New Trend: Tech-Free Nuptials
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In this day, every wedding guest is a photographer and every detail from the “I do” to the after-party is shared online thanks to technology.
But a new wedding trend is to go tech-free.
Many couples have admitted that they have asked their guests to ‘divorce’ their digital devices on the wedding day.
When photographer Spring Smith McKenney tied the knot, she wanted to focus on having an intimate affair.
“I wanted it to be personal, I wanted it to be about my husband and I,” said McKenney.
So the bride-to-be tucked an important message inside of her guests’ invitations.
“We respectfully ask that everyone consider leaving all cameras and cell phones off,” read the invitation.
Not only did McKenney forbid technology for the nuptials, but for the reception as well.
In these “unplugged weddings” couples request, or sometimes, that guests turn off phones, cameras and pads.
Abby Larson, creator of wedding website StyleMePretty.com, said cutting out digital distractions, like texting, pictures and social media is a growing trend.
“We have become a world that is so hyper-connected to everyone and everything. An unplugged wedding allows you to sit, really listen and be a part of the festivities,” said Larson.
Powering down can start as early as pre-wedding preparations, especially so photos of the bride won’t spoil the big reveal.
“They still want their groom to see them in their gown for the very first time when the doors open,” said Larson.
Anja Winnika with TheKnot.com said that she’s seen some guests asked to check their tech at the door.
“Just like you might your coat,” said Winnika. “The reason being is because at that point your guests certainly have no opportunity to be posting anything online.”
Camera phones could also get in the way for the professional photographer.
“If you don’t capture that perfect moment, or if you do but somebody else’s flash ruins the picture, there’s nothing you can do to fix that afterwards,” said McKenney.
Brides and grooms have also spread the word on save the dates, wedding web sites and ceremony programs. Even a tasteful sign at the event is considered appropriate.
“A big no-no is, for example, you don’t want to have an actual bouncer there, you know, controlling the scene,” said McKenney.
However, the decision to go tech-free could offend some guests who prefer to stay plugged in.
“The best you can do is really explain to them the reason why you’re having this unplugged wedding,” said Winnika. “Explain to them the benefits, and hope that they understand.”
McKenney said her guest were quite happy to disconnect for her big day.
“To be able to see their faces during the ceremony was really special,” said McKenney.
Wedding etiquette experts said if you do request that your guest “unplug” and someone needs to make a call for personal reasons, like to check on the kids, be sure to give them your blessing.