Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Respectfully Yours: Phone-free wedding

Friday, August 16, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I have attended a number of weddings recently and I am shocked at people’s disregard during the ceremony. So many people were taking pictures with their phones. My wedding is next summer. How does one ask guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony?

Dear Reader,

Having an unplugged wedding ceremony and encouraging your guests to put down their devices doesn’t need to be difficult.

As with any request you make of your wedding guests, you simply need to be sensitive and respectful.

Unplugged wedding ceremonies are becoming increasingly common. It allows guests to be fully present instead of watching from behind a phone screen.

It is possible to politely let your guests know that during the ceremony you would appreciate that no photos are to be taken. The way to approach this is to have a sign stating your wishes.

It can read something like this: “Please honor our wishes. No photos until we are pronounced Mrs. and Mrs. Thank you!”

This is an effective but gentle way to make your wishes known.

You could also have your officiant mention your request during his or her welcome speech.

An example would be: “We’ll begin the ceremony in just a moment. Please note there is no photography permitted during the ceremony.”

In addition, you can place another reminder in the program.

Know that you’re not obligated to restrict technology for the entire celebration. Guests should remain respectful of the photographer at the reception. There’s no reason why everyone can’t resume their normal phone activities after the ceremony.

The key to having a successful unplugged ceremony is to prepare your guests well in advance and let them know all the reasons why this request is important to you.

Respectfully Yours,


Have a question? Email: Jacquelyn Youst is owner of Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation.

All Rights Reserved © 2019 Jacquelyn Youst