It began at the young age of 13…At the Aquarius Roller Skate rink in La Mesa (native San Diegan’s might remember the place now looong gone). It was the place to be on Friday nights… But it was not because the Milli-Vanilli/NKOTB/Boyz to Men, slow-song sets where you could scandalously hold the hand of your crush in the dark, nor was it because the DJ always played my requests… it was because of the PHOTOBOOTH! That’s right, I liked going to the roller rink so I could get into the photo booth with my girlfriends, boys, and just about anyone that happened to be walking by…. (like the guy working at the snack bar or the guy who worked at the skate shop inside the rink).
Every single Friday night I spent there, I made sure to have 5-10 dollars, in one-dollar bills, so that I could squeeze-into the booth with my friends. Back then, it was the only way to have instant gratification of silly moments…although not quite as instant, because there was no digital screen to show your pictures as they were taken, there was just the mirror that you stared into with the camera lens above it… and hopefully the pictures would be cute. I am laughing right now as I remember the tiny little box, no really, it was a TINY space, that we packed in! I think it was harder to manage our roller-skate bound feet as we were getting in there than anything else… then once we were settled in, we still had to get the money in the dollar-eater, which often would not take our wrinkly bills… The teeny booth had an orange stool that could be adjusted by spinning it, yet it never seemed to get taller or shorter… the “backdrops” changed too; this one had an Orange, Blue, or White curtain. If we were feeling “craaazy” then more than two of us girls would giggle through the entire set of shots, which were very fast, snapped without warning, and often found us sticking more dollar bills in that machine so we could have do-overs or copies. Man… I need to dig up all those old shots!! I even remember that the only other place that had photo booths back then was the Del Mar fair… but those shots were THREE DOLLARS per strip… total rip-off to the 13-year-old me who made $3.50 an hour babysitting.
As you may all know, Photo booths have come a very very long way since then, and they are by far one of my favorite Wedding Favor ideas around…yes even more than the “Peas in a Pod” salt & pepper shaker and the personalized shot glass… Hard to believe I know… LOL ☺
Most of the photo booths that provide printed photos on the spot will put your monogram or names & wedding date on it, or you can even submit the artwork from your other stationery so that everything matches all the way around.
There are a ton of options these days for photo booths too, at every price level; from the classic booth with the strip that prints outside the booth (in color or black & white), the digital photo booth which allows you to email the images (like this) directly from the wedding (this one is from Keshot Photo Booths), to the photo booths set up by photographers (see shots below from Anika London Media), and one of my newest booths of interest, the “Photo Lounge,” by Mint Photo Lounge where you can fit up to eight people, or perhaps even more depending on the level fun you are having at a wedding.
Ultimately, the end result is the same… an opportunity for your guests to have fun & be silly (whether alcohol induced or with the aid of props)- making your wedding that much more memorable & enjoyable. I often walk by guests who are planning out the series of shots while waiting in line… it’s hilarious! Heck, I’ve done the same thing when given the opportunity. So much fun!!! Picking out the props to use is also entertaining, and no need to buy fancy stuff, hit up your local thrift store or clearance rack at any party store and look for cheap, silly things, like hats, puppets, face masks, stuffed animals, silly glasses, feather boas- or better yet, your dad’s closet for a cheesy old Hawaiian shirt & hat, or mom’s jewelry box for her old Mardi Gras beads… hee hee!
If you get a photo booth that prints double copies of the photos are not only good favors, but also it is another way to have a very creative and interactive guest book that people might actually sign. You can set up a table next to the booth with craft supplies & a scrap book, then let people have fun with it… Talk about a great coffee table book for your house! I tell ya, I have to find a reason to have a party and have a photo booth!
Below are some fun shots & examples of different photo booths I’ve had the chance to sneak into at some of my weddings: