If you’ve gone to the trouble of organising a big social event, then there are few sights more depressing than that of scores of guests sat slumped in their chairs, gawping at their Facebook feeds when they’re meant to be socialising and having a good time!
And there are few occasions where this behaviour hurts more than at a wedding. So what’s the solution? Well, we’ve a few ideas.
Our first proposal is the most brutal: ban phones. Everyone who walks through the doors has to surrender their device and place it in a large receptacle. When they leave, they can pick it back up. What could be simpler?
Unfortunately, few of your guests will be happy with such extreme measures. They might reasonably object to being denied access to their phone: after all, how are they going to be contacted in the event of an emergency? Add to this the fact that a basket filled with thousands of pounds’ worth of smartphones is surely a security risk, and the case for confiscation falls apart.
Another common tactic is to have everyone stack their phones in the centre of the dinner table. The first person to reach for theirs must perform a forfeit. In a restaurant, this might be to pay for the meal – but at a wedding, this option isn’t available. This tactic also tends to feel a little bit condescending.
Minimise Free Time
The more time your guests spend standing around waiting for something to happen, the more tempted they’ll be to reach for their phones. By maintaining a rigid structure to proceedings, you’ll be able to keep people interested in what happens next. Fifteen minutes gaps between the bar opening, the cake being cut, the speeches being delivered, and the first dance should provide the evening with enough momentum to keep everyone engaged.
Book Great Entertainment
If people are up and dancing, then they won’t be able to take the time out to check what’s happening on Instagram. This might mean forking out for a decent band or DJ. But there’s a balance to be struck, here – if the room is so loud that you can’t hold a conversation, then you’re giving people who don’t want to dance a reason to reach for their phones.
Provide Alternative Photo-Ops!
One excusable reason to take out your smartphone is to take a photograph with it. Photos, after all, create memories of the happy occasion. But smartphone photos don’t tend to measure up the day after – particularly if the photographer is on his fifth gin-and-tonic of the evening. If you’d like to allow your guests to take high-quality snaps of themselves and a posse of fellow guests, then why not introduce a photobooth into proceedings? Our service includes everything you need to create lasting mementos of the evening – and it’s sure to be a hit at your wedding!