DIY Guest Photo Booth Ideas

A wedding photo booth provides entertainment for your guests, as well as a wide range of images to help you remember your special day. Even if your wedding budget is limited, you should strongly consider adding a photo booth to your reception plans.

Photo Booth Basics

A photo booth can mean many things. The simplest option is to enlist the services of a friend or family member to take pictures against a pretty backdrop. At the other end of the spectrum, you can rent an enclosed booth where people step inside to have their photos automatically taken and a screen outside shows everyone else what's going on.

One important factor to consider when deciding on a wedding photo booth is when you want guests to receive their images. Some photo booths provide printouts right away, while others require you to wait until after the wedding. For a DIY photo booth, one easy option would be to upload all the photos to a central location and pass out small business cards with the access information after each guest gets their picture taken. Then, they can simply download their photos at a time that's most convenient.

Natural outdoor lighting generally results in the most flattering photos, but you can easily have a photo booth for an evening wedding if you pay attention to your setup. Avoid overhead lighting, as this generally creates unflattering shadows. Use a tripod to minimize camera shake and guarantee sharper photos. Consider borrowing or renting indoor studio lights, if needed.

DIY Guest Photo Booth Ideas

DIY Photo Booth Ideas

If you decide to go the DIY route, here are some budget-friendly ideas to consider:

  • Couch and Garland Photo Booth: Make a simple photo booth by dragging a couch against a brick wall, then adding a garland and a saying that fits the theme of your event. If desired, you could use fresh or silk flowers to make garlands that would give a soft, romantic look to your photo booth.
  • Painted Plywood Tri-Fold Photo Booth: If you don't have any pretty spots at your reception area that can be used for a photo booth, construct a tri-fold with painted plywood. If you can enlist the services of someone with excellent penmanship, try using chalkboard paint and add the names of the bride and groom.
  • Portable Photo Booth: If you need a prop that's portable but still has a lot of impact, an oversized frame is an excellent choice. Try painting cardboard to look like a vintage Polaroid frame, adding the date of your wedding to the bottom. Alternatively, you could raid a local flea market for oversized wooden frames that could be painted to match your wedding colors and used to create your own portable DIY photo booth.
  • Simple Photo Booth: If you are planning to have guests stand and want a simple backdrop for pictures, try hanging clear Christmas lights behind a sheer curtain for a subtle twinkling effect.
  • Rustic Photo Booth: For a rustic outdoor wedding, try painting two old doors to match your wedding colors. Prop the doors against a wall, then add a lace curtain or bedspread between them. Finish with a burlap bunting and a few wooden stools for seating.
  • Silly Photo Booth: For a casual wedding, show off your playful side by providing photo booth props that let people create their own unique images. Mustaches, eye frames, and other funny cutouts mounted on wooden sticks are easy to create from the comfort of your own home, yet sure to please your guests.
  • Peek-a-Boo Photo Booth: Cut several large holes in a large sheet of plywood, then decorate the plywood with wallpaper and framed photos of the bride and groom. Use empty wooden frames to finish off the cutout areas. Have guests stick their heads through the cutout holes to snap a silly pic.
  • Advice Board Photo Booth: Provide a large framed chalkboard and chalk, then ask guests to write their advice to the bride and groom on the sign. When your wedding is over, these images can easily be assembled into a scrapbook that you'll be sure to cherish for many years to come. 

Practice Makes Perfect

If you decide to have a DIY photo booth, ask that your photographer take a few test shots before the event starts to ensure that the lighting is adequate and the equipment is functioning properly. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event, so you want to make sure that there are no unexpected surprises on your big day.


Written by: The Printable Wedding Team