‘Chill’ bride wanted to ban cell phones at wedding — but is that too much to ask?


No phones? Big problems.

Australian wedding guests were notified they aren’t allowed to film during one couple’s ceremony, which struck a nerve with many people online.

In a clip posted on Instagram, blushing bride Anna Reuss is seen walking down the aisle telling guests to “put your phones away,” followed by overlay text reading, “The bride should NOT have to say this during her big moment.”

In recent years, wedding culture has adopted the concept of restricting cellphone usage at ceremonies to prevent guests from posting content online before the newlyweds.

Couples refer to the idea of a no-phone event as an “unplugged” or “device-free” ceremony.

An unplugged wedding ceremony is when “the couple requests that guests put away cell phones, cameras and any other devices in order for them to be present in the moment,” explains Bride.com.

The new-age rule is typically reinforced by plastering signage throughout the venue or having an officiant be the enforcer.

The “chill” bride and groom in question tied the knot on March 23 in Samford, Australia, and wanted the intimate wedding to have a “relaxed feel.”

However, their immediate family and friends believed more lights, cameras and action were needed as they snapped away from the front-row seats.

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wedding guests taking photos on phone
Anna Reuss requested guests put their phones away during her wedding ceremony, but some people disobeyed. Getty Images

“They’ve got paid professionals. They want you to be in the moment, ” Khyla Nixon, a wedding photographer who runs production company Maple and Mist, told TODAY.com.

Reuss’ wedding videographer, who oversees @mapleandmist online, captioned the clip: “How do you feel about phones out during your ceremony?”

Some people agreed with the new concept, but others felt that it’s an unnecessary burden on guests who want to capture the moment themselves.

“Put your phones away. All too often they’re posted without approval. Nope put them away,” commented one person.

“It is their moment and thought enough of the guests to invite them to share that moment,” added another.

One woman complained how guests disobeyed the bride’s request and snapped photos of the moment even though it wasn’t granted.

“At least a dozen people completely ignored the request. I thought it was classless and disrespectful. I was appalled,” she sighed.


wedding photos on phone
The couple wanted guests to be in the moment rather than consumed with their phones. Getty Images

However, some spectators confessed that the media team tends to block their view of the couple.

“What is also annoying at a wedding is multiple professional photographers running all over during the ceremony taking pictures,” added a naysayer.

“I want memories, pull the phones out cause I’m gonna record,” wrote a woman. “Just get over it and enjoy your day.”

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“How are phones a problem? Doesn’t make sense to me,” questioned a confused man.

Meanwhile, many photographers and videographers, such as Toronoto-based photographer Jennifer van Son, promote unplugged weddings.

“It gives us clear shots, which is awesome,” said van Son. “We don’t have to struggle to find an angle and it’s a more visually appealing look than phones in the air.” 

As unplugged weddings become more popular, some newlyweds have incorporated a “social media minute” during which guests are given an allocated time to capture as many images on their devices before they have to put their phones away.

“It was our fun, nontraditional way for our officiant to announce the unplugged ceremony after the processional,” Josh and Morgan, wedding officiants who operate @ourprovenance on TikTok, wrote on the app.





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