Bride and groom kissing in field holding sparklers

Wedding Photo Booths: Everything to Know

Jan 20, 2020
By Wedding Spot

Trying to decide if wedding photo booths are a good idea for your big day? We’ve put together a guide that will help you make your decision. Here’s everything you need to know about them, including cost and some great DIY solutions.

Frequently asked questions about wedding photo booths:

What are wedding photo booths?

A photo booth is any designated unit or space that takes and prints (or emails) photos right on the spot. Wedding photo booth companies make transportable stations, like the kind you’ve seen at other events and some nightlife spots. They can either have a small curtain for the door or be open air. The company you choose to rent one from will take care of set up and takedown. They may even offer some props, special printing or digital features, and background options.

How much is it to rent a photo booth for a party?

Wedding photo booth companies charge per hour and require a minimum number of hours for the rental. Some will also offer discount packages if you purchase any special features or services. For the most part, though, you can expect your basic photo booth to cost roughly $150 an hour with a minimum investment of at least 2 hours.

On the other hand, you can do a DIY version for less (around 50-$100 total for the backdrop, lighting, and props). Especially if you have the supplies on hand already. More on that later.

Pros and cons of wedding photo booths:

3 pros

  1. They make excellent guest souvenirs. Having something they can print and walk away with is special and really fun. Choose black and white or color (or both) for your printing options.

  2. The professionals will take care of it for you. The rental company might even offer to keep a staff member on-site for troubleshooting and additional help where needed, which means it’s one less thing for you to worry about on your wedding day.

  3. It’s a great reception photography solution. You’ll save on hiring a professional photographer for the reception and your photos will serve as a digital guest signature book.

3 cons

  1. The added expense might not fit into your budget. As with most wedding-related things, it’s important that you consider whether or not this is worth the cost for you.

  2. People might not use it as much as you want them to. For whatever reason, you may have less participants than you expected, so be prepared for that reality.

  3. Sometimes things go wrong. The camera battery gets low, the printer gets jammed, or the WiFi isn’t strong enough. You’ll need someone to keep an eye on all of this during the course of the evening.

How to find and rent wedding photo booths

A simple online search for photo booths in your area will lead you to some excellent choices. You can also cross-check your top picks with Yelp reviews. And you may even be able to locate some budget-friendly options from independent brands or freelancers through Craigslist.

But no matter where you’re located, you might enjoy the options from leading photo booth brands like TapSnap, Rent My Wedding, and Selfie Booth Co.

Once you have some photo booth companies in your budget picked out, request a quote or browse their premade packages to find one you love.

The inside scoop on DIY photo booths

If renting a photo booth isn’t the best choice for you, don’t worry. You can always make your own! It will most likely be cheaper, more personalized, and can stay open longer. Again, you’ll have to put someone in charge of at least checking on it every now and again. But if you’ve got a happy helper, this could be a fantastic solution.

No matter what, every photo booth must include:

  • A camera. This can be a dedicated phone, tablet, or professional camera. You can also opt to make your photo booth a selfie station and ask guests to take pictures on their own devices. Grab a professional stand to hold your tablet or use an Instax camera for on-the-spot printing (here’s a guide with more ideas). Just make sure to put a sign up with your chosen wedding hashtags so they know what to put on social media when they post!

  • A backdrop. Choose a backdrop that fits your wedding colors and theme. It can be as simple as a pretty fabric sheet, balloon wall, or a giant calligraphy of with your wedding hashtag on paper. Or order a premade one from Etsy or Party City.

  • A printer. Use an instant print camera (like Instax or Polaroid’s OneStep). Or, hook up a wireless photo printer. You can even buy a new or used Canon Selphy, designed exactly for this purpose.

  • Lighting. Test out different lighting options at the time of day your reception will be held. booths will obviously take a little more thought. If you need to bring in some extra lighting tools, consider one of these portable and easy-to-use lighting solutions like this lightbox kit on Amazon. If you plan to have guests use their own phones, use this great ring light stand. They can just snap their phones in place and start taking pictures.

5 creative photo booth backdrop ideas

  1. Glitter Fabric. A swath of silver or gold flitter fabric adds sparkle to any photo and can be found at your local craft store.

  2. Fairy Lights. String them in horizontal or vertical rows. Overlay organza for a magical see-through effect. Grab a warm LED light version for a cozy yet well-lit effect.

  3. Quote Wall. Hand paint or print your favorite quote about love on top of a tall wood board, the wall itself, or simple paper. Make it oversized (like this beautiful one on Etsy) or print it multiple times across the whole background. Or you can even use a themed one, like this adorable Friends TV show version.

  4. Crepe Paper. Use real or fake trees and hang your crepe paper backdrop between them. This one on Etsy is sophisticated and stylish.

  5. Curtains. Lace, see-through, and patterned options all work great here whether you’re doing the photo booth inside or outside.

5 must-have photo booth props

  1. Hats. Top hats, funny ears, wedding veils, and basically any other headpiece that’s appropriate for your theme will do the trick.

  2. Feather Boas. Grab a variety of colors or stick to one monochrome theme for a modern twist. Add a sophisticated touch with natural colors like peach.

  3. Animal or Masquerade Masks. Let your theme inform your choices here. This pack from West Elm is great for adults and kids alike.

  4. Speech Bubbles. Choose classy or funny messages for your guests to pose with. Write your own sayings on this chalkboard set.

  5. Hashtag on a Stick. Just be sure to print it in a readable color. These large customizable hashtags are super cute.

NEXT UP: Here are some more tips on how to make your ceremony and reception Instagram worthy as well as the most fun wedding songs for 2020 that you can play to make your photo booth experience even more awesome.

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Wedding Spot

Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.