Disposable Cameras at Weddings – a Yay or a Nay?

Many people have asked about the idea of using disposable cameras at their wedding reception. The idea is that you will prepare a disposable camera at every table and guests will take candid shots at the reception. At the end of the wedding the cameras are collected and the film will be taken for developing. In theory this would be a very fun idea: people laughing, having fun with the camera, memorable and humorous moments that the photographer misses will be captured by guests themselves and you can make a scrapebook for all of the candid photos. The idea sounds great, I agree. But before you get too excited, here are a few reasons that might make you rethink this idea:

  • It will cost a lot to develop the film. The disposable camera might cost only $3-5 a piece, but each of the camera will contain tens or even hundred photos that will cost something to develop. So it won’t be a very economical idea afterall.
  • The pictures quality might not be very good. Disposable cameras might produce blurry pictures that you might not be able to use later.
  • You might overestimate the photographing skills of your guests. Be prepared for pictures of someone’s private parts, pictures of food on the table, red-eyed people and random unwanted shots. And if kids get a hold of them, the cameras stand a chance of being disposed before any film is developed.
  • Some people might take the camera home. They might bring it home by mistake, thinking it’s a wedding favor or they just want to have the camera for themselves. In any case, there is a possibility that the amount of cameras you collect at the end of the reception does not equal the amount you prepare from the beginning.

So you might have noticed, for me, disposable cameras for reception tables are definitely a nay. However if you are afraid that the photographer might miss some valuable moments and want to give the guests some of this responsibility, you can place a card on the table to request the guests to take pictures with their camera phones (nowadays 3 out of 5 people own a camera phone and many own a camera phone with much higher resolution than a disposable camera) and create a web space so that the guests can upload their own photos and can see photos uploaded by others. A card can look something like this:

guests take pictures card

“I Spy” game

This “guests taking pictures with their own camera” activity can be combined with the “I Spy” game. If you haven’t heard about this game yet, I will give a brief explanation: this game gives a list of items for guests to “spy” on at the wedding. This list is used to guide guests to take more meaningful photos, such as: groom and bride smile, groom looking at bride from a distance, children dancing, cutest older couple, people clinking glasses, etc. Below are a few ideas on how these “I Spy” cards are usually placed on the table:

i spy wedding card table

i spy wedding card tableAnd below are a few “I Spy” card designs for your inspirations. Think about what you want to be captured in your wedding and make your own “I Spy” card. Some ideas in the cards below are super adorable!

wedding i spy game card ideas

wedding i spy game card ideaswedding i spy ideas

Photo credits (from the top): Weddingwire| Palos Studio via TheKnot | Zach Dinh via thebridescafe | Signatures by Sarah | Wedding Chicks | Etsy

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