Two Reasons to Have a Device-Free Ceremony

Written and Photographed by Curator: Lisa of lisa kathan


Many couples are opting to have a device-free wedding ceremony, and asking their guests to put away their phones, tablets and selfie sticks so they can help their guests be present for their wedding ceremony.

Why should you strongly consider having a device-free ceremony?

REASON 1: It helps your guests be present

Some of us are so attached to our phones, we rarely view life in real time. Give your guests the freedom to be fully present during your ceremony, by asking them to put their phones down for a few minutes and truly enjoy what’s unfolding before them. Your professional photographer will be taking great photos of your ceremony, and you can share those with your guests.


REASON 2: It allows your photographer to do their job

You’ve probably paid your photographer a nice chunk of your wedding budget to take incredible, memorable photos of your wedding day, including the ceremony. But frankly, phones and other devices can block important moments and ruin your ceremony photos.


When guests are taking photos during the ceremony, they’re generally not paying attention to what’s going on around them and can unintentionally interfere with your photographer’s ability to capture those moments. I’ve personally photographed weddings with guests standing in the front row to take photos (while everyone else is seated), well-meaning family members standing the aisle during the ceremony with a large tablet and blocking my ability to get the photos I need (unless I gave them a good elbow!), and even a guest with a selfie stick who had his phone in the middle of the aisle during the entire ceremony, blocking the groom’s face while the bride walked down the aisle (true story!).

It’s just not worth it to have lower quality images from your guests’ devices, while your paid photographer – who is has trained his or her eye to capture every important moment – is blocked from taking a shot of how your fiancé looked when you walked down the aisle, the tearful hug from your dad, and your first kiss as a married couple.


But what if we want back-up photos and/or video of our ceremony?

If you’re hiring a professional photographer, please spend your money on someone who knows what they’re doing! If you can’t trust them to take all the photos of your wedding that are important to you, or that they don’t have proper in-camera backups, hire a different photographer.When it comes to video of your ceremony, you should also hire a professional to do this. Why? Because just like the unwitting guest who photobombs your ceremony photos, a non-professional friend with a camera or device is also not going to know how to stay out of the professional photographer’s photos. Professional photographers and videographers work with one another all the time to successfully create moving and still images of your day.

How do we tell our guests we’re having a device-free ceremony?

The best way to tell your guest is to have your officiant ask your guests to put away their phones for the ceremony so they can be fully present and enjoy it. This way, everyone hears it at the same, and they won’t forgot if you told them a few weeks earlier.

Other ways you can communicate you're having a device-free ceremony is to add it to your wedding website and your wedding program. If you're having a very tiny ceremony, you might consider sending an email to the guests prior to your wedding. Others have chosen to have a sign at the entrance to the ceremony.

Remind your guests that you’ve hired a professional photographer to capture the ceremony and you will share your online gallery with them, where they'll be able to view your wedding photos and easily order prints and downloads.

In fact, before your hire your photographer, tell them you’re planning to have a device-free ceremony, so you can be sure they’ll provide you with a shareable gallery that you can send to friends and family.