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Seen At 11: Weddings Unplugged? Banning Technology A Growing Trend

Experts: More And More Couples Requesting Cellphones, Cameras Stay Off

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The next time you’re invited to a wedding, check the invitation, because you may be asked to leave your phone at the door or be expected to help document the big day.

As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported Tuesday, to tech or not to tech is now another question couples are asking.

Newlywed Spring Smith McKenney said she wanted her wedding to be an intimate affair.

“I wanted it to be personal. I wanted it to be about my husband and I,” she said.

So she included the following message in her invitations:

“We respectfully ask that everyone consider leaving all cameras and cellphones off,” Smith McKenney said.

One expert said couples requesting, even requiring, that guests turn off their tech in their quest for an unplugged wedding is a way to calm the chaos associated with the big day.

“We have become a world that is so hyper-connected to everyone and everything, so an unplugged wedding allows you to sit and really listen and be a part of the festivities,” said Abby Larson of stylemepretty.com.

Saying “I don’t” to digital distractions, like texting, pictures and social media, is a growing trend, Larson said.

Anja Winikker from theknot.com adds getting guests to unplug can be as simple as adding a subtle sign.

“If you’re gonna do it, you don’t have a bouncer at the door. You do elegantly,” Winikker said.

But she also said there are many brides and grooms who take a completely different approach to wedding tech.

“On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of couples are creating hashtags for their wedding,” Winikker said.

She said they encourage guests to post pictures on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

“We live in a sharing world. If everyone is excited to share pictures of their food on Instagram then why wouldn’t they want friends and family photos of their most important event?” Winikker said.

Some couples even live video stream the ceremony so that friend and family who can’t attend can catch the “I dos” as they happen via the Internet.

“I think it’s a really sweet idea. More and more couples are planning destination weddings and most of their guests are having to travel,” Winikker said.

Bride’s magazine publisher Michelle Meyers said the decision to say “I do” or “I don’t” to tech at a wedding always belongs to the couple.

“There isn’t a right and wrong when it comes to getting married. It’s all about having a fun and magical day that is special for you that will be a memory to last a lifetime,” Meyers said.

In the end, experts said it’s truly about what makes the bride happy. Most couples want nothing more than to have a wedding that is different, and unlike any other.

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