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To Plug or Not to Plug at Your Sarasota Beach Wedding

Bride & Groom Walking Down Aisle

The instant gratification of seeing pictures from your wedding is incredibly tempting. While this is great, is it worth it when you get the photos back from the photographer and so many of the photos feature people holding up their iPhones? We all hope that people would know better than to get in the way, but many couples don’t want to take that chance.

For many Sarasota Beach weddings, the idea of unplugged weddings, alongside wedding hashtags, have been trending for the past year or so. This is when couples ask friends and family to turn the phones, cameras, tablets, and other devices off and focus on their experience. Some couples choose to make this request for the duration of the wedding, while others emphasize this just during the ceremony.

Making the Ask

There are a couple of ways that you can let your guests know that you would like your ceremony, or entire wedding, to be unplugged. Including it in your invitation suite can let guests know in advance so they don’t lug any equipment to the reception (we all have an aunt that still uses the largest iPad invented to take pictures). In the invitation suite, you have room to explain and it leaves time for questions. Yes, some people will be upset they can’t get a photo of you walking down the aisle, but people can come to terms with waiting until the professional photos come back.

Another way to let people know about your unplugged ceremony is through signage. Signs that say “Pick a seat, not a side, you are loved by both the groom and bride” are phasing out with more examples that say “we invite you to be fully present with us during the ceremony” or the more blatant “Oh snap! We really want to see your faces not your devices.” Living the precious moment through the screen of the phone is just not the same as giving the couple your undivided attention. These signs at the ceremony help communicate that you want your guests to focus on the moment.

The beautiful union of husband and wife, uninterrupted.

The beautiful union of husband and wife, uninterrupted.
Alysha Rainwaters

Transitioning to the Reception

Moving from ceremony to reception can include allowing guests to plug back in. It is hard to capture every moment of the reception and having guests there to record them is priceless. Hashtags, a solution often used at our Longboat Key weddings, make it much easier to collect the photos and videos instead of requesting people to send them to you via text, Facebook messenger, email, or DM.

At our Sarasota Beach Wedding Resort, it is always fun to see the creativity of wedding hashtags. The collection of photos allow you and your new spouse a chance to see photos immediately and relive one of the best days of your life. The most difficult part of a wedding hashtag is thinking of the hashtag itself!

Many people will play off their future last name, like couple Mr. and Mrs. Heeg with #ToHaveAndToHeeg. We think the punnier the better! People also opt to focus on the date to ensure it hasn’t been done before. WeddingWire even has a wedding hashtag generator for those that are really stuck on ideas.

The invite suite is also a great place for letting people know about the wedding hashtag. From the get-go, you and your friends can use the hashtag to show the progression of your wedding planning and document the entire experience. Make sure when you include it, capitalize the first letter of each word so it is easier to read. Before including the hashtag in your invite suite, be sure to research it. The last thing you would want is to have to sort through your and someone else’s wedding photos.

As we’ve seen at many Longboat key weddings, couples often go for a blend of an unplugged ceremony and a plugged reception. It seems to be the best way to capture all the right moments of your wedding from all the right people. A photographer can’t be everywhere at once during the reception but they also can’t edit out iPhones lining the crowd like a concert. As we are in the wedding season, we urge everyone to focus on being present during the ceremonies so that you may enjoy the moment in real life rather than being able to post a throwback Thursday later on.

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