Wedding Reception Photobooth – Fun Ideas that Last a Lifetime
By Devorah Isenberg , Tuesday, January 03, 2012 4:25 AM
Looking for an easy, inexpensive way to add a note of fun and whimsy to your wedding reception? Whether you are hosting a formal dinner in a ballroom or a casual backyard affair, a rented or D.I.Y. photo booth makes a fun addition to any wedding. A photo booth is a small enclosed booth that is outfitted with an automatic camera and printer. Wedding guests can duck into the booth and take photos of themselves, usually in film-style strips of three or four photos, that then print instantly on the front of the booth. Guests can then take the photos home with them as a fun, easy party favor.
If you are thinking of setting up a wedding photobooth at your reception, there are a few key elements to consider, and a number of ways to customize the booth and make it even more creative and personal. First, the basics:
- Do you want to rent the photobooth or create a D.I.Y. version? Of course, a rented booth is easier, but if you want all the photobooth fun without the price tag, there are numerous websites that can show you how to transform a quiet corner of your wedding location into a decent photobooth, complete with a remote-control-operated camera. If you decide to rent a photobooth, ask your photographer and caterer if they would be able to provide the booth as a part of their wedding package. Research the cost of renting a booth separately from a party-games concession, and decide which option fits your budget better.
- Decide where in your wedding location to place the booth. The activity will work best if it is placed in a central location, where everyone will notice it, but not right in the middle of the action where it can be in the way. One great location is near the bar, where people tend to congregate anyway, or outside the main reception room near the coat check. Keep it far enough away from the dance floor that it doesn't become a distraction when you want your guests dancing, but not so far from the main action that people won't want to miss the party to find it. If it's a little out of the way, make sure to have a large sign pointing it out.
- Assign one or two members of the bridal party to be in charge of the photo booth. That can mean everything from encouraging more hesitant guests to try it out, and maintaining order and making sure the booth doesn't get damaged. The photo booth monitors can also make sure guests wait on line and take turns in the booth, and will prevent one drunk couple from hogging the booth all night. Now that you have all the basics taken care of, consider adding some of these fun details to spice up your wedding photobooth experience. These photobooth ideas can be easily customized to suit the theme of your wedding.
- Provide a few easy-to-use costumes and props that will help people loosen up and get into the creative spirit. A few funny hats, a costume beard, and a pair of those novelty glasses with an attached moustache will help guests loosen up. You can also provide props that relate the wedding theme or a favorite activity beloved by the couple and their friends, like light sabers for the sci-fi geeks or fancy masquerade masks for the black-tie wedding.
- Position a guestbook outside the photobooth, and ask guests to sign the book and attach one or two photos from their photo booth session along with their message. (Make sure to provide glue sticks or another adhesive.) That will give you an instant photo album of all your wedding albums, and a great way to look back and remember who was there.
- Customize the photo booth with your names and the date of your wedding. Some photobooths can be programmed to automatically print a customized message at the bottom of each strip of photos, while others can be give a personalized touch by placing a banner into the booth itself.
- Provide a few funny cutouts for guests to pose with. They can be life-size photos of the bride and groom themselves, or favorite celebrities. The cutouts should make for some entertaining poses and funny photos as well.
- Have a photobooth photo contest. Hang up a sign informing guests to bring what they consider to be award-winning photos and poses to a specific, designated member of the wedding party. Then, at the end of the night, have that volunteer choose winners in a few categories and announce them to the guests. Ask the winner to come up and give a short toast.
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