Why you should have an Unplugged Elopement

Unplugged elopements; what are they and why should you have one?

Today we’re exploring why you might ask your guests to travel light – and tech-free – when attending your elopement ceremony. 


Family portrait all smiling together surrounding bride and groom

Picture this – you’re about to walk down a makeshift “aisle” at your outdoor wedding elopement.

You start to walk down a grassy path and begin taking in the views of the mountains. 

Father escorts Bride in white wedding dress and jean jacket across grassy moun tain knoll

After meeting eyes with your partner, you send your gaze over to the small cluster of family members who are witnesses, but instead of seeing their smiling faces, you are taken aback by a sea of cell phones covering their smiles, interrupting this organic and picture-perfect scene.

This scenario is exactly why we feel so strongly about having an unplugged elopement ceremony and experience!

Guests smile for the camera and hold cell phones

What does it mean to have an unplugged elopement?

An unplugged elopement is when guests put away their cell phones, i-pads, and all electronic devices during the event. This can happen during the ceremony only or for the entire elopement experience.

Here at Elope Outdoors we strive for a unique, unplugged, and down-to-earth experience. We are a photography-focused elopement company, and we want to make sure that we capture every special moment for you to share with friends & family.

We take care of the details and capture the moment so our couples and guests can commit to being fully present (and cell phone free!)

Bride in white dress stands with groom in black suit at the edge of a lake as wedding elopement officiant reads

How to ensure your elopement will be unplugged

The best way to make sure your day is unplugged is to let guests know your request well in advance so they are prepared to keep their phones and cameras away. You can do this by putting it in any group messages or emails you send, or you can personally text or call them mentioning that you want the day to be unplugged.

It really helps to share your why for this. You can give them reasons from the list below, and simply tell them that you really want your witnesses to be present and a part of the day and we don’t want to see phones when we look around. 

If you are dealing with an especially tech-obsessed group of people, you can choose to have your officiant give a gentle reminder as the ceremony begins.

A group of adults and children huddle together watching a wedding elopement ceremony

Pros of Having an Unplugged Elopement

Now you may be wanting a little more info about why your elopement should be unplugged. We’ve got you covered! Here’s a few pros for having an unplugged elopement. 


It helps the photographer do their job

Simply put, devices ruin not only the nature vibes, but also could ruin the photos. Not only is it off-putting to get back your photos and see your guests holding their phones and devices up during your ceremony (yikes), it is also possible that guests trying to snap their own photos can make it difficult for the photographer to do their job. 

One of the worst things to happen would be a guest jumping in front of the photographer during the first kiss, blocking their view. It is usually due to lack of awareness of the guest, not because they want to get in the photographer’s path, but they usually just don’t think to look around.

By just making the rule of being unplugged, you are preventing situations that might make it harder for the photographer to do their job. Remember, you already have a photographer, what you really need from your witnesses is to witness and be engaged in the experience with you!

Behind the scenes photos of photographers at elopements


It allows guests to be fully present + true witnesses

The whole point of bringing guests along to the actual elopement in real life, versus bringing photos home for them to see later, is to allow them to actually be there and be present.

Perhaps you considered eloping alone and felt like you wanted some of your special people there. Chances are you didn’t picture their faces up to their phones or scrolling away during your vows. 

Instead, you’d likely prefer to look over and connect with your parent or friend’s eyes for a reassuring glance during the ceremony. It’s moments like these that you want to be here for!

Man holds wife shoulder while both laugh, along with their son


It makes the reveal of the pro-photos even better

One of the best feelings is opening up the email from your photographer and getting the link to your gallery where you can review your ceremony and moments  in ALL their majestic, professional glory!

If everyone is taking cell phone photos throughout and sharing them with you, by the time you get your gallery, it takes away some of the fun. 

By waiting until your gallery is complete, you can feel the raw excitement of viewing your event images for the first time. It will be like being transported back to the time and place, and you’ll be able to relive it through stunning images that capture you in your best light. 



Bride in white wedding dress and jean jacket poses with groom in a suit and red tie in front of blue mountains

Looking to elope in the mountains? Consider working with us in Asheville, NC!

We are surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, plus miles of gorgeous forests, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and so much beauty!

At Elope Outdoors we help you plan your entire elopement in beautiful nature spaces and provide packages with all the vendors you need from photographer to videographer to officiant and florist and more! 

Contact us to today to plan your dream elopement!


Bride in white wedding dress and groom in blue suit stand under a waterfall