There’s a good reason why more and more couples are choosing to go “unplugged” for their wedding ceremonies. No, that doesn’t mean that the DJ can’t use electrical outlets—it’s for the guests! If you have your heart set on making sure your guests are part of your special moments, asking them to go unplugged is a safe way to go!

Phones are a huge part of our society as a whole. Most people aren’t more than a few feet away from their phone at any given time. With so many apps, social media accounts, and games, why would we be? Phones are a great way to keep yourself entertained (or distracted) from the world around you. Which is why so many couples are saying “no, turn it off!”

An unplugged wedding ceremony means that the moment a guest steps through the door, the phone gets turned off. (Just to be clear, that also includes digital cameras and tablets!) But there are more benefits to an unplugged ceremony than you might think!

NO DISTRACTIONS

When it comes to distractions on your wedding day, the fewer, the better. Your guests will want to take their own photos with their devices, and we won’t tell you your unplugged ceremony will go without a complaint or two. However, ensuring your guests that they will see amazing professional photos on your social media (ask your photographer if you’ll have the ability to post them to your own page, with the proper credit) will help appease their need to take photos of their own.

There’s nothing worse than going to an event you’re excited for, then realizing you spent the entire time looking through a viewfinder instead of taking it all in with your eyes. Asking your guests to turn off their devices will ensure that they have their actual eyes on your marriage ceremony.

In addition, there won’t be a bunch of camera shutter clicks (other than the professional) and flashes going off to distract you while you say your vows. By going unplugged, you’re ensuring that everyone has their attentions in the right place.

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY

Believe it or not, you’ll get BETTER photos of your ceremony by getting FEWER photos of your ceremony. Any wedding photographer will tell you that it can sometimes be difficult to get good photos through all of the arms and smartphones. By limiting your ceremony to one photographer, you greatly improve their chances of getting great photos—that don’t include other cameras. Having an unplugged ceremony will let your guests act and look the way they should.

Have you ever seen wedding photos where everyone in the picture is holding up a camera? In a lot of ways, it ruins an otherwise great photo. Going unplugged will allow your photographer to capture true reactions from your guests, and you’ll ultimately end up with better photos.

ONLY THE CEREMONY

When we say “unplugged wedding,” we don’t mean the whole event. Guests will want to—and should be allowed to—take photos and selfies at the reception. Some couples even encourage their guests to take photographs by providing a wedding hashtag or setting up a photo scavenger hunt. These are fun ways to say, “we know we told you no phones before, but it’s time to take them back out now.” You still don’t want guests staring at a screen the entire time, but scavenger hunts are a fun trend that encourage guests to talk to the other people at their table and interact more!

Allowing guests to use their devices at the reception is best, because you likely won’t get much compliance if you tell them to keep their phones off, anyway. An unplugged wedding isn’t a statement on phones, it more of a way to safeguard against inappropriate phone usage. There are so many ways to encourage guests to use their phones in respectful ways, and how you choose to do so is up to you!