Jon had it all figured out, from how we'd build the "booth" frame to a one-push-button system combined with a laptop and software connected to his less-fancy-but-still-very-sweet camera to make a very viable alternative to the expensive booths out there. The printer was an issue, however we thought people would just enter their email addresses to send the pics to themselves, but our laptop wouldn't support it and we'd have to get a new one....
Long story very short, we had to skip the photobooth.
After that, I just wanted to create a photo "area" where people could take pictures of themselves. We signed up for this thing, Guest Shots, where guests can upload the photos they took on their cameras/phones after your event and the company will put them all together in an album for you. As part of the deal, you "borrow" a handheld (waterproof) video camera, so people can record personal messages at their leisure--we even took that camera on the honeymoon--you mail it back and then get a dvd of all the footage.We're still trying to get all the photos people took uploaded to the website, so we haven't seen the final product yet, but we think the video aspect of it alone made the whole thing worth it.
The photo area went from a place where there would be a great backdrop painted by me of some beautiful Indian archway to two simple iridescent saris hanging all the way down from the high ceiling. They're actually the first saris I had considered for the bridesmaids way back during preliminary shopping, and I had always liked them, so I went back to get them for the backdrop.
I didn't see anyone posing for pictures in our photo corner the entire night, so I figured it was a giant bust. But when we saw what was uploaded to Guest Shots later, apparently some people did take the bait. Plus, people are adorable in general.
Way back in 2005, a month after Jon came out to Chicago to meet me for the first time, I flew to California to visit him for the first time. And to be his date to the annual work Christmas party. It was at a hotel and there were all these crazy clowns on stilts and animal-costumed acrobats--even a fortuneteller walking around giving advice. I met the pastor who would eventually officiate our wedding (his wife worked with Jon), and from that day on they'd always ask Jon when his "bride" was coming back to town. At the time I thought that was a little forward, but I guess they could see something that we weren't willing to say out loud yet.
That Christmas party also had a "photo area" set up with a professional photographer, with a cheesy backdrop of fancy fabric and fake flowers arranged in a few tall vases. Jon and I didn't know each other well, but the camera guy made us hold hands and strike one of those tried and true Homecoming/Prom poses. All that was missing was wrist corsage. We looked so young then. And a little apprehensive.
Jon's mom scanned the photo and sent it to inquiring minds (when someone meets a random girl off the Internet and then starts jumping on planes, it's a justified cause for curiosity, if not concern). We always refer to that picture as our Prom Photo. In honor of that, we added this sign to our photo corner at the wedding:
It's no photobooth, but for our constraints, I think it worked out just fine.