You spend months or years planning your wedding. The cake, the colors, the food, the music—even the lighting!
And let’s not even get started on the beauty that is your dress.
It’s all for a single day: the day you marry your best friend and party your socks off with your friends and family.
Of course, you’re going to have a photographer to document everything, but have you also wondered, “Do I need a photo booth at my wedding?“
TLDR: Photo booths are awesome and you should definitely have one.
Let’s talk about why photo booths are the perfect match for weddings, how to make sure yours is the best it can be, and then finally all the ways you can get one for your wedding!
Why have a wedding photo booth? 🤔
There are three classic ingredients to a stellar reception: open bar, dance party, and a photo booth. Case in point: even Kim Kardashian and Kanye had a photo booth at their wedding!
Photo booths are recommended regularly by wedding planners. Megan Metzger from Pearl Events Austin says that a photo booth is a must-have for her own wedding.
“Instead of having a camera in your face, like on the dance floor with a photographer, people really let loose and, for some reason, people feel more comfortable behind it,” Megan said.
Why are photo booths so popular? Let us count the reasons:
1. Photo booths up the fun factor 🎉
The cocktail hour can keep guests occupied and having fun between the wedding ceremony and reception. A photo booth can help fill in the gap, too, keeping guests entertained and the mood light. It’s a perfect distraction while you and your newly minted spouse are snapping those breathtaking photos that will make your nana cry.
But the fun doesn’t stop there.
Throughout the reception, your wedding photo booth will be the gift that keeps on giving—to you and your guests.
2. Photos are the best wedding favors 📸
Your guests will love having a take-home memento, whether it’s in digital or print form.
Setting up one photo booth sure is a lot easier than tying hundreds of ribbons around bottles of bubbles that probably won’t make it out the door.
Most cliche wedding favors end up in the trash, but people tend to hang onto a great photo–especially when they can simply text it to their phone from a touch screen photo booth.
Most modern photo booth companies also provide access to an online wedding gallery after the big day, making it easy for you and your guests to relive the memories.
3. There’s too much happening for the photographer to capture it all 😱
A photo booth complements a wedding photographer perfectly. Your photographer will get a lot of great photos, but they’re going to be mainly focused on you and the main events on the dance floor.
All the fun happening behind the scenes? That’s where the photo booth comes in.
Having a photo booth for your wedding is a great way to make sure you’re getting authentic pictures of every guest. Not everyone will do a formal pose for the wedding photographer, but they’ll likely visit the photo booth for a fun group picture or selfie. It’s like getting an extra set of wedding photos.
“I don’t think anything’s better than the bride and groom getting the [photo booth photos from their wedding] a day or two after, and they can go through all of those photos and see how much fun everyone had. Those photos are so funny!”Katie Fingerhut, Wedding Planner at Pearl Events
Wedding photo booth ideas
Now that you know why a photo booth is a must-have for your wedding, here are some ideas to help make sure it’s a smash hit.
1. Choose the perfect location ✅
Locate your selfie booth in a high-traffic area of the wedding venue, like near the bar or dance floor. Make sure that your guests can see it from where they’ll be hanging out. If your guests don’t see the photo booth they’re not going to use it.
Sometimes, a venue coordinator will try to get you to put your photo booth in a back room or closet where nobody will find it. Don’t let them do it! The key to having a lot of participation and photos is for people to see other people having fun and want to join in.
If possible, leave some open space around your photo booth. It will probably have a a line at some point and it will be more inviting if it’s easier to access. If guests have to fight their way through tightly packed tables, they’re going to be less excited to join in the fun.
Hot tip: In a ballroom or traditional event space? Keep your photo booth away from the head table. Your wedding photographer will thank you.
2. Draw attention to your photo booth 🔥
Getting the photo booth started is just like getting the dance party started, but easier! Enlist your DJ or emcee, wedding party, and close friends to start the photo booth fun and other guests will quickly join in.
You can hang signage and reminders to make sure guests know where to find the photo booth and that you want them to participate.
Of course, the best thing you can do is have an eye-catching photo booth that captures the attention of your guests all on its own.
Above all, the photo booth for your wedding should look inviting. We recommend having the area brightly lit and matching the backdrop to your wedding’s style. You want your wedding photo booth to be another part of your reception venue that people will look at and say, “that’s beautiful!”
Whether your wedding is formal or boho, you’ll want to create that same feeling with your photo booth.
A great way to do that is our next tip…
3. Plan a custom photo booth backdrop 💪
The right backdrop is essential for your selfie station. It’s going to be in every photo and should be beautiful and eye-catching.
Your backdrop can be as simple as a plain color. But, if you really want your personality to shine, bring the backdrop to life with decorations that capture your wedding theme.
Here are some ideas to spice up a blank wall:
- Fun, removable wallpaper
- Hanging fabric
- Vinyl decals
- Fringe curtains
- Hanging fresh flowers (or a flower wall)
- Have a custom neon sign made
- Glam gold sequins
For an outdoor wedding and reception, you can use the natural beauty of greenery around you as a backdrop. Or, hang some frames from a nearby tree to create a simple photo booth scene.
Looking for something a bit more complex? Put together four wooden pallets and decorate it with flowers for a rustic but elegant backdrop. You can do the same with reclaimed wood.
And the beauty of rustic elegance is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just make sure you’re not leaving any exposed nails!
