Do-It-Yourself Photo “Booth”

Offering your guests a fun, personalized party favor in the form of a booth that snaps black and white pictures of guests wearing silly hats, boas and mustaches seems like a must have at any wedding reception, until of course you see the price tag. But since the trend does not seem to be fading out any time soon – and neither does the price – budget savvy couples are providing their guests with the same experience without cutting their guest list to pay for it.

photo via The Bride’s Cafe


There are several ways to set up a photo “booth,” or station, without renting the actual booth, and you will save about $2000 on average by doing it yourself. Your reception theme and personal style as a couple will help you create a unique favor that’s easy to do, guests will love, and it will cost you next to nothing to pull off. Most important to its success is designating an area at your reception with enough room for your guests to utilize the photo station, providing clear signage to explain to guests that they are creating their own personalized party favor.

First, you’ll need a digital camera & photo quality printer or you can simple use a Polaroid camera. If you do not have either, ask around first, and if you are unable to borrow the equipment, consider making the investment. Next, find or borrow props that your guests can have fun with that are relevant to your theme. For example, if your theme is Modern-Vintage, use glamorous, old Hollywood-inspired accessories like feather boas, large costume jewelry pieces, and mustaches. Cowboy hats, belts with large buckles and maybe even a toy gun and holster work at an outdoor reception held at a ranch in the Midwest.

photo via Green Wedding Shoes


You get the idea. You can hang a fabric backdrop, make one from wood or cardboard with framed cutouts if you’re up for a challenge or use a building or the natural surroundings at the reception as your backdrop (just make sure it is off to the side where guests will not appear in the background of the picture.) If you are using a digital camera and photo printer, make sure your sign includes simple instructions so guests can effortlessly print and take their photos with them. You could also hire a photography student for a small fee to assist guests with the process.

After the reception you will have a copy of the photos stored on the memory card that you can print out and include in your own album or scrapbook. For Polaroid camera stations you can include additional disposable cameras and remind your guests to leave them behind so you can develop the film later for your wedding day memories.

Have you done something like this or been to a wedding where the couple had a real or improvised photo booth? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below!

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