Budget-friendly tips for adding a photo booth to your wedding

A photo booth at your wedding reception is always a fun and memorable addition for you and your guests. Capturing candid, silly snaps throughout the night provides entertainment, hilarious keepsakes, and a way for attendees to let loose. 

Choose a spot

Pick out an area with enough space for a few guests to comfortably stand and move around in. You likely won’t have an entire room to dedicate to photo taking, so look for niche spaces like next to the dance floor, DJ booth, in a hallway or corner, or near the guestbook table. Having guests walk through the photo spot to sign the guestbook or request a song is a great way to grab their attention and get them involved. Make sure there’s access to an outlet nearby to plug in lighting or a printer if needed. 

Use free photo booth props

Props encourage your guests to be goofy and embrace the photo op. Buy a variety of silly hats, masks, oversized glasses, signs, and other accessories for $1 each at dollar stores and discount retailers. Make your themed signs with catchy phrases related to the wedding. Repurpose cardboard from product packaging or wrapping paper tubes into imaginative accessories. For example, a wrapping paper tube becomes a “spy glass” and rectangular packaging makes a fun picture frame for guests to hold up. Ask friends and family to save wine corks, mason jars, fabric scraps, ribbons, flowers, and other items so you incorporate these elements from your wedding into the snap-booth props.

Craft photo booth backdrops  

An eye-catching backdrop highlights your photo station and makes pictures pop. Fabric, balloons, streamers, and lighting set the scene for capturing memorable moments. Rent photo backdrops from party supply companies or make your own for less money. Here are budget-friendly materials to build backdrops that match your wedding aesthetic:

  • Sheet – Tie a plain flat sheet between two trees or posts. Use clothespins to attach artificial flower garlands, lace, ribbons, or fabric at the top. Drape the sheet backdrop with tulle or string cafe lights for extra flair. 
  • Paper and Tape – Use colored paper and patterned scrapbook paper taped together to create photo booth wallpaper. 
  • Balloons – Fill latex balloons with air or helium and arrange them in a photo booth-sized arch or wall. 
  • Fabric Panels – Hang rectangular cuts of fabric in coordinating colors and patterns. Use clips to attach panels to poles, fences, or tension rods.
  • Wooden Backdrop – Arrange pallets or fencing into a backdrop shape and decorate with flowers, greenery, signs, and other accents.

Capture pictures 

Your guests will be lining up to pose in front of their custom photo backdrop, but they’ll need a way to take pictures. If your budget doesn’t allow for a professional photo booth rental, you have a few inexpensive options for getting photo prints. Install a selfie station with tripods, stands, and mounts for guests to place their phones and timers to snap group shots. Provide several disposable or instant print cameras on selfie sticks and tripods to easily take and print pictures on the spot. 

For higher-quality images, designate a willing family member or friend to be in charge of your DIY photo booth. Supply this person with a nice camera and printer to capture candid moments throughout the night. They also help stage fun poses. As a bonus, by the end of the event, you’ll have both digital photo files and hard copy prints to keep and share. No matter which affordable photo booth route you take, the results will be laughing guests and lifelong memories! With a bit of creativity and elbow grease, you have nearly all the fun of a professional photo booth rental for a fraction of the price.