Unplugged Ceremony

Cell phones, social media, Instagramming through lunch, all those things generally don’t bother us. We like our cell phones, and heck if we look cute wearing an apron and baking a cake, post that business to The Facebook! Social media and the devices that connect us to our friends and family are important tools in our lives.

There are some places where cell phones are completely inappropriate though, right? Texting on a date isn’t classy and that table next to you with 8 friends, all looking down at their phones just looks discouraging in a “faith in humanity lost” kind of way. So what about weddings?

More and more couples are saying their vows, tears welling up and they look out to 100 of their closest family and friends to see a sea of Androids. If this would disappoint you, you’re not alone. The ceremony is a wildly emotional and life changing event that you’ve invited the most important people in your life to share with you. You want them to be present in the moment! So what can you do? Why, darling, you can have an unplugged ceremony!

Let’s also take a moment to look at the photographers point of view. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve assessed a ceremony site, chosen my lens, my settings and my position for a processional only to have an uncle jump out into the isle and completely block my view of the flower girl. Suddenly I am scrambling to change my position to shoot the flower girl only to end up with a few mediocre images of 10% flower girl and 90% uncles back. Yikes. This is also common for the first kiss. I place myself at the back of the aisle, ready for that gorgeous moment where the couples lips meet, where the guests laugh and cheer. and then ten guest jump right in front of the couple to get their photo. I would love to say my magic camera could shoot through humans and still get that awesome first kiss shot, but that isn’t the case.

An image by Thomas Stewart recently went viral after he experienced a moment where the groom actually had to step out of the way of click happy guests to see his bride coming down the aisle. I think this image says it all…. And I don’t think I will ever stop cringing when I look at it.

unplugged ceremony Denise Karis Blog, image by Thomas Stewart

So how do you communicate the decision to your guests? A sign at the ceremony site is the most common way. You can also put a note in the program and even have the officiant announce the request before the ceremony begins. To help planning your ceremony, I’m proving a free download today! The incredible Michelle Ayres did an amazing job with the design…honestly, have you ever seen anything sweeter than this camera graphic?

Use the form below to have the file download directly to your computer!

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  1. Quick Tips to Plan for Great Wedding Photos » Denise Karis Photography Blog

    January 25th, 2016 at 6:29 am

    […] Have an unplugged ceremony. I cannot tell you how many times I line up my shot at a ceremony only to have several guests jump right in front of me with their cell phones on camera mode. I don’t want to hand over images of your guests backsides, however lovely they maybe! Invite your guests to be present with you during your special moment while I take care of the photos. I recently blogged a full post on this with a gorgeous free printable that you can check out here. […]

  2. Rachel

    August 7th, 2017 at 4:14 am

    I’m so glad I found you! I was looking for somthing like this to make for my daughter’s wedding as I want to enjoy an
    UNPLUGGED WEDDING/ and it’s also our Pastor’s/church’s request during the ceremony that there be no cameras or phones taking pictures. I’m so glad to had stumbled upon your blog. I thank you for sharing your download with us! I can now check one more thing off our to do list!
    Happy bride’s mom!

  3. Sam

    August 17th, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    I love this! Thank you so much for sharing!!!
    XOXOXO

  4. Hooper's Farm Gardens

    June 5th, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    What a beautiful sign! Thank you for sharing!