When we planned our wedding last year, I really wanted to include a photo booth at our reception. We had seen them at other weddings in the past, and loved the idea. Unfortunately, when we priced them out, it was going to be too expensive. Instead of giving up on the idea, I decided that we could set one up ourselves.
First, we made sure that we could designate a spot at the venue for a photo booth. We had rented out an entire building for our wedding, so we had free-reign as to where we could set it up. There was a corner area in the entryway of our reception hall that was a perfect location. Make sure that the area that you choose isn’t in a high traffic area, but it is visible and easy for everyone to get to. It’s also important to find a spot that has a decent background for the photos or at least a wall to hang a backdrop.
My husband had a decent camera and tripod, so that was a good starting point for our supply list. Both of these items are necessary for a DIY photo booth. We also made sure that the camera had a new memory card in it, so we weren’t limited with the amount of photos that we could take. We also needed a backdrop for the photos. This can be anything from a colored sheet to a large blown up photo. We decided on a large metallic streamer curtain. Make sure that the backdrop is fairly large so that it takes up the entire camera frame. Lastly, we wanted different kinds of props for people to wear in the photos. I collected pieces that I already had from various Halloween costumes, which saved us a lot of money. I also borrowed some hats from friends and family. In the end, we did go to the party store and purchase some additional items. We were really lucky that our wedding took place during the Halloween season, so all of the seasonal stores and merchandise were available to us.
The photo booth setup was fairly easy. We ended up renting the wedding hall the day before the wedding, so we could set everything up. There were some large pieces of lattice at the hall that we used to block off a corner of the entryway for the photo booth. If there is a separate room that you can use, that would work even better! I hung a “Photo Booth” sign right outside of the area to direct guests to it. I secured the streamer curtain to the wall, and made sure that the camera tripod was set up at a good distance away. There needs to be enough room for multiple people to be in the same photo, and not too much excess space in the camera frame. We set the camera at the angle that we wanted, and took some test shots to make sure that we liked the photos. We also designated an area to keep the props. Make sure that the area is visible and easily accessible to the guests. I kept them in a large bin, so that it was easy for people to shuffle through and choose what they wanted. The only real issue that we had with the photo booth was figuring out who would operate the camera. We thought of having each person set the camera to automatically take their photo, but we decided that with people drinking, that it wouldn’t be a good idea. We were lucky enough to have a friend volunteer to operate the camera for us.
On the day of the wedding, we made sure that the camera battery was fully charged and the flash was on. Our friend came for a few hours during the reception to run our photo booth and it turned out great! The photo booth pictures are some of my favorites from our wedding! We had them printed and sent out in our thank-you cards. I highly recommend setting up a photo booth instead of hiring a company to do it. It is such a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to add some character to your wedding!
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