Should You Have an Unplugged or Plugged-in Wedding?

Hashtag or hush-hush? Here's what the experts have to say about the pros and cons of tech-friendly and disconnected weddings.
by Maggie Seaver
Rustic chalkboard wedding sign
photo by Jill DeVries Photography

However irresistible wedding hashtags might be on social media, many couples are preferring to forgo digital trends in the hopes of creating a more intimate, authentic experience. Here, two wedding planners talk pros and cons of unplugged and social-friendly weddings.

Embrace Electronics

Many couples encourage a tech-friendly soiree by displaying a wedding hashtag on their website or cocktail napkins, so guests can feel free to snap and upload photos on social media throughout the celebration. "Couples who choose to have a plugged-in wedding can relive the day through their guests' Instagram photos," says Krystel Tien of Couture Events. “Moments will be captured from all different angles, so the couple can see what their guests were most interested in." Another perk? Being able to view photos instantly, rather than waiting for your photographer to send proofs.

Tip: The earlier you reveal a hashtag, the more guests will use it on social media, which means your shower, engagement and wedding pics will all be in one place.

Decide to Disconnect

"The biggest benefit of having an unplugged wedding is that you and your guests are present and in the moment," says Molly Middleton of Molly Middleton Events. "The minute smartphones are pulled out and photos are posted on social media, you lose something genuine." Selfies and candids do have their value, but you hired your photographer for a reason—they shouldn't have to compete with gadget-happy guests waving phones in the air for first-kiss snaps. Plus, you'd hate to end up with a professional photo album of people glued to their screens.

Tip: For the best of both worlds, consider an unplugged ceremony and a plugged-in reception. Let guests bring out their devices once the party gets going and your pro has captured the photos on your shot list.

Now it's your turn to weigh in:

Not sure how to spread the word? Here's how to tell your guests about your unplugged wedding.

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