Think about a bride’s never-ending “to do” list. Flowers, dress, cars – check. Photographer, honeymoon, makeup – check. Now add in the fact that we live in 2016, with the ever-growing social media train of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and all of a sudden brides have a few more decisions to make. #exhaustion. Yes, welcome to the 21st century were I’m still trying to figure out if social media is indeed friend or foe.
When I got engaged back in December 2014, I immediately started to receive advice and opinions from friends, family and people I’d never met about our wedding. ‘Make sure you don’t skimp on the flowers’. ‘Hire two photographers, it makes for better pictures’. ‘Don’t get married in Summer, way too hot’. The majority of the time, I nodded politely, making a mental note to ensure our wedding would be done our way. But then one person mentioned to me about having an unplugged wedding and the fact it was the greatest decision we made.
Now pardoning my ignorance, I raced to my most trusted source, Google, to find out exactly what an unplugged wedding entailed and all of a sudden, I was hooked. It seemed simple enough. “An unplugged wedding is when you ask your family, friends and guests to turn off their phone, ipads, cameras and other digital distractions during the ceremony.”
In a world where we are within an arm’s length of technology, was asking people to remain digital free for 20 minutes really that bad? I think about a typical work day for me. I wake up to my iPhone alarm, I scroll through social media on my iPad over breakfast, until I arrive at work where I answer emails on my laptop. If you think about it, you probably never go more than 1 hour from being switched on. So what was 20 minutes?
After meeting with our celebrant, I voiced my desire to have an unplugged wedding. Apparently it wasn’t as unique as I had first thought. So by adding some simple wording into our ceremony and our wedding programs, I was on my way to having myself an unplugged wedding and I can’t recommend it to other brides highly enough.
When I walked down the aisle, instead of being met with flashes and mobile devices, all I saw were my family and friends beaming faces. I honestly felt like I had waited 18 months for this day and every single person was experiencing this moment through their eyes rather than through the lens of a camera. I didn’t have to worry about the first pictures of us as a married couple being from bad angles or unflattering sides plastered all over social media. I was able to share our first picture from my account later that night. We had hired fantastic photographers from Heart & Colour, who captured our wedding day perfectly and we happily shared these images with our friends and family.
I’m not saying I don’t love to share pictures of weddings I attend on my social accounts, after all it’s such a happy occasion to be invited to, but at the end of the day an unplugged wedding was perfect for us. As a marriage celebrant myself, it’s definitely an option I like to provide my couples with. And if there is one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that there are no rules. Your wedding day is a reflection of who you both are and what works for you.
Images by Katherine Begbie
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Wonderful advice on the importance of remembering the moment with your hearts rather than being distracted with technology!