How to Set Up a Polaroid Guest Book Table at Your Wedding – Brides.com

 Photo by Tonhya Kae Photography
Weeks, months, years, even decades after your wedding day has gone, you will stop, smile, and recall the day’s events. As the nostalgia hits you hard, you may have the urge to flip through your guest book. So, how can you make it extra special? You simply need the help of a camera and a little imagination.
Consider a Polaroid guest book as a way to remember your wedding day. Typically a hardcover photo album, the guest book contains both Polaroids of your guests and thoughtful messages to the married couple. Ahead, experts Jessie Whitfield, Natasha Miller, and EJ Dilley explain how to set up a Polaroid guest book—including inspiration from real couples!
Meet the Expert
Setting up a Polaroid guest book is both affordable and easy to do. If you’re ready to DIY this part of your reception, you don’t need to buy a load of expensive gear. Here’s a quick shopping list to get you started:
If you’re looking to add some pizazz to the day (and it suits your wedding style), you could also invest in a few photo props for the pictures. Think about how this will fit with your reception before choosing yours. 
Once you've gathered all your materials, it’s time to think about where to set up your Polaroid guest book. The exact location will depend on your venue, however, there are a couple of pointers to keep in mind. Put simply, your station should be in an area that’s easily accessible to guests, won’t get too busy, and has enough space. 
“The best place to set up a Polaroid guest book is in an area that is well lit and that your guests can see throughout the night as well as in an area that is dry and not windy,” explains Whitfield. “Places not to set up your Polaroid guest book include next to the bar as it’s too congested, next to the band or DJ, or out of sight.” 
Needless to say, your wedding reception is likely to be a busy affair. The last thing you want is for the photo station to be in the way of the soirée. Instead, guests should see it the moment that they walk through the door so they can wish you well, take a quick snap of themselves, and stick it in the guest book. 
“Choose a location where the booth doesn’t get in the way of the party or doorways, but also where guests won’t miss the station,” Miller adds. “This could be next to the seating chart for the reception.” The choice is yours!
Ready to have your guests say cheese? Before you get to work, there are a few extra tips you may need. Let’s take a look at some expert advice to help you make your Polaroid guest book a recipe for success. 
Is there a specific person you can trust to oversee the photo station? “Guests that are not familiar with Polaroids could ruin entire packs of film, so that is something to keep in mind,” Dilley reveals. “Since the film is rather expensive, I encourage you to have a person or a couple of people take turns overseeing the guestbook.”     
Don’t leave your guests guessing! While taking a picture and writing a message is hardly rocket science, your loved ones may need a helping hand. “Have a list of instructions for what you want your guests to do,” adds Dilley. “For example:‘Stand 6-10 feet away from the camera, take one picture, glue the image in the guest book and sign a short message under the image!'”  
Worried that your photo station will get too busy? You may want to consider setting up a couple of tables where guests can do their thing. "If guests are taking their own photos consider having more than one station set up, as there could be a bottleneck,” says Dilley. 
Lighting can make or break a picture. When you’re choosing where to set up your Polaroid guest book, keep this in mind. "Indirect sunlight from a window is great if you are indoors at midday, covered shade if you are outdoors midday ,and constant light if you are indoors at night,” says Dilley. 
No natural light in sight? Don’t panic. “You could set up a simple ring light for the station or face the booth opposite a window with natural light coming in if the reception is during the day,” says Miller. “Some couples set up lights on their backdrop with fairy lights or a string of warm white or colored lights.” 
The most affordable option is to have a DIY photo station at your wedding. However, should you have room in your budget, hiring an expert could make this memento look professional. “If you’re able to hire a photo booth company to run your Polaroid guest book experience we highly recommend that because it will streamline things and ensure you have a high-quality guest experience,” says Whitfield.
Looking for some inspiration to help you along the way? We have you covered. Here are some of our favorite Polaroid guest book examples to get your creative juices flowing.  
Photo by Caroline Yoon Photography; Planned by Emily Coyne Events
Simple yet sophisticated, the Polaroid guest book station at this wedding is a classic setup. We love the addition of a framed instructions sign, too. 
Photo by Damion Hamilton Photography
Share the instant pictures with your guests by giving them somewhere to hang them. You can take the pictures down at the end of the event and create your own guest book. Simple!
Alex Carlyle Photography 
If you do plan to hang up your pictures, why not make a whole wall of Polaroid snaps? Weaving the photos between climbing plants makes for a cool, modern effect
Photo by Abby Jiu Photography
Keep things clean and simple. When you’re setting up your Polaroid guest book, ensure that the cameras you choose match the décor. 
Photo by Sasithon Photography
Show the guests how it’s done! If you want to get the ball rolling, why not be the first to take a quick snap and add it to the front of the Polaroid guest book. 
Love & Light Photographs
Styling your Polaroid guest book table doesn’t have to be hard. You can add a mirror to help your guests perfect their selfie look and a couple of choice extras. 
Courtesy of Ginger Ray
Make your guest book into a real piece of art. Mix things up with message tags and Polaroids to create a cool framed keepsake
Rach Loves Troy; Event Planning by Tara Skinner Weddings & Events 
Fun and creative, adding some colorful markers to your photo station is a sweet idea. You could also ask your guests for some helpful marriage advice to boot. 
RichDesignCo / Etsy
Rather than writing out the instructions for your guests, take things to the next level. Getting a bespoke glass sign for your photo station screams high class. 
Photo by Madison Hope Photography
Classic vibes don’t get much more sophisticated than this. For this wedding, the couple matched the Polaroid camera to their timeless theme.
Photo by Gretchen Gause
Feeling beachy? We love this bohemian Polaroid guest book setup for a romantic summer wedding
Ke-Lie Photography 
Should you want to add a splash of fun to your Polaroid guest book, why not get some colorful films for the camera? It’s easy and super effective. 
Rach Loves Troy; Event Planning by Tara Skinner Weddings & Events 
Planning to hang your Polaroids up for all to see? You can use the venue’s features to your advantage and find the perfect place to hook things up. 
Photo by Flora & Fauna
Encourage your guests to be as creative as they please with their poses. We love these shots from John Scheer and Tracy Nour’s sophisticated wedding day.
Flora & Flauna; Event Planning by Tall & Small Events
Whether you’re planning an indoor or outdoor soirée, setting up a Polaroid guest book couldn’t be easier. Try the no-fuss approach like this gorgeous but effortless aesthetic. 
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