Wedding Planning: Why Have An Unplugged Ceremony?

Why have an Unplugged Ceremony?

You've spent months planning each and every wedding detail, invited your closest friends and family to enjoy an evening of celebration, and hired professionals to ensure your wedding day is documented and flows effortlessly. An unplugged ceremony, where guests refrain from using ipads, cellphones, and cameras to take video or photos is one of the best ways to create a present and beautiful ceremony.

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1. BEING PRESENT

Imagine every person who has played a role in your life, is watching you exchange vows with your loved one and experiencing the excitement, love, and pure happiness that surrounds your union. Guests can truly be present and in the moment during your ceremony when they are not distracted by trying to grab a photo for facebook, snapchat, instagram, etc. After they grab the photo, they check to see which frame is perfect, maybe write a caption AND make sure the photo uploads properly to the internet, instead of baring witness to your union. Grandma should be able to hear every vow, friends should be able to see you walk down the aisle clearly, and every guest should experience your wedding as a honored guest.

 

2. LESS DISTRACTIONS

If all guests are present and enjoying the ceremony, there are less distractions and more focus on what really matters, your union.  There won't be any guests trying to capture "good" shots, distractions by devices on sticks, or unnecessary noise and movement.

 

3. BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY

You've hired and trusted a professional to capture your wedding day so that your guests can enjoy the celebration, and you can rest assured the professional will capture the emotion and moments throughout the day. Your photographer will be able to capture the best shots of your day if guests are seated and enjoying the ceremony, and not hiding behind a screen or device or blocking a moment or view to get their shot.


 

How To Plan An Unplugged Ceremony?

If you've decided that an unplugged ceremony is right for you and your wedding day, here are a few ways to make the decision go over smoothly for everyone.

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 HOW TO LET YOUR GUESTS KNOW

There are a lot of ways you can let your guests know that you are having an unplugged ceremony before the actual wedding day and beautiful custom designed signs to remind them the day of the wedding  Here are a few common ideas.

1. An informational page on your wedding website letting guests know you have decided to have an unplugged ceremony. Guests are already checking your wedding website for details about your big day, here you can also include a link to your custom wedding gallery where guests can pre-register to be notified when the photo gallery is live after the wedding day. (Ask Bri for your gallery link if you want to include it on your wedding website.) Guests are typically more apt to refrain from using their own devices when they know they will be directly emailed a link to the wedding photos.

2. Add a note in your wedding day program.

3. Custom signs before entering the ceremony site that remind guests to leave their phones off.

4. A vocal announcement from the officiant.


 

 HOW TO POLITELY ASK YOUR GUESTS

1. "Welcome to our unplugged ceremonyplease turn off all cellphones & cameras and enjoy this special moment with us. Thank you.

2. "We invite you to be fully present with us at our unplugged ceremony, kindly turn off your phones & cameras."

3. " Welcome! We invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ceremony. We kindly ask you to please turn off all cameras & cell phones during the ceremony. We will gladly share our professional photos with you. Thank you."

4. " We would love to see your faces, not your devices. Please put away your phone and cameras until after the ceremony. Plus our photographer is awesome and will share."

5. "No Pictures, Pretty Please. We invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ceremony. We respectfully ask that you leave your phones, cameras, and other devices away during the ceremony. Our amazing team of professionals will capture every moment of our wedding ceremony."


Though it is not required to have an unplugged ceremony, I encourage you to think about how you envision your ceremony and the experience for you and your guests.

 

The Dominquez Family Celebrates Christmas: Rutherford, NJ

Rigel & Yasmin's Maternity Photography Session: Hoboken, NJ

I had the pleasure of photographing Rigel and Yasmin in the home stretch of their pregnancy. We spent some time in studio celebrating this momentous occasion of their first child. Congratulations!

Chris & Quinn's Cairnwood Estate Wedding Photography: Bryn Athyn, PA

WOW! What an amazing November day. Quinn and Chris enjoyed a beautiful fall wedding at Cairnwood Estate that made for spectacular photos. These two actually kept ME laughing all day with their positive attitudes and quirky humor. I couldn't have been more honored to photograph their wedding day.

How We Met: So a guy walks into a bar...we met at a bar four and a half years ago. We went on a date the very next day to see a terrible movie ('Admission' with Paul Rudd and Tina Fey. Who knew it would be that bad?!), left early, and got ice cream. Chris then surprised me by coming to my comedy show and date #2 occurred. we've been together since. Chris proposed  in OBX in September 2016 on the beach, almost in the ocean hours before a hurricane. He's daring.

The Wedding Day: Chris and Quinn began their royal inspired wedding day at Cairnwood Estate where both the bride and groom got ready in the historic estate. The two traveled to Christ the King Church were they exchanged vows and finally saw one another for the first time that day. After the ceremony, everyone headed back to Cairnwood Estate for an intimate and elegant dinner party wedding.

Quinn's Wedding Planning Tip: Check out www.qustomquinns.com/blog. Quinn has blogged about her entire wedding planning experience!

