Disposable Cameras at the Reception


wedding cameras

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As exciting as it is to plan a wedding reception and then actually have the reception, when you are recalling it later, it often just seems like a huge blur.   Even the best professional  wedding photographers can only capture so many moments, and their focus is understandably going to be on the wedding party.  That’s why a lot of couples choose to have disposable cameras at the reception, placed on the tables, so their friends and family can capture their own fun moments and share those (sometimes missed) moments  with the newlyweds later.

Disposable Wedding Cameras

Disposable Wedding Cameras

If you’d like to have disposable cameras at your reception, a good rule of thumb is to have one camera at each table, or one camera per ten guests.  You’ll want to get cameras that will take reasonably good pictures in a variety of settings, so 400 speed color film with flash is a good choice.  Like just about anything else associated with weddings, you have a lot of design options to choose from, as well as monogramming and custom designs.

You may also want to put some printed instructions next to each camera, letting people know what kind of pictures you might like and how to work the camera (good for the more complicated digital wedding cameras).  More importantly, you’ll want people to know that you will take care of the developing, so they can just leave the cameras on the table, or deposit them in a basket by the exit when they are done.  (And don’t be too dismayed if a few of the cameras disappear. It happens.)

Afterward, you’ll probably want to get the pictures transferred to a digital format so you can discard the blurry too-close photos of chairs or feet (though, sometimes those can be funny), and also so you can easily post the best pictures online, maybe on your personal wedding website. And of course, you’ll probably want to print out the best ones and put them in your wedding album or even enclose copies in each wedding thank you note!

Have a great idea you used to include disposable wedding cameras at the wedding reception? Post them below.

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  1. Alan Dodson DJ

    It is very important that your Entertainer/DJ/Master of Ceremonies reinforces the use of the disposable cameras during the reception. Otherwise, they may just sit, unused at the tables because people are hesitant to pick up a camera and use it if it is not their own. I also do a couple of events with the couple which requires the guests to take pictures. One of those is called “Paparazzi” which creates some awesome photographs of the couple and some spectacular shots of the guests by the professional photographers. This requires some set up and coordination between the MC/DJ and the photographer/videographer.

  2. Top Wedding Sites

    Wedding camera tent card wording suggestions:

    1. Help us capture our memories! Please use this camera to take pictures of anything memorable. But please, leave this camera on the table before you depart. Thank you for coming and making our day special.

    2. Use this camera to take candid pictures of all our wedding guests…the fun, the special moments and, of course, those unforgettable shots. Pass the camera around, let everyone enjoy the fun. When all the pictures are taken, just leave the camera on the table.

    3. Please help us make memories! Snap a few photos and pass it around! Leave on the table at the end of the reception.

    4. Lights, Camera, Action! Thank you for celebrating our wedding. Help us capture our memories. Use this camera to take photos of anything memorable (PG please!). At the end of the reception, please leave the camera on the table before you depart.
    Bride and Groom.

    If you want to make your instructions more interesting for friends and family, you could give each table a a photo suggestion. So, if your tables are lettered you could have have guests take photos of anything that begins with that letter. If the tables are themed, for example, a Disney themed wedding where tables are labeled Cinderella, Pinocchio, etc, have guests take photos of anything beginning with the first letter of their theme. Too kitschy for ya? Ask guests to shoot for particular poses like kissing shots, funny dancing or sloppy eating. Just make it fun and interesting.

  3. Top Wedding Sites

    Here are more sample wording for what to print on the wedding camera tent card:

    I’m your camera – so have some fun
    you’ll make our album a special one.
    Snap away as best you can
    then hand me over to the Best Man.

    Here’s a camera
    Please use it a lot
    to take pictures of the things
    the photographer will not.

    Take this camera and have some fun
    Get some pictures of everyone.
    Maybe you’ll see something we didn’t see
    that we can keep as a memory.

  4. Melissa D

    Has anyone ever gotten good, useful pictures from disposable cameras? I think that with almost everyone having digital cameras and posting to Facebook and other social networking sites, that you will get better photos from those people than from any disposable camera. But, if a couple wants to give these a try, then that’s up to them.

  5. Top Wedding Sites

    I brought my DIGITAL camera to my son’s wedding this past weekend and I didn’t take one photo – not one! The camera was in a bag and I was having too much fun to remember. Maybe if the camera was on the table I (or someone at my table) might have grabbed the disposable camera and taken some photos. Quality of the photos? Who knows? But some candid pictures is better than none.

  6. Wedding Videographer - Shane

    I am seeing more and more of these at weddings. I think they are worth it, even if they don’t take brilliant pics. Sometimes people just take photos of themselves at the tables, and other times people get creative and take room photos and food photos and even take them on the dance floor.
    These are photos that photographers may not get. It’s one day and the photographer can’t be everywhere.
    I say, they can only add to the memories.. To me they’re well worth it.

  7. Top Wedding Sites

    My son got married last weekend and I have to agree that having cameras on the table may have encouraged more candid shots, which I love. I brought my camera, but didn’t want to leave it lying around on the table and there was no room on the teeny tiny evening bag I carried so it had to be held by a family member. I never took a single photo. 🙁

  8. Marvin

    I have mixed emotions on disposal cameras. I guess it depends on your guests. A wedding with a LOT of children may get you a lot of just plain goofy stuff. The other side of this is cost vs. the value of the photos you actually get. I have seen some great candid images form these types of camera and some pretty bad ones!

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