Unplugged Wedding Ceremony

In 2021 Australia had 32.5 million mobile phone subscriptions, that’s a lot of mobile phones. So it’s more than likely that most of the guests attending your wedding will have a mobile phone.

You may not mind if some of your guests whip out thier phones to take photos to capture special moments during your ceremony, but if this paparazzi style of photography isn’t what you want then you need to “Unplug” your ceremony.


An ‘Unplugged Ceremony’ is a ceremony when all of your guests are asked to not use their phones, cameras, or iPads.

Before the ceremony begins the guests are asked to turn off their mobile devices and put them away. This will mean that your guests will not be able to take any photos during the ceremony. Only the professional photographer, you have paid will be able to take photos at this time.

Having an “Unplugged Ceremony” is also a great idea because there is nothing worse than when a special moment is happening and a mobile phone starts to ring. This really isn’t funny even if the phone going off has a comedic ringtone.


Many couples pay a lot of money for a professional wedding photographer to capture the special moments during the ceremony, like you walking down the aisle, exchanging vows, placing the rings, and of course the first kiss.

Eliminating phones and cameras from your ceremony is a blessing for your professional photographer as it gives them a clear shot to capture these special moments without having to dodge around guests holding up mobiles. You wouldn’t believe how many gorgeous wedding photos are ruined by an iPad or an aisle lined with guests’ faces covered by phones.

During your ceremony, you also want to look back down the aisle and see your family and friends’ faces, their smiles and tears of love and excitement. You don’t want to look back down the aisle and see mobile phones hiding your guest’s faces, as they take photos of you.

Only allowing your professional wedding photographer to take photos during the ceremony will allow them to do their job and capture the best photos of each special moment.

This is what you want to see during your ceremony when you look at your guests.

The easiest way to “Unplug” your ceremony is to ask your celebrant to say a few words before your ceremony begins!

You could also use wedding signs that ask guests to turn off their phones and refrain from taking pictures. These usually get placed at the ceremony entrance.

No matter how beautiful these signs may be they are more like a cute decoration instead of directions your guests will follow.


1) Welcome family and friends, “name” and “name” have hired a professional photographer to capture each special moment of the ceremony. So you can put your phones away and just capture how each moment feels with your hearts.

2) “Name” and “name,” have asked a professional photographer to capture the special moments of their ceremony so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy each moment. “Name” and “name” also wanted me to let you know that the photographer’s beautiful images will be available after the wedding.

3) Family and friends, please turn off all phones and cameras as “name” and “name” exchange thier vows. Photos are welcome after the ceremony as “name” and “name” are having a plugged-in reception.

4) As “name” and “name” tie the knot, please be thier guest as thier photographer will take care of the rest.

5) “Name” and “name” request the joyful sight of your smiles, without the distraction of electronic devices, so please put your phones and cameras away for the ceremony.

6) Family and friends, “name” and “name” are so glad you’re here! They have asked if you could all please put away your phones and cameras until the reception. They have promised to share the beautiful pictures the professional photographer will take today.

7) Welcome to the unplugged wedding of “name” and “name”. The couple would like to invite you all to be fully present with them during thier ceremony, so ask if you can please turn off all phones and put away your cameras. Thank you!

8) Family and friends, on behalf of “name” and “name”, I would like to welcome you to the celebration of their marriage. They wish to express their gratitude for each of you who is here today and respectfully request that you turn off and put away your mobile phones and cameras so you can be fully present in this special moment. Thank you.

9) “Name” and “name” have a professional photographer here today to capture the special moments of thier ceremony. So ask if you can please put your phones away as they would love for everyone to be present throughout the ceremony.

10) “Name” and “name” would like to thank you for coming today to celebrate their union of marriage. They have but one thing to ask, to please keep thier ceremony phone and camera-free. 


Most couples want their family and friends to take photos when the ceremony is over because let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how great the professional photographer is they can’t be everywhere at once. So having your guests take photos will help capture a lot more special moments from your wedding.


In this age of social media, within a moment of a photo being taken at your wedding, you could be tagged in a Facebook post or a special moment from your day could be on a guest’s Instagram story. 

If you want to allow your family and friends to take photos after the ceremony but to not share them on social media until you have had a chance to do so first then you need to let them know.

This can be done when “Unplugging” your ceremony and or on a sign at your reception.

You may also like to ask your guests to send you copies or to tag you on any posts they do so that you will get to see and enjoy the nonofficial photos of your day.


Your family and friends usually don’t mean any harm by taking their phones or cameras out during the ceremony as they simply want to capture a memento of this very special occasion. If you let your guests know that you are happy to share the professional photos with them then it will make it much easier to get them to put down their technology and just be in the moment.

AboutTanya McDonald
It goes without saying that being a marriage celebrant is an honour and a privilege. I have loved weddings and what they represent for as long as I can remember. Since becoming a celebrant I am able to fulfill my passion and at the same time treasure each opportunity I have to work with couples to help them bring their dreams and ideas into life through their ceremonies. I have been a fully authorised marriage celebrant since 2014 and I have helped couples enjoy thier journey to the altar since then. If you need a celebrant, I would love to discuss your ceremony with you.