From hired vendors to DIY set-ups, photo booths have become a major trend at weddings in the last couple of years. And there’s good reason why: They’re fun, guests can make a keepsake for themselves, and they get your guests talking, interacting, and generally acting silly.
Don’t let the popularity of this trend discourage you. Chances are good your guests don’t spend as much time reading wedding blogs and browsing Pinterest as you do, and older guests will very likely have never seen anything like this before. They’ll be delighted. Here are a few ideas to get you started planning your wedding photo booth.
DIY or Hire?
There are advantages to both routes, and it just depends how much work you personally want to put into your photo booth. When you hire a photo booth company, their service includes the booth at your wedding for a set amount of time, props, printing (often unlimited), and an attendant to monitor the booth and help guests through the process.
Sara Williams of Hold that Pose Photo Booth in La Plata said their booth can be rented in two-, three-, or four-hour blocks, and there are no limits on how many times the booth can be used during the rental period. Plus, their booths allow guests to shoot a short video message for the couple.
“We have also spent a lot of time research compiling a great assortment for props for use in the booth,” she added. “More and more couples are seeing the booths at their friends’ weddings, and they’re experiencing first-hand how fun and exciting they are.”
Going DIY means you need to procure the backdrop(s), camera, and props – plus you’ll need to set up the booth and figure out how the pictures will be taken on the big day. You’ll save money, but more work will be required from you. If you go DIY, be sure to leave instructions for your guests, especially if you don’t have someone stationed at the booth.
Props, Props, Props
Whether you go DIY or hire a photo booth company, you will probably want to add some personalized props to your stash. If you’re hiring, find out what the company has before you start buying or making props, but here are a few fun ideas to consider:
- Chalk boards or white boards for messages
- Hats and wigs
- Glasses and other silly eyewear
- Leis and costume jewelry
- Large frames
- Costumes or parts of costumes
It’s up to you to decide how silly you want your booth to be. Some couples choose to go more formal, offering only a chalkboard or white board for guests to leave messages. Others put out a variety of mustaches and glasses on sticks for guests to use in the booth – an option especially popular at rustic or vintage weddings. And some couples let their guests go nuts with all of the above plus lots more.
Making a Keepsake
Offering a photo booth to your guests is a fun alternative to a traditional wedding favor. When their session in the booth is done, guests will get a print or strip of prints that they can keep and take home. (And they can come back to the booth as often as they want!)
Sara of Hold That Pose said many of her clients are asking about the company’s scrapbook option. “As the booth prints the photos of the guest as they leave the booth,” she explained, “we take a duplicate strip and place it into a scrapbook. We then have the guest write a short message to the couple.”
“A photo booth not only creates a lot of fun for those who are using the booth, but it creates a lasting memory for the couple and the guests that will never fade in time,” added Kristin Williams, also of Hold That Pose Photo Booth.
Photo booths are also a fun way to break the ice at your wedding. Nothing loosens you up quite like donning a crazy wig and mugging for the camera – and doing it with other people. Photo booths get your guests talking as they group up for pictures or compare their photos with others. Plus, a photo booth gives guests who aren’t dancing something to do when they take a break from the dance floor.
Sara and Kristen said their favorite part of being in the photo booth business is seeing how a few props can change someone – almost instantly. “I love to watch a straight-faced guest enter the booth and then transform into crazy faces with big glasses and fake mustaches,” Kristen said.