Not interested in building your own photo booth backdrop for your wedding? Consider hiring a rental company that can take care of a custom backdrop for you, or use a software that supports green screen to make it ridiculously easy to add any background you want.
4. Handpick your props 🎭
People love grabbing props to pose with in front of the photo booth. However, your props will set the tone of your photos, so make sure you love them! Oftentimes, photo booth rental companies can provide you with various options or will be open to special requests for themed props.
The downside of many props is that they can get messy. Another route is to go minimalist and rely entirely on digital props. Digital props are like having Snapchat filters right in your photo booth! Your wedding guests will have a blast choosing stickers and graphics that can even track their face on animated GIFs or videos.
Or, why not the best of both worlds? You can mix and match a few tasteful real-life props with a handful of digital options to up the creativity.
5. Stream a feed of the live photos 📺
Are you planning to have a wedding slideshow or love story video at your reception?
Get double-duty out of that big screen by setting up a live feed from your wedding photo booth. You and your guests will enjoy (and laugh at) all the fun being had at the photo booth.
People love seeing their images popup up on the big screen in real-time and it will encourage other guests to join in!
6. Make it easy for guests to share 📱
A traditional photo booth will print two photo strips, one as a party-favor for the guest and another as a keepsake for the bride and groom that can go in a guest book or wedding album. Nowadays, if you give a guest a photo strip, the next thing you will probably see them do is take a picture of it on their phone to preserve and share online.
People simply prefer to have everything on their phone and not have to worry about a photo strip getting crumpled in their pocket or purse. Modern selfie stations take the experience digital and collect photos in online gallery, which act like virtual scrap books of your wedding day!
Guests love seeing pics instantly on their phone and being able to share them to social media just as easily. All the pictures can have your wedding themed graphics and hashtag attached, or even link back to your wedding website if you want.
7. Schedule open and closed times 🚦
Wedding receptions are full of special events including toasts, special dances, bouquet tosses, and more.
Sometimes, you might want guests letting loose in the photo booth, su. Other times, you might want them focused on what’s happening on the dance floor. You don’t want wild laughter interrupting that romantic first dance as a married couple, after all.
Make sure that your guests know when your wedding photo booth will be open and closed.
Your DJ or emcee is a great resource to keep guests on task. Use them to remind guests of the best times to use the photo booth: cocktail hour, after the formal program, or during dinner are the best.
How to book a photo booth 🔎
Here are five ways to get an awesome photo booth at your wedding.
1. Set up a DIY photo booth 💡
It’s easier than ever to set up a DIY photo booth with an app like Simple Booth HALO® for iPad.
Setting up a DIY photo booth can make sense if you want to save money, are planning a destination wedding somewhere remote, or want to keep your reception intimate without an extra photo booth attendant.
Modern photo booth apps can run on a tablet, be easily set up on a tripod, and basically run themselves–especially if you are only doing digital delivery and don’t need prints. Guests use the photo booth platform by themselves which means your wedding planner—and YOU—can focus on other things.
Want a DSLR or mirrorless camera? Make sure to read our article on the best cameras for photo booths.
Simple Booth strives for simplicity in our platform, taking guests through an easy process to get photos instantly to their phones. This leaves plenty of time for everyone to take and share multiple photos from your celebration.
2. Hire a local photo booth vendor 🚀
To keep your wedding day stress-free, you might consider renting a photo booth from a local vendor for your wedding. A professional photo booth rental offers a high-quality experience for you and your guests.
There are many local photo booth vendors to choose from, but their photo booth setups and services may vary greatly. Here are some questions you might want to ask a photo booth vendor:
- Do you have photos from an event I can? Make sure you like how they look!
- Do you offer motion formats like GIF and video, or only still photos?
- Will I receive a digital gallery of my photos afterward?
- What ways to you offer for guests to receive their photos?
- Do you offer printing? Does it cost extra?
- Does the photo booth include an attendant in case of technical issues?
- What backdrop and prop options do you have available to choose from?
- Will you design a custom theme or graphics for my wedding? Can I see examples from previous weddings?
3. Rent a photo booth online 🌎
As of recently, you can even rent a photo booth online that gets shipped to you in a box! For some weddings, it’s the perfect compromise between DIY and professional equipment.
4. Buy a photo booth 💰
This might sound completely crazy, but if you have an iPad you’re already halfway there. Plus, if you own a compact, portable photo booth ahead of your big day, you can make use of it at a lot more special events:
- Bridal Shower
- Bachelor or Bachelorette Party
- Rehearsal Dinner
Maybe you’ll even decide it makes sense to start your own photo booth company when friends and family are so impressed with your setup!
5. Boot up a virtual photo booth ⚡️
If your wedding is being live-streamed, you can still have a photo booth for remote attendees to take pictures. Virtual photo booths work for in-person events, too. For example, you could print a QR code on a sign at each table to connect guests to your very own virtual photo booth experience. It’s like the old-school disposable cameras, but 100x better!
With the Simple Booth platform, you can have an in-person photo booth and a virtual photo booth capture link both feeding into the same gallery.
Photo booths are worth it ⭐️
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your entire life. You’ll want to document as much of it as you can. A photo booth can do that perfectly.
There’s also something about a photo booth that brings out the creative and quirky sides of people, and those are the things you’ll most want to remember about the people you’ve chosen to share your special day with.
On a budget? Capture all the special memories and make your wedding more fun with a Simple Booth® app.Read the DIY Guide