It’s a big fear of couples: stand up to say your vows and you look out and your cousin is texting away on snap fizzle or double tapping on instapicture, or whatever. WTF dude? You seriously can’t take the time to focus on us committing our lives to one another?!

 

Instead of being super paranoid that people won’t pay attention, and instead of being super bitchy and throwing shade left and right at your loved ones, keep your wedding guests engaged during the ceremony by implementing these simple and easy tips.

 

1.      Hire live musicians.
Setting the stage for entertainment, live musicians keep people engaged. Your guests will become enamored with deciphering which hit song is playing in instrumental form or they’ll let themselves be reminded of their own wedding nuptials. #swoon
 

2.      Provide finger twiddling material: programs.
Instead of resorting to their phones, give guests something to read and engage with that has to do with you and your wedding. If you’re getting married on a historically hot day, make those programs double as fans, extra points if you include personal information like your love story or the significance of a ceremony in the programs.
 

3.      Don’t keep them waiting - start on time.
Need I go on? Hiring a wedding planner or a day of coordinator can really be invaluable for this tip. Without someone in charge, someone with experience, your ceremony won’t run smoothly and it likely won’t start on time.
 

4.      Avoid having a ceremony that drags on… and on… and on.
Winging it just isn’t going to cut it for your ceremony. Have an outline, print out the readings and tell your officiant how long you are expecting the ceremony to take. Have a rehearsal the day before so your wedding party knows what’s going on as well.
 

5.      Opt for an officiant who is engaging and a good public speaker.
I’m not picking on officiants, I’ve just seen so many really, really good ones. Ones that crack jokes and make the ceremony about the couple. Ones that protect the sanctity of the ceremony and encourage wedding guests to take their role seriously. Love and support and a few laughs are a great way to keep people engaged during your ceremony.
 

6.      Have pretty ceremony decor.
Make the view worth looking at for your guests. I opted to get married in a valley with a pretty mountain peak as part of the backdrop. If there aren’t any breathtaking geographical features at your ceremony site, think about incorporating decor like an arbor, draping, or a chuppah.

 

I bet you want your wedding to be unplugged as well? I agree guests should put their camera phones away and they should let your hired professional photographer capture the day, uninhibited.

 

I suggest having ushers gently remind guests, “If you don’t mind keeping your phone put away and on silent, the happy couple to be would really appreciate it.” I also suggest having your officiant crack a joke about it, like, “Remember weddings before cell phones? Let’s reenact one today.”

 

I even think it’s a good idea to have someone of great authority, like me, a wedding planner, or your dad, or a stern uncle, deliver a message about the importance of guests being present for the ceremony and not present on Facebook during the ceremony. Having signage can also help accomplish this feat. Check out more signage ideas on this Pinterest board.

 

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Josey