Debbie
Savvy January 2022

Photos or no phones/photos /videos allowed

Debbie, on November 6, 2021 at 11:09 AM Posted in Wedding Ceremony 2 34
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Im seeing on Etsy signs of unplugged ceremony. Please turn off phones and cameras. Photo ops will be at reception. How do you feel about photos taken at ceremony? Will you have it unplugged too? Just trying to identify the pros and cons to them decode. Thank you!!!

34 Comments

Latest activity by Debbie, on December 24, 2021 at 2:07 PM
  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece ·
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    Photos or no phones/photos /videos allowed 1
    Photos or no phones/photos /videos allowed 2
    Photos or no phones/photos /videos allowed 3



    These pictures are exactly why we decided to have an unplugged ceremony. Although intentions aren’t bad, guests using phones to take pictures during the ceremony ruin shots for professional photographers. I did not want to make the job harder for our photographer, and I definitely do not want photos of people holding up their phones. Plus, people tend to be so focused on taking pictures, that they aren’t present for important moments. We would prefer all our guests to be present with us during our 15 minute ceremony. We would also like to be in control of when we choose to post pictures of our wedding. I, personally, don’t like the idea of photographs of our wedding being on social media before the ceremony is even over, or before we have had a chance to post ourselves. And of course, there is always the dreaded bad photos! I don’t want pictures where I think I look terrible being the first photos people see of me in my wedding dress!

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  • Ashlee
    Expert September 2022
    Ashlee ·
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    I personally hate seeing people with their phones trying to get picks of the ceremony, it looks tacky in photos and what are those guests really going to do with them? Maybe a quick FB post and then delete? I'd rather have no phones in my professional ceremony pics, so I think what we're going to do is have the officiant say, "please keep your phones away until a specific moment for you to take pics later in the ceremony" and then once we're settled at the alter, have the officiant say "you can take your photos now, but after that, please put them away and be present in the moment" or something similar. I saw it at a wedding we attended this summer and I definitely preferred it to people leaning into the aisle trying to take pics.

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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece ·
    • Flag
    I also wanted to add… our photographer actually has a clause in his contract stating that guests are not to take photos during the wedding ceremony. And if they do not follow the rules, he is not liable for ruined or missing photos due to guests ruining them. He said this has happened so many times over the past few years, that he has made it a rule for his clients.
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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa Online ·
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    Pros: your guests won't block the photographer/videographer with their cameras/phones, and phones/cameras won't be visible in your photos. Your guests will also be more focused on the ceremony, rather than scrolling through Facebook or looking through the photos they just took. It also ensures that no one will share photos of your ceremony before you do.


    Cons: there is a chance that not all of your guests will abide by this. You would either have to be OK with some people potentially sneaking a few pictures anyway, or designating someone to enforce the unplugged ceremony rule (which could cause minor distractions during the ceremony as they ask people to put away their phones). You would also miss out on photos from the guests - often, they capture some awesome images!
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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
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    I was all for an unplugged ceremony but we didn't actually end up doing one because our wedding celebration with guests was a "redo" due to Covid. Since we were already married, the ceremony itself didn't feel as genuine to me and I didn't care as much. Also fortunately most of our friends weren't the type to snap photos during the ceremony, so we didn't really have to ask them to keep their phones away.

    The biggest benefit of an unplugged ceremony is that it encourages guests to be fully present during your ceremony (not distracted by tech) and that in doing so it tends to keep stray guests and phones out of the way of your professional photographers and videographers. The photos shared above show how intrusive having a bunch of guests taking photos or recording on their phones can be.

    IMO the only reason NOT to have an unplugged ceremony is if you haven't hired pros to record your day, because your guests amateur phone photos are unlikely to add anything to your event if you have a pro doing the work. If you are having professional photographers but not videographers, I do think it can be nice to designate a guest to record your vows or meaningful parts of your ceremony because having video will capture little moments or a unique perspective that your still photographers will miss. But you can still have a mostly "unplugged" ceremony with the exception of that one friend, and they can record in a way that isn't so obvious and distracting.

    Guests will have plenty of time to snap their own photos afterward.

