They are not mind readers (although we wish, right?!). You can politely say that you want to unplug your wedding so that everyone attending can enjoy all that is going on to the fullest. A great example of this is to come up with a cute sign that reads:

On our special day, we want to see your faces, not your devices… Please put away phones and cameras until after the ceremony.”

It gets the point across clearly and comes across as a request rather than a demand. 

How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
Fall Wedding at Pure Water Farm

Give Guests Alternatives

Your friends and family want keepsake photographs and mementos of your special day almost as much as you do.

  • You can request that your photographer take more candid photographs of guests rather than focus mainly on the bride and groom. 
  • Express that devices are not welcome, but they can take all the pictures they want to at the reception. 
  • You may choose a time/place where people can pose for photographs. This could even be a photo booth or a photo bus. The key is to give them the chance to take pictures of family, friends, and of course, the happy couple. 
How To Have An Unplugged Wedding
Pink and Navy Wedding at The Standard Knoxville

Understand the Needs of Your Guests

One thing we don’t talk much about is the fact that some people simply cannot be without their phones. For example, you may have a guest that is a doctor. They certainly may need to keep their phone on. Or, the other viable option, is to keep the phone on vibrate for an unexpected situation.

Wedding Ceremonies During a Pandemic

Yep. We are talking about that darn pandemic again. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has remarkably changed wedding ceremonies. Live streams of wedding ceremonies on Facebook or ZOOM are a real thing now. We fully support the use of technology when loved ones cannot be at your wedding. Most wedding couples are designating a guest to coordinate the live stream. And usually, the guest coordinates with the professional photographer or videographer about their position. We love it! When everyone chips in and helps a bride and groom, the better the entire wedding day.

At Erin Morrison Photography, we want to help your dream wedding become a reality. We will do all that we can to keep guests happy if you choose to have an unplugged ceremony. This includes taking more photographs of guests or helping you choose a picturesque spot in Knoxville, the Smoky Mountains, and surrounding areas. If you are in need of a photographer to capture your unplugged wedding, feel free to contact us


Natural light + honest photographer for all humans.


Knoxville, Tennessee



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