The wedding photo booth is a popular fixture at receptions everywhere. It can take many forms: an enclosed booth like something from the mall, a step-and-repeat-style area at the reception entrance, a selfie station complete with a bucket of props. But the photo booth always accomplishes the same goal: getting your guests up from their tables and engaging with each other!
While there are many rental companies you can hire to set up your photo booth, this reception activity is just as easily accomplished on your own. Trust me, even if you have no experience with DIY projects, you can set up a fun photo booth that your friends and family will be obsessed with all night.
1. Up Your Backdrop Game
When most of us hear the phrase “photo booth,” we imagine a small box, enclosed by a curtain, with a blank white background behind us. Sure, that’s the traditional photo booth…but whoever said you have to be traditional? Your wedding photo booth can be as creative and unique as you want it to be—and the better the background, the more popular it will be.
Your background should be fun and eye-catching, but not so busy that it distracts from the photo’s subjects (your guests). When you set up your photo booth, think about hanging streamers or setting up a few chalkboard walls with your wedding hashtag written on it. If your reception is in a place with beautiful natural scenery, use that to your advantage; hang up an IRL “frame” your guests can pose behind, and use it to frame the perfect scenic backdrop!
2. Good Photos with the Bomb Lighting
Good lighting is key to getting a good photo, and your photo booth is no exception to the rule. Your booth should be lit so that you can see guests’ faces in the pictures (even at the end of the night). Start by putting a few lights in front of the camera at approximately nose level; this will make sure your friends’ faces are visible in every shot.
Lighting is also a fun way to dress up your photo booth and add some sparkle to your backdrop. Consider draping your backdrop with fairy lights or hanging a cute neon sign. However, remember that if you do add lights to the back of your booth, you’ll have to compensate by adding a little more light by the camera to eliminate unflattering shadows!
3. Play with Props
The best part of any photo booth is the array of fun props your guests can play with. I’m talking wigs, silly glasses, cutout speech bubbles with funny phrases written on them, and just about anything else you can imagine. Even your most straight-laced guest will have a ball putting on a feather boa and silly hat and cheesing it up by the end of the night!
You can find a lot of wedding photo booth props from ready-made options to DIY kits on sites like Etsy, Amazon, or Party City. Some props suit a particular theme (like rustic, vintage, or tropical), but the key is to have a variety of prop options available to your guests. Make sure you have cutouts and real-world objects they can wear like hats and scarves. This will ensure that everyone finds something that catches their eye—and that means more people will be using your booth.
4. Advertise It
Photo booths are often tucked away in a corner of the reception space, or even placed outside the venue altogether. The reason for this is practical; your reception space needs room for lots of people to maneuver around (your guests, the venue staff, the caterers), and a bunch of people gathered around a photo booth can block up traffic. However, the photo booth’s location often means that guests simply don’t notice it!
Make sure everyone knows where to find your photo booth. Hang a sign pointing the way to it, place it at the reception hall entrance so guests can snap pics as they walk in, or have your DJ remind people of its presence. Trust me, guests love the photo booth (there’s a reason it appears at so many weddings), so if they know it’s there, they’ll make a beeline for it!
5. Make Sharing the Photos Simple
These days, just about everyone is on the hunt for that perfect Instagram shot. Your photo booth can be a great place to do it—as long as sharing your photos is simple. And one of the easiest ways to make sure your photos are shareable is to use a selfie stick.
You can find selfie sticks pretty cheaply at stores like Walmart, so put a few down with the props at your photo booth. This will give your guests instant access to their photo booth pics, which means they can get onto Instagram and Facebook even faster! Just make sure you advertise your wedding hashtag right there at the booth so guests remember to use it.
With these simple steps, you can create a fun, engaging photo booth that your wedding guests will fall in love with. Everyone will have a great time, and you’ll have plenty more pics to remember your wedding day.