With so much of the world now incorporating social media into social engagements, you may want a break from the real-time posting on your wedding day. In fact, many wedding photographers have complained that they now have difficulty in getting the perfect shots of couples getting hitched because smartphone cameras tend to pop up all over the place, either blocking their view or adding less-than-romantic technology in the foreground of the capture. We all know you want that perfect picture for the 'Gram, but come on! People are trying to remember this moment for the rest of their lives!
There are several ways to get your guests to go off the grid while you tie the knot. The first one is to prepare them ahead of time. Make sure you note on the wedding invitations that this will be a Wi-Fi-free event and that all social media posting is either prohibited entirely or prohibited until after the event. You can make it feel a little less rule-ish and a lot more fun by using language that is playful yet direct. For example, you can say: "The theme of this wedding is throwback! No, don't worry; that doesn't mean the bridesmaids will be wearing huge neon green dresses with puffed sleeves. But it does mean that we will request you to leave your cellphones in your car or in a cute little box at the entrance of the ceremony."
If you don't want to actually request that guests leave their phones in a box or bin at the front, then you can give them personal cellphone holders with their names on them -- something satin or silky or whatever goes with your theme. Once someone drops his phone into the pouch (which will have his name on it), you can have a greeter collect it and place it at his reception table. If you'd like to remove yourself from any responsibility of holding the phones at all, have multiple greeters who will welcome the guests and then ask them to put their phones on airplane mode. Should a guest have an emergency reason to keep her phone on her person, ask her to keep her phone on vibrate and respect the wishes of the bride and groom by refraining from taking photos and posting anything to social networking sites.
Another way to limit guests' access to their phones is to go off the grid. You can search for locations where there is not any service or barely any at all. Though this may not free you from those annoying shots of phones taking photos while your photographer is taking photos, you'll have a lot less to worry about when it comes to having your guests wait to post their photos. You may want to warn guests that there will be spotty service. That way, they can handle any personal or professional stuff that needs to be put in order before your day of love. And of course, this opens the door to have a lot of fun with creating the theme and vibe that really celebrates the beauty in detaching from the outside world.
Overall, you have to ask yourself what is more important. Would you rather have guests be totally present with you and your loved ones as you exchange vows to your sweetie, or do you want to have a special hashtag where you can search and find a bunch of photos that your guests took -- photos that the photographer possibly didn't capture. Because though you'll gain quality over quantity by leaving the pictures up to the professionals, sometimes the people who know you best are looking for special moments that can only be seen by someone who truly knows you. If going off the grid is what you're looking for, perhaps you can gift guests with disposable cameras so they can still add their very special memories to your very special day.
For a list of locations that are remote and far from the grid, you can find a number of options simply by searching "off-the-grid locations" in your search bar. You can then call and double-check that you'll be as far away from Wi-Fi as possible, just to ensure that you'll have all the phone-free fun that you're looking for on your day.