These days, it seems like everyone over the age of eight (and some younger) have smartphones. They’re an inescapable part of our everyday lives. We feel the need to document every detail of our lives, posting pictures and inviting friends to like and share them. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to capture a moment or stay in touch with family and friends. In fact, some brides even create their own wedding website! But there’s an increasing movement among upcoming brides-and-grooms-to-be to encourage guests to turn off all those electronic devices. Here are a few reasons to have a technology-free wedding.

Shop Our Sparklers for Weddings imageAmateur Photographers Spoil the Actual Pictures

Professional wedding photographers have long had to suffer the scourge of enthusiastic amateurs. At least back in the day it was just a few hobbyists they had to contend with. Now that every guest has a camera in their pocket, photographers are having shots ruined by smartphone camera flashes and blocked by people standing in the aisles. And it’s all so they can take pictures with far less know-how and equipment than the one you’re actually paying money to take pictures. Having a technology-free wedding means your photographer can take the quality pictures you hired them to take.

Games and Alerts are Disruptive

There has to be another way for the kids and “tweens” at your wedding to entertain themselves during the ceremony than playing games on a phone or tablet. You don’t want your vows interrupted by the Angry Birds theme or the Minecraft soundtrack, right? And you don’t want that perfect moment of pure silence between your wedding vows marred by the buzz of phones on vibrate, either. If you really have a guest who can’t go an hour without checking email or Twitter, don’t invite them.

Image of a Person Turning Off a Smartphone for a WeddingHave Your Witnesses Actually Bear Witness

When you look at your guests from the altar on the big day, we’re sure you’d much rather see a sea of happy faces than the glow of a hundred LCD screens. At that rate, you might as well hand out LED wands to all of your guests. If there ever was a time to demand someone’s undivided attention, your wedding day is definitely it.

#1 Reason for a Technology-Free Wedding: Guests Miss the Ceremony Trying to Record It

The easiest way to fail to make a memory is to be too obsessed with recording it to experience it. Do you want your guests to have memories of your wedding, or memories of watching your wedding on their smartphone screen as they take one of a hundred identical YouTube videos of the proceedings?

We’re not going to come down as anti-technology, of course. Smartphones are great and social media is awesome. But we’ve become so accepting of being on the devices everywhere, regardless of venue. Now, some guests don’t think twice about whipping out their phone mid-wedding to take a picture of the bride coming down the aisle. You may get too many flashes during your wedding sparkler exit for the real photos to turn out. When you’re planning your wedding, consider asking your guests politely to keep the phones off during the ceremony. We recommend a request in the program, and then having the officiant reinforce the request before the ceremony starts. That way your guests can step out of the virtual world to truly be with you on your big day.