Venue: Cairnwood Estate

Florist & Decor: Mother of the Bride

Catering: Karen Spire

Cake: Ciao Bella Cakes

Wedding Band: New York Ceremony Music

Dj: Nick Luchko

Officiant: Father Michael Ryan

Invitations: Zazzle

Bridal Gown Designer: Allure Bridal

Bridal Shoes: Sarah Jessica Parker

Wedding Hair & Makeup by: Bride + Bridesmaids

Wedding Bands + Engagement Ring: Le vian Jewelry

Honeymoon: Chris + Quinn leave the morning after the wedding. Quinn planned the entire wedding, so Chris booked the honeymoon at an undisclosed location (for 2 full weeks). It's a surprise! 

Ak & Gabby's Fall Central Park Engagement Photography: NYC

I met Ak & Gabby bright and early in Central Park (because that is the only time you can take photos in the park with no tourists in the background) for their fall engagement session. Ak proposed last year in the park, so it made the perfect backdrop for their engagement session. We had incredible weather, beautiful light, and the park mostly to ourselves for a fun filled and romantic tour around the park.

The Proposal: It was August 13th 2016, we woke up one Saturday morning with no plans. We started googling things going on around Danbury, CT and in NYC/Philadelphia. We decided to go to the city and watch The Book of Mormon. After checking into our hotel AK had this brilliant idea of going to Central Park on a 99 degree day with no breeze to walk around and sightsee. One location after another and he was still determined to keep going.. I kept thinking man he's in a weird mood this is so out of character for him, but he's super determined to go see this fountain and this bridge. We finally made it to the fountain and he unenthusiastically shrugged his shoulders and decided we needed to go to the bridge while I was trying to take pictures of this "very important" fountain we just needed to sweat out 10lbs to see. I followed him over to Bow Bridge where we stopped about midway and began to overlook the water and the city skyline. He grabbed my hand and started going over every trip we have ever had to the city and all the great memories we have shared in a place so dear to our hearts. I felt his hand start to get even clammier than it should for the hot day, that's when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was completely shocked because he kept telling me he had this elaborately planned proposal and we literally made these plans that morning! We then sat on a bench nearby where I admired my ring as we called our family to share the news. We have been wedding planning ever since!

Mihir & Gopi's Maternity Session: Liberty State Park, NJ

The Laughton Family: Higgins Beach, ME

Another incredible visit to Higgins Beach Maine in the bag. I was invited by Debbie & Rodney of The Breakers Inn to photograph their family on their home beach. The fog rolled in and we met for a morning family portrait session on the beach. The kids left all wet and covered in sand, so I think the session was a success. :)

Melissa & Ivan's The William Vale Wedding Photography, Brooklyn, NY

Congratulations Melissa & Ivan! Wow, what an incredible wedding day. Melissa & Ivan said their vows on a rooftop in Brooklyn overlooking the NYC skyline during sunset. Their modern black tie wedding couldn't have been more picture perfect and I am so happy I was there to capture their union.

How We Met: 

The bride & groom first met through mutual friends at a 4th of July party in 2009. They became Facebook friends, but beyond that they didn't keep in touch. Then, 4 years later, they met again at the same mutual's friend's engagement party. That's when the fireworks sparked when they took a romantic moonlit walk around the property. Melissa lived in Wilmington, DE at the time & Ivan lived in Brooklyn, NY. They maintained their passionate relationship for 2 years long distance & then Melissa eventually moved to Brooklyn. In May of 2016 they attended a destination wedding in Santorini, Greece. After the wedding, Ivan proposed & they celebrated their engagement on a private catamaran sailing trip the next day. Since being engaged, they've enjoyed the wedding planning process and are looking forward to starting their family with a four legged, furry friend in the next few months! 

The Wedding Day Details:

The evening included signature drinks called The Ana Linette (named after the groom's sister) and Fly, Declan, Fly (named after the Bride's Brother). Both mothers per took in the rooftop ceremony and shared their wisdom with the couple and guests. The evening was full of special performances, including Melissa & Ivan entering the reception with a bang and breaking into a surprise salsa dance that was a magical performance for guests. Declan (Bride's brother) played the guitar during dinner with the band, and Fidias (Groom's Uncle) performed with his guitar during the reception as well. There was an incredible three tiered and marbled surprise cake (made by the Bride's sister's friend) for the Bride & Groom.

Melissa & Ivan's Wedding Planning Advice:

Relax, enjoy your engagement, stick to YOUR vision, & relish in your wedding day as a celebration of your love together! 

 

Venue: The William Vale

Wedding Planner: Gemelli Events

Florals: Event Decorations by Jany

Catering: The William Vale

Wedding Band: Posh Entertainment

Acoustic Music: Pat & Sean Kelly

Officiant: Joe Riotta

Videographer: Kiss The Bride Films

Invitations: Elephant Limbo

Bridal Gown Designer: Pronovias

Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Bride's Accessories: Dakota Y Lariat Backdrop Necklace & Green Amethyst Earrings from Carroll's Jewelers

Wedding Hair & Makeup by: Mariel Guay

Wedding Bands + Engagement Ring: Robert Cott JewelersHersteller Rings

Groom's Tuxedo: J Crew

Groom's Accessories: Shirt, socks, & watch: Hugo Boss

Shoes: Calvin Klein

Bowtie, Pocket Square, & Suspenders - The Tie Bar

Cake: Brides Sister -Victoria Benjamin Cakes