Here's a term I bring up often in my consultations that most couples aren't used to hearing: unplugged. At first, it sounds like a reference to sound systems or microphones, but what I'm actually referring to is the phones and cameras of your guests.
A few months ago a viral post made its way around the internet of a bride walking down the isle, and her groom having to dodge the phones of his guests to see her. It was a heartbreaking reality for many couples and their photographers who had encountered this situation before. It seems silly, and easily preventable, but it's as simple of a fix as we would hope.
So what should you do to avoid this problem?
First, announce your ceremony will be unplugged. This means all phones, cameras, iPads, and recording devices be turned off for the full duration of the ceremony. Remind your guests that all photography can continue following for all other important moments. Post this reminder on your website, on Facebook, and on the invitations. If you choose to share the wedding images with your guests, remind them they will have access to these cherished memories once the photos are done.
Second, have a conversation in person with your bridal party and all family members. Ask them to remind your guests and relatives before the start of the ceremony to keep everyone accountable.
Third, set up your space for success. I encourage signs at the entrance of the ceremony to serve as a final written reminder. Ask your calligrapher to create this sign to match the rest of the decor. You can be as simple, or as clever, as you want with the text, as long as it conveys the message.
Last, ask your officiant to make a few announcements, as your guests are being seated, and just before the ceremony starts.
With these steps, your guests will get the idea, stow their devices, and be present on your wedding day. There will be no phones in the images, and your photographer can capture your best moments without distraction. Always talk to your coordinator and photographer about your concerns or plans for hosting an unplugged ceremony!