What is an unplugged wedding?

It’s a phrase you may have heard thrown around in the past couple of years, as it’s certainly grown in popularity. Should I consider having an unplugged wedding?


It should absolutely be something you consider, so let’s first look at what it means so you can make your own mind up.

This also applies to an ‘unplugged ceremony’ (where only the ceremony part is unplugged).

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock or are nested deep in the amazon rainforest, you have probably noticed the proliferation of technology in your life.

I’m talking specifically about the almost obsessive nature in which we can be drawn to our mobiles phones and cameras (or I hear some phones even take photos now?! Crazy! What would Marty McFly think…)

There was a recent BBC Radio 4 series by David Mitchel – Behaving Ourselves: Mitchel on Manners (extracts here), where Professor Sherry Turkle* cited about the influence of mobile phones on our relationships and interactions:

“They’re deteriorating the nature of the conversation we’re having with people because when they’re interrupted, they’ll keep the conversation light and secondly, it will decrease the sense of connection and empathy people feel towards each other”

*Professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Pretty damning, isn’t it?

There was also the set of recent studies by Andrew K. Pryzbylski and Netta Weinstein of the University of Essex (2013) that showed our phones can hurt our close relationships. Amazingly, simply by having them nearby, even without checking it, can be detrimental to our attempts at interpersonal connection. [1]

So, we’re talking about mobile phones at weddings.

And specifically about your wedding party and guests not having their phones with them.

This is what an unplugged wedding or ceremony is about. 

Terrifying! Right?! But… it is just a phone.

Life goes on, and as studies suggest, life might actually be a little more enjoyable and personal if we set them aside every now and then.

And it’s just one day.

Hang on, is it just one day?

Isn’t there something particularly significant and symbolic about this day?

Which you’ve been planning for months (or years)?

Down to the finest of details?

That you want to enjoy with everyone and have an unforgettable time?

Seems like an easy choice.