The luxury elopement experience by Rochelle Cheever is a boutique design and photography studio based in San Diego, California and Rome, Italy.

Unplugged Weddings


One of the main purposes of a destination wedding or elopement is to get away from it all like this unplugged wedding in Tuscany.

As a photographer and designer specializing in elopements, I intentionally scout out locations that are romantic and quaint. Some of my favorite places are remote and can be hard to get to, so Internet is often spotty or unavailable altogether.

If you’re planning a private elopement, just the two of you without guests, you may not care about the Internet. Being unplugged for a few days can be a good thing. Consider this a time to spend focused completely on each other. Put away your smart phone, and think of the Italian motto la dolce far niente.” It’s sweet  do nothing.

Enjoy  each other, take a walk. You can post your photos when you get back.

But when guests are involved, being unplugged can present a problem. They may not be so happy to be Internet-free. And they will be eager to post their smart phone snapshots online. I can’t tell you how hard it is to get great professional shots, when I have to compete with a crowd of guests blocking the ceremony. I’ve had to throw away so many important shots because a guest and his smart phone ruined the photo. So I plead with my clients to ask their guests not to take photos during wedding itself, so that they’ll have truly professional keepsakes of a moment that can’t be repeated.

Unplugged Weddings

What are the Benefits Of Unplugged Weddings?

  • Guests are more present. Instead of checking their smart phones, they’ll give the moment their full attention.
  • You’ll have perfect wedding photos, instead of shots of guests taking pictures and blocking the professional photographer’s viewpoint.
Unplugged Weddings

Some ideas for unplugged weddings

  • Ask your photographer to let you have a some sneak peaks a few days after the wedding so that you’ll have something to show and share while you wait for your professional shots to be ready.
  • Make sure to discuss a time frame for delivering the final prints and include it in the contract with your photographer. I usually deliver photographs 4-6 weeks after the wedding, but, if requested, I’m happy to send sneak peeks within a few days.
Unplugged Weddings

How to let your guests know ahead of time that it’s an unplugged wedding

  • Add an insert in your invite saying something like“We’d love an unplugged wedding without smart phones or cameras. We’ve hired a professional photographer who will need a clear view of the ceremony. We’ll be sure you get some copies later, so please just be present and enjoy the day. Thank you!
  • Many photographers create an online gallery you and your guests can sign on to with a password to see your wedding shots.
  • Make a lovely sign to display at the wedding: “Please, no photographs during the ceremony.”
  • Ask the celebrant or master of ceremonies to make an announcement, requesting that guests put away their cameras and smart phones.








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