In a world driven by technology, smart phones and instant sharing of information on social media, some couples may choose to celebrate their wedding in an “unplugged” fashion. Whether the purpose is to be more connected to the people around you, to have your first married photos be professional, or to keep the wedding more intimate, personal and between the people closest to you, it is a decision that requires some forethought.
Several of Southern Bride & Groom’s preferred wedding planners offer tips below to help limit your wedding photos on social media and ways to communicate with guests in polite, and even fun, ways that you are choosing to have an “unplugged” wedding.
Sally Oakley, owner of Sally Oakley Weddings & Events says, “Think about how you would like your event to be shared, if at all, ahead of time. Are you okay with guests sharing photos of themselves from the reception? Is it just the ceremony that feels to personal to see on Instagram? Determine what your boundaries are and go from there. Guests are there to celebrate the couple and should honor and respect their wishes.”Photo by In His Image Photography
1. Use your Wedding Website
Your wedding Website is a great resource for guests and the perfect place to mention this type of information. You could put a personal note on it about why you’re choosing to keep this special occasion between your closest friends and family and that you want them to be “in the moment” with you!
2. Design a Sign
A Southern Soiree advises that if you choose to have an “unplugged” wedding, have a simple sign visible as guests enter the ceremony and the reception venue (if you don’t want photos at either).
“You could have a beautifully painted chalkboard either hung at the entrance or placed on an easel. Or, if you’re tired of the chalkboard trend, you can still have a calligrapher, artist, or graphic designer create something that politely makes the same request in a lovely way,” says Grace Beason, owner of Grace Leisure Events.
3. Put it in the Program
Brides and grooms can also have a message typed into the ceremony program requesting that cell phones and other photo/recording devices be put away for the evening. “The officiant could even incorporate a word about it into the ceremony,” says Amanda Scott, owner of A Swanky Affair.
“If you’re having attendees pass out ceremony programs, he or she could politely remind guests of this request,” says A Southern Soiree. “An example of wordage you could use is: The bride and groom have chosen to have an ‘unplugged’ wedding this evening. Please refrain from the use of cellphones, cameras, and from sharing these images on social media.”
“Most guests adhere to the rule, but your planner could politely and discreetly say something to any guests that are not obeying the request,” adds Amanda Scott.
4. Have a “phone check”
What about this fun idea that A Southern Soiree and Sally Oakley brought up…A fun way to encourage embracing an “unplugged” wedding is to have a phone check (like a coat check) or “valet” of sorts for your guests. Guests trade their phone for fun props, their escort cards, or other unique items that they can return at the end of the night! This could obviously get difficult if not well organized or if you have a very large crowd, so keep limitations in mind.
5. Set Yourself Up for Success
A Southern Soiree reminds brides to change their personal settings on social media so that nobody is able to “tag” photos of them.
Grace Beason shares another great alternative: “If you don’t want your photos shared on social media, but you do want to receive and share the photos between and amongst your family and friends, consider asking them to email their photos to you and tell them you will put them on a site like Picasa and share it with all your wedding guests after the wedding.”
WedPics is also a free wedding app and Website for storing and sharing wedding photos among guests.
Photo by Ginny Corbett Photography
Like it or not, social media is an unavoidable part of our every day lives and there isn’t much you can do to completely prevent guests from sharing your wedding on social media. However, if you take the time to get the message to your guests politely in multiple ways, they will hopefully respect your wishes. Whatever happens, remember, this is your day – don’t let your guests control your happiness; just focus on enjoying the celebration!