Your guests are not going to put their phones away. So now what?

We’ve read a lot of blog posts lately about all the ways you can try to get your guests to put their phones away at your wedding. So as the parents of teenagers, let us tell you the only way to get them to put their phones away is to take them, put them in a basket and not hand them back until they leave the Thanksgiving table. No really, your guests are not going to respect your wishes to put their phones away. It’s 2017!

We applaud your noble attempts to fight the culture, and by all means follow all of the blog tips we’ve all read lately, they may or may not help a little. Or, rather than fight against the culture, use the culture to your advantage. Here are real actual useful tips for helping to guide your guests towards using their phones for good instead of evil.

#1 You’re engaged! Awesome! We are all so excited that #shesaidyes and now we want you to create a wedding brand, all forms of social media accounts, and a website. You can use many of the free wedding driven cookie cutter sites out there. If you’re tech savvy you can create your own free lifelong wordpress or squarespace site and blog. Or if you’re busy, you can hire an expert like us to do it for you.  Whatever you do, do it soon. Have a designated email account, website, snapchat, instagram, and facebook page. All of this will come in handy while you are planning your big day and this will all last a lifetime as you grow as a couple and family, throughout your life together.

#2 Hashtag your wedding. That’s right, embrace the fact that it is 2017, we’ve all had iPhones for nearly 10 years (or ok ten years for some of us electronics nerds) and even your grandma knows “#” doesn’t mean “pound” or “number sign” anymore. So #hashtag your wedding with a brand to last the ages. You can bring it back for all of your future events – anniversaries, holiday parties at your house, birthdays, milestones, family photos and life events.

#3 Make a point of putting a heartfelt blog post on your website asking your guests to respect your wishes regarding their phones and social media. Keep them off and away during your ceremony. Always keep the volume on silent, turn off notifications and vibrations. If they do take photos, videos, or snapchats on your wedding day, ask them to make sure they don’t obstruct anyone’s view, especially that of the paid photographer, or the bridal party. Remind them that if they take any pictures or videos for any form of social media, you want them to share it with you using your hashtag. This is important! It will remind them if it isn’t something appropriate to post publicly connected to your wedding then they shouldn’t post it PERIOD. It makes a difference if they know you will be looking.

#4 Buy a geofilter for snapchat for your wedding venue on your wedding day. It’s very affordable. They offer templates you can customize online at their website, or you can hire an expert like us to create a custom geofilter for you. Again, if they know their videos are going to be something you will watch while you’re waiting for your plane the next day, they are NOT going to embarrass themselves or you. You’ll have the added benefit of being able to save and capture all of these moments right away. It’s like the table disposable cameras of the 90’s but with instant gratification, and really cute frames for every picture.

#5 Remind your guests on your wedding day. Use your signs to remind guests of your hashtag, and your requests. Ask your ushers to remind them. Put a note on your wedding programs and menus. Use these printed materials and signs to remind them of your hashtags, and ask them to tag your social media wedding accounts.

#6 Use your hashtag for fun at the cocktail hour and reception. You can even incorporate your social media pages and hashtags in to your wedding day by asking people to post a message on Instagram using a video and the hashtag during the cocktail hour or reception. If you have reception games, incorporate the hashtag and social media in to your games. Have a contest for different categories, or just one – the best candid shot, the prize can be the first dinner party with the couple in your new home after you return from your honeymoon and are ready to entertain.

You and your guests have all grown very attached to your phones. You can stress about keeping them out of your wedding day, or try directing how and when they are used. We hope these ideas help you make a choice that works for you and your guests.

 

Personally, We Think The Ceremony Is The Most Important Part

There are many reasons couples turn to a friend or loved one to officiate their wedding: They don’t belong to a specific church or feel attached to a specific clergy member; our kids’ fourth birthdays are a big spectacle why wouldn’t our wedding ceremony be something to remember and completely unique; it only takes a few minutes to become ordained online; and couples enjoy having their ceremonies in very non-traditional personally meaningful ways.

While we are certain your best friend is going to be just great at this, we’re also betting they may not have done this before. Even if you don’t want or need a professional officiant, we highly recommend you turn to a professional to help you write and plan your ceremony.

Personalized ceremonies are our favorite, but they can also be the absolute WORST! There is nothing more embarrassing than a wedding where the bride and groom clearly worked on their own or with a planner to create an amazing and unique reception experience for them and their guests, but they failed to pay the same attention to detail in planning their ceremony.

Sure, the couple knew where they wanted to stand, the decor, even the chairs are comfortably fantastic, and the processional and recessional music Had guests dancing in their seats or crying tears of joy, but what about the ceremony? What’s in a ceremony? Do you have to pledge obedience or other creepy antiquated ideals of a sexist past you’d like to not participate in? Of course not!

Writing and poetry are not every person’s strong suit. Even if you as a couple are determined to write every word of your vows yourself, what about the other parts of the ceremony? Your friend may be brilliant, an excellent public speaker, or even a writer, but are they going to write your perfect ceremony from start to finish? What readings or traditions will you include? What would you like to keep out completely?

This is why hiring a wedding planner can help you in ways you may not have even considered. You thought they were just going to arrange who stood where, but no, your modern planner is also an ordained minister (remember it only takes a few minutes online and come on when we say we are ready to solve any problem that may arise, that includes being ready to officiate because it was the plan all along or because your officiant got caught in traffic between weddings). We are experts, we won’t let you forget a single detail. And most importantly, at Vareus Events and other modern planning firms, you can turn to an expert just to help you craft the perfect custom ceremony plug in the parts from your friend – the officiant, and your personalized vows. It’s stress free, and more importantly it will be the part you most look forward to.

Our Vareus Events Custom ceremonies start at $200. For $500 you get a custom ceremony, an officiant, and a rehearsal. As part of an existing package, writing and planning services may already be included. Our full service planning packages always include a planner as an emergency back up officiant – where local laws allow (void in some states or counties).