{DIY} Photo Booth Polaroid Station DIY Tutorial

One of my wedding musts was a photo booth.  My husband and I started dating in high school and we have a collection of photo booth strips from over the years (we even did some during our engagement photos).  But we didn’t have $1500+ extra in our budget to rent one, so I decided to make one myself.  I’ve seen them DIY photo booths different ways, depending on the kind you want and the amount of work you want to put in.  I wanted to put in very little work, as I already had lots of DIY projects I was doing myself.  So, here are my super simple instructions for a DIY photo booth/ polaroid station:

1.  First, find a bright, fun fabric to use as the background.  I went to Joann’s Fabrics and bought mine on sale.  I got extra and used it for the fabric tiers of my cupcake tower.  I would suggest 6 yards to be sure you have enough.  I also like this lace background from Martha Stewart Weddings.

2.  Depending on where you are going to have the ‘booth’ you may need some supportive structure.  I hung mine from shrubbery, so we basically just tied the fabric corners to the sticks of the shrubs.  If you do not have a structure to use, you’ll need to build one, but most any venue would have a wall that you can tie, stick, or fasten your fabric to.

3.  You’ll need a digital camera and a quality photo printer, or even better and easier, a Polaroid camera and film.  I found both of mine on ebay.  The film has sadly been discontinued, so it isn’t the cheapest, but $200 on film vs. $1500+ to rent a booth still equals a bargain in my book.

4.  Make a sign (I used a chalkboard one) instructing guests on how you want them to take photos and what to do with them (are they favors, do you want to keep them, are they for the guestbook, etc.)

5.  You can gather props if you want as well, or again, you can use a chalkboard so guests can write messages and put them in the photos.  I didn’t use props, but I did hang our initials on the backdrop (which were craft paper initials from paper source that I painted and tied ribbon to).

6.  Put a small table near the fabric backdrop.  This is where you’ll put your camera, film, sign, props, etc.

If you need a structure, see this post on Ruffled Blog.  It is a great and cheap way to build a photobooth structure!

After these very simple steps, you have your own DIY photo booth.  My guests absolutely loved ours, and we didn’t even tell them what to do with the photos (one of the things I forgot in the rush, along with getting a polaroid of just myself and my husband together) but they gave the photos to us, which I loved!  I’m going to frame them all in a huge framed collage and hang them in our apartment (someday!)  Here are a few of our polaroids from our DIY booth:

And my favorite one, of my brother and my mom:
And we have 40+ more of these . . . how awesome were my wedding guests!?

{Inspired by} Fabulous Bouquets

When I was planning my own wedding, one of the things I scoured blogs for the most were bouquet photos.  And I haven’t really done it since…until this post.  I have been seeing some incredible bouquets lately, all different, some monochromatic and some full of color.  I thought I would share them for any other brides-to-be searching the blogs for bouquet ideas!

Which is your favorite?  My favorites are:  Row 1 #2, Row 2 # 3, Row 3 # 1&2, Row 4 # 2&5

{It’s in the Details} Vintage Books

Lately, vintage books have been popping up all over, especially in engagement shoots.  While I fall more on the side of organically fun engagement photos that show you as a couple vs. styled engagement shoots (I love looking at the styled shoots, but to me an engagement photo is supposed to capture the couple, not the props), my husband collects vintage books, so I am wishing we had used some in our photos somewhere.  Whether in engagement photos, or on your wedding day, vintage books are a fun and affordable way (check flea markets and yard sales!) of adding some vintage flair to your day.

Props in a picnic engagement shoot
Bottom Left: Maile Lani, Right: Adrienne Gunde

In your centerpiece decor

Left:  Via Once Wed, Right:  Ritzy Bee Events

As placecards and favors
As wedding invitations (yes, these are real wedding invitations!)
Jessica Claire (and go here to see more on these incredible invitations)

As DIY table numbers

And these are just cool

I want to stress that any DIY projects involving vintage books should include only books that are damaged, missing pages, etc.  Do NOT destroy books in good condition… 

{Planning Tips} Choosing Your First Dance Song

Music is very important to me and I took the music selection in my own wedding very seriously.  While what music you want to play and dance to is a very personal choice, I have compiled a list of my Top 10 favorite songs for first dances.  My own first dance song is in the list, as well as others we played at our wedding (because they are my favorites).

In choosing your first dance song you should keep a couple of things in mind.  First, you don’t want the song to be too long (everyone is staring at you, after all)  or too short (because it is your only ‘first dance’).  Secondly, you want a song that you love or that represents you as a couple.  Don’t pick a cheesy love song unless it is YOUR song.  Pick something you like, regardless of whether other people like it or have even heard of it.  When the time comes, it will be like you are the only two people in the room, so you should be the two people who love the song.  So, here are my Top 10: