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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 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