Inspirational Wedding Ideas

How to Make Sure Your Guests Get the Unplugged Memo

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Alrighty, so it’s been at least 5+ years since the term “unplugged” went viral - and if you’re still unsure about what it means, we definitely want to illuminate. Essentially, unplugged means that you want your ceremony (and/or reception, TBH) to be unphased by cell phones, cameras, ‘streaming’ of ANY sort. It’s a really sweet thought, and something that should be understood - without additional explanation from the couple - but nonetheless, some guests are either completely oblivious (grandparents might not be savvy about this, so they get a pass) or have very little regard for the soon-to-be-married pair’s wishes and just assume their tech fix is warranted.

Either way, if a couple makes it a point to institute an unplugged affair, it’s not just a nice guest gesture to oblige their requests and put away your phones, it’s effectually rude if you don’t. So, with all that said, Diplo, dude, remember this and at least apologize to Joe and Sophie. Defensiveness isn’t such a great look... 

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If you’re confused, here’s the context: Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner had a super quick Vegas chapel wedding following the Billboard Music Awards (and ahead of their destination I Dos in France this summer); the couple wanted to keep it hushhh, but by the next morning, everyone in the world knew they were hitched, because Diplo live streamed damn near every detail (granted, we were happy about it, but that's just because we needed to something to stalk). 

Joe and the bros appeared on “Capital Breakfast With Roman Kemp” this week, and when he was asked about his Vegas vows, he wasn’t shy about saying that Diplo “did ruin it” with his Instagram Story shares. Joe laughed about it and said that he and Sophie thought it “was ridiculous,” especially when the DJ just low key said “Gonna hit this wedding real quick,” but yahh, you can bet he wasn’t a huge fan of how it went down and how everyone found out about it.


How to Make Sure Your Guests Get the Unplugged Memo
Reality:

Truthfully, I didn’t even write a post-wedding recap, because I was waiting for photos from Joe or Sophie (or any of their legit entourage, Pri, Nick, Kevin, etc.) to surface. But nobody in their clique shared anything, and I’m a firm believer in waiting for the newlyweds to make the first social media move. It’s their day, they decide when+if they want it to become public knowledge.

The Jonas wedding in France will probs be MUCH more private and confidential until the captures either come out by People or the photographer him/herself, but not every couple has the luxury of a second wedding to remedy regrets of the first. That’s why it’s important to relay unplugged preferences early on, and as frequently as it is appropriate.

Here’s how you’ll want to make it known:

In your invitation.

Okay, sure, it sounds a little sketch to put a giant “we’re having an unplugged ceremony, please refrain from using your cell phones or electronic devices while we’re saying “I Do”” PSA into your perfectly-put-together invitations. But you can do it in a non-aggressive way, simply by adding an “FYI” insert to your suite. Guests will read through all of the materials, and appreciate your proactiveness in asking friends and family to put their personal tech away so as to enjoy the day with you. You can ask your stationer, too, if he/she has done something like this before and might have a few ideas for wording that doesn’t sound demanding or b****y but instead clever, creative, and genuinely courteous.

On your website.

Oh you know, just another reason why we’re sooo behind our couples creating their own wedding website prior to their celebration(s). This is where your guests are going to go to get ALL the deets on the wedding and do a little stalking on their own, too. While they’re there, they can gather info on accommodations, pre and post wedding events, and special considerations exclusive to your event. And this is the ideal place to include a little note about your nuptials needs / how you’d sincerely appreciate your guests holding off on snapping and sharing and allowing the photographer(s) to do their thing while you’re exchanging your sweet nothings. 

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Woven into your decor.

Even if you haven’t expressly learned the ins and outs of an unplugged wedding scenario, you’ve probably seen tons of examples of signage that spells it all out. And you can work with calligraphers or DIY some decor that relays exactly what you want to say. For real, there are so many ways to ask your guests to unplug for your special day - you can go on Pinterest or Insta and scope out messaging that sounds best to you and boo, and then ‘sign off’ with your signatures or your shared new last name so that guests feel like the ask came straight from you, with love and thanks.

Written into your ceremony programs and reiterated by your officiant.

Ceremony programs do a great job of outlining a table of contents for how you’ll be tying the knot. Thus, they’re a sweet spot to mention your unplugged intentions, without seeming too forward. If your guests arrive to your ceremony well in advance of its start, they should have enough time to page through the program and read through your requests, but we suggest putting the unplugged “plea” somewhere in the beginning, just so it isn’t overlooked. It’s also helpful to have a powwow with your officiant, where you can explain to him/her that you’d like an announcement made at the start of your ceremony just to set the scene. Something about wanting their undivided attention and all eyes on your union instead of faces buried in screen time certainly makes a strong case.

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And of course, the more messengers (parents, bridal party members, etc.) you have to get the word out about your no phones, pleaseeee preferences the better!

… Now, if you’re a guest at an unplugged wedding, heed this advice:

Or else run the risk of being put on blast at a later time…

  1. Don’t post any photos of the wedding (particularly the bride, in her dress, jumpsuit, whatever it is) until you see that others have done so - and it looks like the couple is OK with it.

  2. If there is signage indicating a hashtag for sharing, DO use it. If the couple is inviting you to indulge in documentation of their special day, do it so that they can keep track of the photo treasures.

  3. Don’t livestream. Just don’t do it. The bride and groom may have already appointed someone to live stream the proceedings for invited guests who couldn’t make it, so you taking the liberty to do it yourself might - as Diplo learned - “ruin it” for them.

  4. Do live “in the moment.” There truly isn’t any reason that you can’t stow your phone away for - at most - an hour while the couple goes through their ceremony. They’ve invited you to bear witness to their vows, so it’s only right to give them your full, undistracted attention.

  5. Don’t fall victim to the bystander effect. Okay, so someone else in your row is snapping iPhone shots of the bride walking down the aisle - that doesn’t mean that you have to do the same. If everyone could adhere to the unplugged rules, and lead by example, there’d be a lot more happy couples feeling like their privacy was protected.