Contrary to how it might sound, "unplugged" weddings don't include an MTV-style session of your favorite rock star performing acoustic versions of their hits, while sharing anecdotes in a wispy sotto voce.
Rather, couples who want to have an unplugged wedding politely ask their guests to turn off all electronic devices, including point-and-shoot cameras, cellphones and tablets, throughout their wedding.
We know what you're thinking: But... snapping photos as a wedding guest is so darn fun! Especially when you can live-stream a wedding using photo-sharing apps like Wedding Snap.
But before you dismiss the idea of tech-free nuptials, here are some benefits of having an unplugged wedding:
1. If you're the bride and groom, you'll likely be happier with your wedding photos (and video) if the professionals aren't obstructed by the heads or bodies of guests trying to capture a shot of the bride walking down the aisle or the couple's first dance on their device. The lack of additional camera flashes will also result in nicer wedding photos.
2. Guests will be more present in the event because they won't be seeing the day through the lens of a camera or be distracted uploading photos to Twitter, Instragram and other social media sites.
3. You're less likely to end up with embarrassing photos if you leave all photography to the pros. Even if they catch a few photos of you sporting that weird facial expression you hate or nine chins, they definitely won't be posting it on Facebook for all of your friends (and random people you knew in kindergarten) to see. There's no guarantee that your friends and relatives won't post those unflattering shots!
What do you think of this trend? Is this something you're considering for your wedding?
Also from 2 For Couples: What real brides would've done differently on their wedding day:
<em>"I wish I had spent more time on my own speech. I ran out of time in the days leading up to the wedding." -- Kelly</em><br> Tip: Start preparing your speech months in advance. You can tweak it in the days leading up to the wedding, but at least you'll have the bulk of it done during that inevitable pre-wedding chaos. <a href="http://www.2forcouples.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3027:how-to-write-a-stellar-wedding-speech&catid=61:feature-articles&Itemid=59" target="_hplink">Click here</a> for tips on writing a fabulous wedding speech.
<em>"I wish someone had told me that my hair extension was falling out and had made its way nearly to my belly button. Now, when I look at wedding photos, all I see is a black piece of hair extension dangling down my chest like a serpent. My sister said she noticed it but didn't want to upset me by pointing it out! I ended up seeing this tragedy after the ceremony, and quickly pulled the piece out myself." -- Shawna</em><br> Tip: Make sure all hair extensions and accessories are secured tightly in place! Check a mirror throughout the day, or ask your maid of honor if your hairstyle needs any adjustments.
<em>"I wish I had chosen more comfortable shoes!" -- Amanda </em> Tip: Every bride deserves to wear amazing shoes on her wedding day -- just bring a comfy pair of flats or flip flops (and Band-Aids!) to the reception. You don't want blisters and aching arches to ruin the best dance party of your life!
<em>"I wish it had been a bit smaller." -- Robyn </em> Tip: Keeping numbers down can be difficult, when you've got friends, colleagues, family members and your parents' friends to consider. But if your wish is to have an intimate wedding, clearly communicate this with your parents. It's your day, after all.
<em>"I wish that I had instructed our chuppah holders (none of which were Jewish) to hang the fabric so the pattern faced down. They hung it the wrong way and it was the first thing I noticed when I walked down the aisle!" -- Alison </em> Tip: What might be obvious to you, might be clear as mud to your attendants or vendors. Take the time to show anybody who is involved in the ceremony or reception how you would like things done.
<em>"I wish we had done the yard work sooner. Laying sod one day before an outdoor reception is a great family bonding experience, but I recommend getting that done a little more ahead of time!" -- Courtney</em> Tip: If you're having a backyard ceremony or reception, arrange to have all landscaping projects finished well in advance of the wedding. This will save a lot of stress if there are delays or unforeseen issues.
<em>"I wish we didn't move into our first house the same month of our wedding." -- Emily </em> Tip: You can't always plan these things, but moving into your first house on the heels of wedding planning will make for a hectic honeymoon! These are two exciting milestones in a couple's relationship and it would be ideal if they didn't happen within a few weeks of each other.
<em>"I wish I hadn't ordered 'homemade' wine!!!" -- Julia </em> Tip: Serving homemade or bottle-it-yourself wine saves you money on the reception. Just be sure to sample the product before you buy it in bulk and share it with your favorite people in the world!
<em>"I wish we had hired a videographer." -- Kathryn </em> Tip: Wedding photos are wonderful keepsakes, but they can't capture the happiness in your voice during your vows or the amazing speech that your parents gave. If you have video footage of your special day, you'll be able to relive it forever; plus, if something hilarious happens, you can post it on YouTube and watch it go viral!