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How To Plan A Social-Media Free Wedding

With Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other apps, we record every memorable moment, sharing these with our friends, acquaintances, and sometimes even strangers. You may prefer not to have guests recording your wedding and sharing your day before you do. In this case, you may want a social media-free wedding.

Why have a social-media free wedding?

A social-media free wedding isn’t just for celebrities. Going ‘unplugged’ means asking your wedding guests not to post photos or live-tweet moments from your special day. You may choose this as you want to see your friends faces, not their devices. You can always share photographs taken by your professional photographer. Since your goal is for your guests to enjoy every moment, and for you all to have a fantastic time together, guests are likely to appreciate the lengths you’re going to to enhance that experience.
It also means there are no cameras, tablets or phone screens cluttering your wedding photos. You may also choose to have a social-media free wedding because one of the most frustrating things one of your guests can do is ruin the professional photographer’s shot by getting in the way or by nudging others to frame their own shot. In addition, the flash from other cameras can interfere with the photographer’s and overexpose professional shots that you’ve spent money on to capture.

How to tell your guests

It’s best to notify your guests of your plans as early as possible. Put a separate card in with your wedding invitations with details. Also, make a note of it on your wedding website, You can add a fun sign at the entrance to the wedding, for example: “We just don’t want the distraction of seeing phones everywhere on our wedding day. We want to talk to you.” This affirms the day as a joint celebration rather than suggesting that their photos may ruin your wedding.

The rules

If you want a social-media free wedding, lead the way and don’t share your wedding planning online. This means the invited guests will enjoy seeing certain things for the first time on the day.
You can set your own rules that you’re most comfortable with. You may want guests to not post anything online at all, or would ask them to wait until after the wedding. A blanket ban for anything to go online by guests means no wedding hash-tag, no secret Snapchat, and no furtive photos.

It’s wise not to monitor whether guests really do have their phones and other devices turned off. Some will need to have their phones on to liaise with babysitters, work or other business. It will also drive you crazy being the phone police, so don’t bother. You’ll never be able to stop someone who wants to tweet a ‘funny’ comment, though you have to hope it’s not a sarcastic remark as sarcasm on someone’s wedding day is usually not amusing.

On your wedding day, put in extra effort to include your guests. Include them all either with a ring-warming or by asking them to participate in a group vow. During dinner, try to get to each table.
After your wedding day, make photos available for guests who’d like to see them. This could be a selection of images from your photographer or the full gallery. You can also ask your photographer to print images of the two of you with each guest that you can add to your thank you notes.