Miss Mink Ponders the Unplugged Wedding

I came across an interesting picture on a wedding blog a few weeks ago. It showed a sign that asked guests to turn off their phones at a wedding. It was the first time I even considered the fact that people might take pictures with their phones to post on Facebook or Twitter during our ceremony.


Photo by Jodi Miller Photography

A quick Google search led me to an article on Offbeat Bride about “unplugged weddings.” It seems some brides are walking down the aisle to a crowd of people hunched over their devices or people staring at their screens. I also read an excerpt from a photographer’s memoir in which she complained that guests who think their job is to take photos and video get in the way of the shots that the professional photographers are there to take. She wrote that every wedding has an “Uncle Bob” who wants to play professional photographer for the day.


From Offbeat Bride / Photo by Nora and Troy at Aurora-Photography.com

I originally hoped that our wedding venue wouldn’t have cellular reception. Our first visit confirmed that the signal is strong, and a Facebook update soon after announced that they have WiFi as well. The social-media addict in me was a little happy, but I know I’m going to turn off my phone and leave the iPad at home on our big day.

I’ve been to two weddings in the last year and I didn’t notice anyone holding up devices, though I did see the bride from one of the weddings tagged in some Facebook photos soon after. I’m curious about whether anyone has been to a wedding where guests on phones or taking photos/video have gotten in the way. Do you think signs or notes in programs announcing that a wedding is “unplugged” are becoming necessary?

Along those lines, what do you think of this?!?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
Spoonful of Love: Hands in Pockets
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  1. Member
    joyous0529 136 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:13 pm

    The ipad bridesmaid, Im not going to lie, I get it! My cousin (and bridesmaid in my upcoming wedding) has Cystic Fibrosis, shes been getting way worse over the past year & I can’t imagine her not being there. We are only 2 years apart and she is more like my sister. Just recently she got out of the hospital and in 3 weeks was back in. I would do anything for her to witness our marriage & over the summer almost got married by her bedside because she was in the ICU and things were not good AT ALL, pastors were called in & me & the Mr. almost made it a done deal right there. She is my most important person I NEED at my wedding (besides my groom of coarse!) I can’t imagine my day without her. So I would consider doing the ipad thing… probably not walk it down the aisle, but have it sit in the front seat so she could see the ceremony 🙂 For our favors we are doing something small with a note attached that we’ve decided to donate to the Cf foundation. It is more important to us then most would ever realize. That is a complete secret from my guest, and bridal party, only people that know are my mister & my parents… My family will be exteremly touched by our gesture.

    Also my (was going to be) man of honor got news after our wedding date was picked & set that he will be over seas serving in Afghanistan. I will no matter what say a prayer for service men & women also write a special thank you in our program to them. I can see us doing the ipad in the front seat for him, if its available for him to do that.

  2. Member
    joyous0529 136 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:17 pm

    also I’ve noticed, if the ceremony is done in a church less people take out their phones for pictures. When its outdoors or in another facility MOST people will take them out and snap away

  3. Member
    justelope 771 posts, Busy bee @ 9:42 am

    I think this just speaks to the idea that the person most interested in your wedding is you. The idea that your guests need to turn off their phones to devote every waking moment of what are often five to seven hour events just seems ridiculous to me.

    I get not wanting people on their phones, but personally I do not care. The people who are interested will turn them off, and the rest will punctuate their attendance with taking care of other things.

    I often go to friends weddings by myself since FI doesn’t always know them, is often traveling, and I don’t see the point of bringing a disinterested date that my friend then needs to feed, all at a big added expense. So sometimes, I like being able to check my email and entertain myself when I am sitting around waiting for the ceremony to start, for the cocktail hour to start, for dinner to start, for the dancing to start. I feel like there is a lot of sit around and wait that goes on at weddings that I don’t feel I need to spend my time being intentional and phone free about.

    Also, when I do get FI to go, he uses his phone. He blogs and does a lot of online stuff for work, so he kinda needs to check it, but more importantly wants to. And I don’t have a problem with that.

  4. Member
    zippitydoodah 210 posts, Helper bee @ 6:57 pm


    Unless I’m totally mistaken, I don’t think anyone is talking about the ENTIRE day. It’s the wedding ceremony itself… you know, the important part (and generally the only time they are of any length are when they’re in a church, in which case I should hope their phone wouldn’t be on :S). I would never expect other people to not use their phone the entire day (people have babysitters and stuff). That being said, I’ve only ever seen teenagers use their phones during dinner at a wedding (texting), so I assume if others need to they go out the room or are less obvious about it maybe. Either way, I would never, ever tell people to turn their phones off for an entire wedding reception! I think you just are reading the article and comments wrong, it’s the actual WEDDING that is in question. Even cameras I don’t care about except for during the actual ceremony.

  5. Member
    seahorsey 586 posts, Busy bee @ 12:35 pm

    @justelope: I have to disagree with this part of your comment: “I think this just speaks to the idea that the person most interested in your wedding is you. The idea that your guests need to turn off their phones to devote every waking moment of what are often five to seven hour events just seems ridiculous to me.”

    I TOTALLY agree that I care most about the wedding. I know that even FI won’t care as much as I do. BUT that being said: if my guests can’t stay off their devices for the 20 minute ceremony, they should skip the ceremony and only attend the reception (where I will happily allow guests to use their devices!) I just think that the ceremony is a sacred, important moment and I really don’t want anyone on devices during that moment. If that’s too big of an inconvenience, they’re welcome to come to the reception only 🙂

  6. Member
    veggie_rachel 575 posts, Busy bee @ 6:56 pm

    Love this!

  7. Member
    MrsPeachMartini 679 posts, Busy bee @ 8:40 am

    That picture of all the guests watching the ceremony through their camera is hysterical!! (and sadly, true)

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