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  • Debbie
    Savvy January 2022
    Debbie ·
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    So helpful. Thank you!
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  • Debbie
    Savvy January 2022
    Debbie ·
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    Thank you!! One side of me wants full attention , not too many photos out there/posting before us but post covid I feel I dont care as much. Take a couple shots make sure to share and put it away is maybe the sign I’ll make Smiley smile thanks!!
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  • Debbie
    Savvy January 2022
    Debbie ·
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    Interesting thanks for the insight
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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
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    You can also skip a sign entirely and just have your officiant announce your expectation at the start of your ceremony.

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  • Sharon
    Super September 2021
    Sharon ·
    • Flag
    I'm going to go against the popular thought here and say I like to see it through everyone's eyes. None of our professional photos were ruined by people with their phones in the way. Some people got great shots and different angles than our photographer was able to get. This is one of my favorite pictures that one of our guests took. The photographer has this picture but from a different angle and it just isn't as nice as this one.Photos or no phones/photos /videos allowed 4

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  • Natalie
    Super November 2020
    Natalie ·
    • Flag
    We did not do an unplugged ceremony for our wedding last November, and I honestly have no regrets! Because of Covid, we decided to use the reception space for the ceremony instead of the standard rows of chairs. While a few people had phones out in some of the pics, it didn’t feel like a big deal. We did not have a videographer, and one of our guests actually got a wonderful video of us saying our vows!
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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    I loved having my guests’ pictures. And those horror story photos all look very staged. My guests didn’t ruin my photos. There may be a couple exceptions with specific relatives (you’d know who they are) , but most guests operate with a reasonable level of social consciousness— many won’t have phones out at all, and some will sneak a couple quick pics . Most people *wont* be staring at phones the whole time more
    Focused on the perfect pic than the ceremony, and most people won’t be shoving their phones into the aisle . I’ve never been to a wedding where it’s been a real issue. Honestly what has bothered me more is the hired videographer being in the way!
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  • B
    VIP July 2017
    Becky ·
    • Flag

    We didn't have a sign nor did we ask the officiant to make an announcement, and while we have a couple photos where you can see someone with a phone, they were very careful not to be in the aisle/in the way of the photographer and it isn't obnoxious (like the ones above - though I agree those look staged). They still paid attention to the ceremony - you can tell when you can see them in some of the other pictures being present in the moment of the wedding - they just took a few during the processional.

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  • A
    Savvy March 2022
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    I’m on the fence about this too. My plan is have my photographer weigh in on the matter.

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  • Debbie
    Savvy January 2022
    Debbie ·
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    Gorgeous!!!! Thank you for sharing!! This is indeed a special photo and angle that’s so unique in itself Smiley smile
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  • Bird
    Devoted June 2021
    Bird ·
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    I agree wholeheartedly!!!! We didn’t have an unplugged ceremony and our officiant didn’t announce it but most ppl had their phones away or were recording video of the ceremony. I was glad to have the videos and some different angled photos. I think MOST ppl are going to be reasonable with phones so I wouldn’t really worry about it. If you’re really adamant about not having a phone in any picture that the photographer takes, then I would make a sign saying it’s unplugged and have the officiate remind during ceremony. One of my friends asked if our wedding was unplugged, so I think most guests will be used to this rule.
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  • Bird
    Devoted June 2021
    Bird ·
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    This was exactly the case for my wedding. People are usually pretty reasonable!
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  • Jennifer
    Dedicated August 2021
    Jennifer ·
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    My vote is for “let people take pictures.” We did and I have perfect, professional pictures of me walking down the aisle, without a guest phone in site. But we ALSO have the photos guests sent us, and I love them.
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  • Joy
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Joy ·
    • Flag
    I’m here for it! Be in the moment with us! It was nice to walk down the aisle and not have hundreds of phones in my face. Also, we paid a lot for our videographer & photographer and I would hate for the footage to be overwhelmed or missed due to guests having their phones out. Ceremonies aren’t long, they’ll be alright !
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  • Lynn
    Beginner October 2021
    Lynn ·
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    Some of my favorite pictures were my guest pictures because they were more candid. They feel for like us.
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