Planning a no-cell-phone restriction at your ceremony? Try these unplugged ceremony sign ideas to enforce it! It’s the easiest way to tell guests no pictures at ceremony (please!) Find out what an unplugged ceremony really is and why you might want one. Subscribe for the latest to your inbox, k?
Ah, the unplugged ceremony: a “no cell phones please” rule that isn’t technically a rule, but a suggestion, one that many couples today are trying to enforce. If you’re wondering how to tell guests no pictures at the ceremony, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to dive into this hot topic and explain exactly what to do, how to do it, and why you might want to tell guests not to take photos at your wedding. (Tip: This is just for the ceremony, not the reception!)
What is an unplugged ceremony?
An unplugged ceremony is where cell phones, cameras, and other digital devices are put away and out of sight; it encourages guests to be present in the moment, rather than taking photos, using their phones, taking videos, etc.
An unplugged ceremony is the best way to keep guests engaged in the moment and truly focused on your ceremony. Plus, it gives everyone a much-needed break from cell phones. ;)
By saying it’s an unplugged ceremony, you’re essentially telling guests to not take pictures during it.
By “unplugging”, you’re keeping the moment very special and authentic; photographers aren’t trying to maneuver around guests to avoid having fifty cell phones in the line of sight. Guests aren’t fumbling with devices to try to capture the perfect picture. And most importantly, all eyes are on the main event: your nuptials!
Can I ban phones at my wedding?
Absolutely. If you have an unplugged ceremony sign, it’s a polite way to tell guests not to take pictures at your wedding.
How do you enforce an unplugged wedding?
Typically, a sign is all it takes. Use an unplugged ceremony sign like any of the ones we’re sharing below and you’ll likely be able to enforce it. However, some guests may not obey the “rule” and that’s OK. Is it right? No, but don’t let that stress you out. Overall, most guests will be tuned in to your ceremony and in the moment, and that’s really what you’re trying to achieve.
Is it rude to do an unplugged ceremony?
Ever since Smartphones became attached to people as another appendage, ceremonies have been fraught with guests leaning in, snapping photos, and trying to be the photographer. I’d venture to say it’s more rude to play photographer and spend time on your device while a couple is literally getting married, right this instant, in front of your own eyes! ;)
However, some guests are truly tied to their phones, and asking them to put it away may sound shocking to them. And of course, most guests really mean well: they are just trying to capture a few snapshots themselves. But this can take away from the momentous occasion and block the photographer’s view, which makes it hard for him or her to do the job.
As tough as it is to do, sometimes you must. Now, enforcing an unplugged ceremony is another thing, which is where the sign comes into play. Let’s discuss it!
Unplugged Ceremony Sign
When bride-to-be, Jess, wrote us with this question, we knew it was the perfect tie-in to this topic. She writes,
“Dear Emmaline Bride, I’m getting married in August and I’m excited about the ceremony but I really don’t want guests taking photos during it and sharing on social media. I really don’t want the photographer getting photos of guests taking photos, either! Any suggestions on how to enforce an unplugged ceremony that doesn’t sound rude?”
Ah, good question: how to enforce an unplugged ceremony and not make it sound rude. Great point!
As a rule of thumb, an unplugged ceremony basically puts a pause on cell phone use during the ceremony.
It sounds funny that one would even need to suggest such a thing, as it’s pretty standard to turn off your phone or at least put it on silent (so you’re not that person with the ringer going off mid-vows, ha!)
It’s a whole other conversation when people are taking their phones out to take photos during the nuptials and I could totally, 100% see how that could be something that makes you anxious. After all, you’ve paid good money to hire a professional to do his or her job — take the photos! — and you don’t need to see guests looking at you through their camera screens solely to capture it and throw it up on Insta or Tiktok.
OK, so let’s recap: you want to enforce an unplugged ceremony at your wedding. The easiest way to do it? Put up an unplugged ceremony sign.
Next, how to do it without sounding rude. Well, personally, I don’t think it’s rude to request no cell phones or photos taken during a ceremony if that’s truly what you want. It’s your wedding, so asking guests to please refrain from taking photos and using their phones during the ceremony isn’t, in my opinion, too much to ask. It is asking guests to be present in the moment. Enjoy it. Don’t do it for the ‘gram. ;)
So, here’s what is the most important: how you say it. That’s what will make the difference between simply having an unplugged ceremony and enforcing it vs. having an unplugged ceremony and acting rude about it.
The wording of the unplugged ceremony sign and how you behave about it make all the difference.
Display an unplugged ceremony sign.
Put it up! Place it on an easel. Put it near the entrance of your ceremony so guests don’t miss it, but don’t make it the most important focal point. If someone goes outside the bounds, let it go. If you brush it off and don’t make it the main objective, you won’t seem rude about it in the least.
Most of the time, guests respect the rule of an unplugged ceremony and have no problem with a no-phones space. Personally, I think it’s nice to have everyone put them away and just be present. What a wonderful moment!
Make the sign easy to understand.
Many guests won’t know specifically what an unplugged ceremony sign really means, so elaborate a bit: here are some unplugged ceremony sign ideas that will make it clear — without being rude! — so you can enforce the moment of being present and putting cell phones away.
Let it go.
Don’t dwell on it. You put up the sign, now let it go out of your mind. If guests still insist, well, there’s nothing you can do about it. Just brush it off and move on. You won’t be thinking about this during the ceremony though, I can almost guarantee it. :)
Now that you know what an unplugged ceremony is and how to ask guests not to take photos at your ceremony, let’s show off some creative unplugged wedding sign ideas.
These unplugged ceremony signs are a great way to enforce the idea of being present in the moment, without being rude.
1. Unplugged ceremony
This sign by TwoJaysCreative is a great one: it is sturdy, made of wood, and looks nice. The message is clear and concise: “we ask you to be fully present with us during the ceremony”. Get it TwoJaysCreative.
2. Please put cell phones away
Another great sign suggestion! This one is by Redwood & Vine.
This unplugged ceremony sign acrylic is one of the most popular of the moment! It has a unique glass look, too, which we’re loving. By PinkPosiesandPearls.
Here’s another option we love, too! By Andaz Press.
4. Unplugged Ceremony Sign Decal
If you’d like to put a decal on your own sign base, do it easily (in record time!) with this find from ImprintedDesignsWallDecals.
5. Wooden Farmhouse Style Unplugged Sign
And last but not least, it’s one of my favorite unplugged ceremony sign ideas ever! This looks so beautiful as shown at a ceremony and isn’t too “in the way”. :) By SweetNCCollective. Shop here or here.
And there you have it: five easy ways to tell guests to not take pictures at the ceremony (please!) I think this is an easy, enforceable concept and your photographer will thank you for it. After all, it’s probably one of the most important secrets wedding photographers wish you knew.
And let’s be honest, we can all use a little unplugging, right? I think so.