NAVIGATING TECHNOLOGY AT YOUR WEDDING
We’re all guilty of using our phones as our security blanket at weddings. Sitting at a table where you don’t know anyone? Pull up Instagram. Trying to avoid an awkward conversation with someone you haven’t seen in a while? Pretend to be texting someone back. Or maybe you’re just trying to document the wedding to look back on later. No matter the reason, guests having easy access to phones and cameras can cause them to miss the moment, viewing the wedding through a screen. Some couples decide to go for a completely unplugged wedding with a cell phone free ceremony and reception, others simply restrict cell phones during their ceremony. It can be hard to navigate technology at your wedding where you want candid moments to be captured, but also want to have your guests interacting with each other. So, we’ve laid some ideas below of how you can manage technology at your wedding!
It’s actually become pretty common at weddings for couples to ban phones at their ceremony. Restricting phones during the ceremony allows for guests to be present and fully invested in your union. It also helps that when you get professional photos back from your big day, you won’t see a mass of people holding up cell phones as you walk down the aisle as an official married couple. Here are a few ways you can communicate to your guests that your ceremony is a phone free zone: Create signage at the entrance so your guests can see the announcement as they arrive; include it at the beginning of your program; have your officiant announce it once all guests have taken their seats; or even include it as part of your wedding invitation!
This is the perfect time to introduce your wedding hashtag to your guests. The cocktail hour is mainly used as a time for guests to mingle with each other as they enjoy appetizers and light drinks. You can place small placards on each cocktail table or have a larger sign made that states your wedding hashtag and encourages guests to document their time at your wedding whether that’s taking photos with each other or your wedding decorations. Having a hashtag also allows for all photos from your wedding to be in one place in an easily shareable form so you can treasure that candid photo someone snapped of your parents walking into the venue.
For the reception you want to be able to find a healthy balance for how much phones are allowed during the party portion of the day. You could pull a Chip + Joanna Gaines and provide pouches at each table where guests can store away their devices during dinner, just like at the Gaines’s restaurant Magnolia Table. Or, for a softer approach, set up conversation starters at the dinner table so your guests can take the cue to interact with each other, and (hopefully) be able to connect with each other IRL rather than through the internet!
We are living in a tech savvy world, so allowing guests to use their phones post-ceremony can result in some really fun mementos for you and your partner. Guests can use their phone flashlights to light up the room during your first dance with your partner, as if you’re dancing in a sea starry sparkles. You could even have a dedicated “wedding phone” where all your guests can pass it around, creating a massive Instagram story to capture your reception in real time. Or if you’re looking for a more interactive guestbook, you can have an iPad set up where guests can record video messages on a digital guestbook app sending you their well wishes!
What are some of your creative ideas to manage technology for your big day? Let us know in the comments below!