1/30 Wedding Inspiration: A Few DIY Ideas For Your Wedding Photo Booth

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Image: Kauai Wedding Photography

Many of us agree that photography is a HUGE part of your big day.  After all, your photos stay with you forever!  As if pictures weren’t prominent enough in the wedding biz, they’ve taken a step further into the spotlight with the introduction of photo booths.

So what’s the big deal with these anyway?  Obviously, a photo booth lets your guest take home sweet photos, sure to bring up memories of the fun they had at your wedding.  But pictures aside, photo booths keep guests’ spirits high.  After the pomp and circumstance of a formal ceremony, it gives your guests a chance to cut loose and express themselves in a humorous way.

Now, let’s get real for a minute.  Yep, we have to start thinking about the dreaded b-word.  Photo booths for weddings typically rent for $1000+.  And when you’re on a budget, well, that can be a lot of dough to dish out on a novelty.   But let’s step back and think about the concept of the photo booth.  You want to give your guests an easy way to capture wedding-day memories.  You want to provide them a fun setup.  Thinking about it this way, having a photo booth – without actually renting one – is totally doable.

A couple ideas:

The Polaroid Setup.  This requires very little work from you.  All you need is the camera; a small table to set the camera on (along with extra paper and batteries, if you have a large guest list); and backdrop (whether it’s a folding screen, or pretty fabric tacked to the wall if your venue allows).  Make it fun and set out a box of props, too!

Polaroid PIC-300P Instant Film Analog Camera (Purple), $69.99

Polaroid PIC-300P Instant Film Analog Camera (Purple), $69.99

Polaroid cameras are easy to operate, so guests can take turns taking pictures of each other, or hold up the camera to take pictures of themselves.

Tip:  If you don’t already have a Polaroid camera, register for one!  Make sure it’s on your registry early and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get it before your wedding.  If not, cross it off the registry and pick one up yourself.  It’s less than a third the cost of a photo booth, and you get to take it with you on the honeymoon!

The Laptop Setup.  To get closer to the real deal, you can purchase photo booth software (like Spark Booth, $59) that takes the pictures through your webcam.  By bringing in a laptop and printer, you can set up a photo station that snaps your guests’ photos in a single keystroke and prints them out in photo-booth format.  Brilliant!  Interested in the details? See the step-by-step and results from a real wedding here.

You can take these ideas a step further by using the pictures in your guestbook, as an alternative to signatures.  Set out markers for the guests to write messages on the prints, and mounting squares to stick their snapshots in a scrapbook.  (Your crafty girlfriends will have fun with this, too!)

Image:  Emmaline Bride

How are you getting creative with photos at your wedding?

The Broke-Ass Bride
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  • Speaking of Polaroid, they're coming out with new products which will surely be of interest to brides in this area. One is already out, the GL10 printer, which makes 3×4-inch prints via bluetooth connection with mobile phones (iPhone compatibility still TBA, unfortunately) or direct connection via cable. The GL30 camera is due soon, which will combine the best of both: a digital camera capable of taking photos which can be saved, along with a Polaroid instant print facility.

  • Terri

    I set up Spark Booth at my daughter's recent wedding. The guests had such a fun time they kept going back to take more photos. They each got to take home a keepsake AND my daughter and her new husband have a guest book filled with their photos. This was one of the best things we did and was not a 'b' breaker by any means.

  • Great ideas…..I love it….

  • coco

    If you like Polaroids but are short on time, Target sells a black camera and the film packets in their electronics section.
    Fuji also makes a similar model that comes in white and black, and the Fuji instant film, they are on Amazon.
    Other Polaroid models are on Amazon, they come in blue and red.

  • Ashley

    We are doing a photobooth at our wedding as well! However, instead of polaroids, we are setting up our Cannon camera on a tripod and we found a program for the camera that automatically sends photos directly to the computer. They can also take photos with the click of a wireless mouse! Super cool! The program is called Breeze Systems PSRemote. So basically, we'll have our computer set up, hooked up to the digital camera and our guests will only need to click the button on the mouse to get the camera to take the photo! Then, we can go through the photos ourselves and choose which ones to print!!!

  • Katie

    I was looking into the Polaroid camera thing, but the website says it can only print about 25 photos on one battery charge. Does anyone know how expensive those batteries are?