Most of us are glued to our phones in the 21st century. I’m no exception. But it doesn’t have to that way at your wedding! If you want your big day to be a super fun shared experience for everyone in attendance, here are a few useful tips for how to politely encourage your wedding guests to put their phones down and be present with you in the moment.
SET A PRECEDENT WITH YOUR WEDDING INVITATIONS.
It’s important to plant this seed early. Mention in your wedding invitations that you’d like to take a break from technology on your wedding day so that you can have a real experience with your closest friends and family.
GO INTO MORE DETAIL ON YOUR WEDDING WEBSITE
You can only fit so much text on your invitations, but you’ll be able to go into more detail on your wedding website. Everyone’s wedding is different, but if I was planning a wedding, I’d write something like this:
“We can’t wait to spend the day with the people we care about the most in this world, which is why we’d love it if you could leave your phone in your pocket (or better yet, in your car)! We only have a short time with you all and we want to be present and in the moment so that we can experience this wonderful day together.”
SIGNAGE AT THE WEDDING
Even though you’ve already taken the time to encourage your wedding guests to put their phones down on your invitations and on your website, they’ll probably forget by the time the wedding rolls around. Ask your wedding planner if they’ll bring signs to set up near the entrance to the wedding venue, reminding guests to put their phones away. Will everybody listen? Nope. But some will and that’s worth the effort.
Unplugged wedding ceremonies have become super popular over the past decade. It basically means that everyone “unplugs” from technology, at least during the ceremony. The officiant typically makes an announcement, asking everyone silence their phones and put them away for the duration of the ceremony. This means no pictures, but that’s okay, because you’ve already hired an awesome wedding photographer to document the day for you!
Check out our post on unplugged wedding ceremonies for more info.
PICK A VENUE WITHOUT WIFI
One of our favorite weddings we’ve ever photographed was at Camp Hale, near Red Cliff, Colorado. It’s way out of range of cell reception and the venue doesn’t have Wi-Fi, which means everyone is forced to actually talk to one another. Crazy idea, I know. The best part of this particular wedding was that the dance party was absolutely insane, due in no small part to the fact that sitting down to look at a phone wasn’t an option. Everybody hit the dance floor and didn’t leave until late into the evening.
This is a bit of an extreme example, but hey, whatever works, right? Check out photos from the Camp Hale wedding and decide if you think it’s worth it.
PROVIDE ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT
There are a million things you can do to keep your guests occupied so that they’re not tempted to break out their phones and scroll through their various social media accounts. We have a long list of ideas for you, so we’re going to save this for another post, soon to come. Stay tuned!