Your wedding photographer is responsible for getting all the mandatory ‘official’ wedding shots as well as the stylish ones of you and your bridal party. But if you want to add a real element of fun, a perfect solution is to hand out disposable cameras, usually one per table.
You’ll be amazed (and probably adore) the photos that are captured and you’ll also get to see your own wedding through your guests’ eyes.
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Handing out single-use cameras is a fantastic way to get some candid shots and a peek at all sorts of fantastic moments you won’t ever know happened on your big day!
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If you are planning on using disposable wedding cameras, there are some things you should keep in mind:
Disposable cameras are available in a staggering range of colours and styles, from elegant gold to white with pink polka dots, so spend some time looking for a camera that really fits in with your wedding’s theme, and will look good on the tables at the reception. When you find a design you like, buy a single camera and test it to make sure the camera quality is as good as the design.
There are plenty of cameras designed with weddings in mind and they feature heart patterns and wedding bell motifs or just in cool styles and colours that will match the feel of your big day. They will vary in price, often quite markedly, so shop around but, as mentioned above, if you are going to be buying more than one, be sure to test them out first, if you can.
You may find plenty of seemingly great bargains on ebay and elsewhere online but the last thing you want is to hand out cameras to your guests and have them not work or to snap terrible, blurry pictures. So, while your budget will determine which supplier you purchase from, avoid using price as the sole defining factor. Look for a reputable vendor, preferably one who sells lots of disposable cameras and knows the business and the product well.
If you are on a budget, buying in bulk can work out more affordably than buying individual cameras, so ask your vendor if they will sell in bulk. Keep in mind that what a vendor considers bulk will vary, so don’t be surprised if they won’t give discounts on, say, five cameras.
Also, some couples prefer to buy cheaper multi-use cameras for the day and, if you can afford to do so, that’s great but keep in mind that you’re unlikely to get them back in pristine condition (or even working in some instances). You don’t know what guests will get up to with your cameras, so it’s safer to opt for single-use cameras. After all, you’re going to be a whole lot less heartbroken if a $10-$15 camera breaks than if a $50 – $150 camera break!
Don’t overdo the cameras; if every guest has one you will end up with a lot of unused exposures – and annoyed guests. One camera for every four guests is a good rule of thumb though some wedding planners suggest one camera per table.
Most couples limit the disposable cameras to the wedding reception, but you could also ask an usher to hand a few out during the ceremony, the drinks reception, and the party afterwards to make sure you get snaps of the whole day.
If you place cameras on the table, make a specific guest responsible for each camera. Put the camera in their place setting and leave them a note asking them to help you out by taking pictures during the reception and to make sure all the pictures are used. Cameras designed specifically for weddings usually come with standard notes to leave for your guest, but a handwritten note is more personal.
Don’t be afraid to give cameras to children if you are inviting them to your wedding. Of course you may get a few shots of the floor as they learn how to use them, but you might also get some classic shots of your wedding through a child’s eyes.
Make a member of your wedding party responsible for collecting up the cameras at the end of the night. When your father makes a speech and thanks the guests for coming, ask him to mention the cameras and ask the guests to give them to the designated person when they are finished so they don’t get lost.
When you have the photos processed, make sure you ask for two sets, or have them put onto CD. That way you can use them in thank you cards or hand them out to guests and still keep a set for yourself.
Be realistic about the pictures you will get from the disposable cameras. Your photographer is there to take stunning shots of you looking gorgeous in your bridal gown, the single use cameras are there to capture funny moments in the day and to get silly shots of your family and friends having a great time at your wedding.
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