Nine ways to minimise phones at weddings

I've noticed a real trend in 2024 weddings, and it's one I'm not loving...phones. Perhaps it's the tiktokification of our lives - a real need to capture every moment rather than experience it, or maybe it's a desire to have everything *right now* but it's certainly something that I've found my couples asking me more and more - 'how do we minimise phones at our wedding?'

1. Have unplugged weddings signs

I adore this sign from Pearly Paper Design on Etsy and how it reminds guests to be more present during the day. It's fairly common these days to have an Unplugged Ceremony sign - but I think an Unplugged Wedding sign like this one will help to combat other moments of the day like speeches, where phones can be just as distracting.

2. Start your ceremony with an allocated selfie time

India Bel (pictured above) has an incredible way to kick off her ceremonies. She asks guests to take out there phones and take a selfie, or write the couple a message and send it to them before the ceremony starts. Then reminds them to turn their phones off and be fully present in the moment. It's not only an awesome way to get everyone to stay off their phones during the ceremony, but it makes for a great moment for us to capture guests having some fun!

3. Let guests know ahead of time they will receive the professional photos too

#notallphotographers work this way, but I certainly allow and encourage my couples to share their galleries with family and friends after the day. They can download web size files for free, purchase high res ones and enjoy all the professional photos. Some of my past clients have printed a picture of every guest and sent to them as a thank you after the day, and it's this reason why I always aim to get a banging shot of everyone at your wedding (made all the more harder if you spend the whole day on your phone!)

4. Have an MC ask for phones to be stowed during speeches

We tend to remind people to pop their phones away for ceremonies - but less for speeches, and I've found that this is where we need to tell them the most! If you have paid a substantial amount of money to have your wedding filmed and photographed it can super frustrating to see ten more crappy iphone copies of them too. As an MC to let guests know your speeches are being professionally captured and they will be able to have access to these videos too. I've had past clients who don't have the budget for video ask me to pop one of their phones on a tripod for them which I am more than happy to do, and means I can capture people listening/reacting to/enjoying your wedding speeches, rather than watching them through a phone.

5. Utilise Ushers/Best People/I Do Crews to ask for phones to be away for moments like confetti

If you had your heart set on an epic confetti moment it can be devastating when you realise half of your guests were filming rather than throwing and the moment looks *underwhelming* at best. When handing out confetti ask that guests grab two handfuls to make the moment even more epic. And for the best confetti go to Flutter Darlings and use my friend code - MELLON - for 15% off!

6. Pop a note in your order of service

It can say anything from 'Please turn off all devices and enjoy being fully present in this moment with us' to 'listen, we paid a shit load of money for our photographers please let them do their job and get off your bloody phones.' Whatever your jam, if it's important that you don't spend all day being asked to pose for guests or really want beautiful pics and vids of your friends and family fully enjoying your wedding, don't hesitate to ask.

7. Have a second photographer just for guest photos

If you are worried that your timeline doesn't allow to heaps of candids, or you'd like to maximise the amount of candid guest photos you can get, it's a great idea ask your photographer about a second shooter. One of my couples later this year is utilising having a second shooter specifically during golden hour, and have scheduled time into the day where I can be with them taking portraits, whilst my second will be with guests. They have let their guests know ahead of the day that in this time the second is there specifically for them all to get a banging golden hour photo - so not to be shy in asking the photographer to take their pic. I adore this idea and love that everyone will have a professional pic of them in the final gallery, in the best light at the best time of day!

8. Have a phone-friendly zone like a photo-booth style backdrop 

Sometimes this naturally happens during weddings, like the one pictured here at Kent Life Farm. There's a phone booth right where guests were mingling post dinner and I noticed people were queueing up to take a pic in front of it, so I started a sort of pop-up photo-booth. I love the idea of creating a phone-friendly zone with a picturesque backdrop (perhaps re-using a ceremony floral-scape or creating a colourful stand) and inviting guests to use this space to go snap happy!

9. Use your invite/wedding website to ask guests to be fully present on your day and share your photographers insta or website with them

Many of my clients share my website or instagram page with their guests ahead of the day. Not only is this a great way for guests to feel like they know me when the wedding comes around, but also let's them know they are so welcome to ask me to take a photo on the day, and to place some trust in me that they *will* have great photos and videos to remember the wedding by.

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