The era of the over-documented wedding

In this hyper-connected world, more and more couples are choosing to have guests unplug their technology to create a more intimate wedding ceremony. While many churches have “no camera” policies, there seems to be a growing interest from nontraditional secular couples in having an unplugged wedding – at least, asking guests to refrain from using their devices during the ceremony. Wedding officiants are starting to get more requests for unplugged ceremonies, as well.

TheKnot.com’s annual list of hottest wedding trends predicts that a top trend in 2014 will be that couples request guests to not “Instagram my wedding.” TheKnot.com notes that many couples don’t like the idea of guests attached to their phones throughout the ceremony and reception and are opting for unplugged weddings. From providing a phone check at the door to adding a note in their wedding websites or ceremony programs asking guests to refrain from taking photos or videos, couples are stepping away from social media at their weddings.

What We’ve Seen

  • Four in 10 survey respondents who were married within the past two years agree that using a wedding website is essential to wedding planning.
  • Brides are increasingly using social media to share wedding details with guests (45% did so in 2011 vs. 32% in 2009).
  • In December 2009, a tech-obsessed groom made headlines by holding up the ceremony to tweet from the altar and change his relationship status on Facebook.

What It Means

Fighting against social media is like trying to stop a freight train. Couples who want the focus to remain on them during their big day may look for ways to incorporate social media to suit the mood without instituting a complete ban. For example, couples may consider renting social media-ready photo booths such as Photo Fiesta or Snap Fiesta so that guests can satisfy their urges to record and immediately post their images without disrupting the event.

Companies supplying wedding invitations can offer brides and grooms “official” wording for requests without coming off as too bossy, those offering décor ideas have an opportunity to develop a classy phone check station for the door, or wedding photographers can offer as an additional service to help keep smartphone camera use to a minimum by gently reminding guests to put their phones away.

Fiona O’Donnell is a lifestyles and leisure analyst at Mintel. Fiona specializes in consumer behavior, demographics, travel and green trends, and she uses her expertise to advise clients on marketing strategies and business decisions. She began her career with Mintel in 2007 as the Manager of Custom Research, helping clients develop solutions that provide actionable and impactful results. Prior to Mintel, O’Donnell managed a team of analysts with Peryam & Kroll Marketing & Sensory Research Corporation.

For more in-depth insight into the US Weddings market, click here.

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