As wedding hashtags rise in popularity, the merits of cell phone-free zones still hold sway.

As wedding hashtags rise in popularity, the merits of cell phone-free zones still hold sway.

Your wedding is likely the only time that all of your closest friends and family will be together in one space, celebrating a common event. The last thing you want to see from your position at the head of the crowd is their faces buried in their cell phones and tablets as they try to snap the perfect candid. Although the sentiment is well–intentioned-your guests just want to capture and relive the joy of the occasion, after all-the practice can be distracting.

"During the ceremony, people should be present because typically they don't last very long in the first place," says Carmen Hall of Forget Me Knot Photography. "If they're too busy trying to get a shot, then they're really not in that moment with this couple that they love."

Hall has seen multiple examples of couples politely asking guests to put the phones away, at least during the ceremony itself. These can range from small signs or a note in the program to a pre-ceremony announcement from the officiant.

Newlyweds Michelle and Justin Morrison didn't go unplugged for their May 2016 wedding, but Michelle is quick to point out both the pros and cons to having a tech-free ceremony. "When we got our pictures back, we saw that everyone had their phone out," she says. "It's nice to see your guests involved in the process, but that's what the photographer is there for."

"On the other hand, my friend recorded our vows and sent them to me after," Michelle adds. "I listen to them whenever I need a good laugh/happy cry. If we would've asked our guests to go unplugged, I wouldn't have that."

If you have your heart set on the perfect wedding hashtag, your photographer shouldn't have a problem capturing the story. Good photographers can even make cell phones work in their favor.

"Whenever the couple is already at the altar and somebody has their phone or iPad out, a lot of times I will focus in on the screen and kind of get that angle of [the couple] in the background," says Hall.

Ultimately, the question of whether you go unplugged is about priorities: Would you rather ask your guests to be present in the moment with you and your new spouse, or have a plethora of guest-snapped photos to puruse while you wait for the professional shots to come in? Whatever you choose, make your intentions known by communicating them to your photographer and guests.