Photo Booth on a Budget

Photo Booth on a Budget from

For the couple planning their wedding on a smaller than average budget a professional photo booth may seem out of the equation.

Going DIY can be a fantastic way to have a photo booth at your wedding for less. One of the weddings I attended in 2014 had a budget photo booth which worked fantastically. It was an iPad set up on a stand where the guests pressed the capture button that was set on a 5 second timer so you could get in place before the picture was taken. Add in a little backdrop and some fun photo booth style props and you’ve got your own budget photo booth.

However, what if you do want something more professional?

Some photo booth hire companies do packages that could really suit your needs. You may decide you only need the photo booth for a couple of hours during the early stages of the reception. An example of a company that may be able to fit this need is ‘Giraffe Monkey‘ who are based in the north of England.

You can get 2 hours for just £200 but you can also get 4 hours for just £375 from Giraffe Monkey.

Only you will know if a photo booth is something you want to have at your wedding. If you do want a photo booth at your wedding, only you will know if your budget allows you to go professional, or if you’ll have to get creative and go DIY.

Within all of Giraffe Monkey’s packages you get all of the below:

When thinking about backdrops for a DIY photo booth you could create a board that stands in front of the ‘camera’ or you can simply set in up so a wall is the backdrop. Simply what you don’t want is the camera looking into a room as this distracts the focus away from the people who are “in the photo booth” at the time and takes away from the whole photo booth feel when you get the pictures.

Most people opting with a DIY photo booth won’t have a printer set up to print the pictures after they’re taken as if you don’t already have an instant photo printer this can add an unexpected high cost to the set up. If you’re using a smart device as the camera then you can download photo booth apps that allow your guests to upload the photos to a service such as Instagram with your own unique hashtag so you can find them all later.  A quick Google search brings up loads of ideas and ‘How To’s” for creating a DIY photo booth.

Whether you go for a professional photo booth or a DIY style one they are usually a big winner at any wedding; and a fantastic and affordable way to provide a form of entertainment for your wedding guests that everyone will benefit from.

Giraffe Monkey Discount for readers of

My Planning So Far


Back in November last year I started to look at venues with my Maid of Honour. In the month since getting engaged I had narrowed down the venues I wanted to look at to just 3 purely from internet research, emails and telephone calls.YourDayYourWay

When you’re looking at venues you don’t have to traipse around multiple places to figure out if you like them and if the costs will fit into your budget. Sometimes it can be obvious if a venue is going to be out of your budget or if the setting won’t suit your couple style!

I emailed and phoned a few venues to see if they would discuss pricing with me; the ones that wouldn’t were instantly crossed off the list. Once I’d figured out I liked the venue enough to view it I arranged appointments on weekday evenings.

The first venue my MOH and I looked at was Pitt Hall Barn and was rather quickly scrubbed from the list due to the cost of hiring the barn being a couple of grand by itself! The other disadvantages were no accommodation or any accommodation near by. Accommodation is very iportant to my H2B and I due to our family being spread far and wide.

The second venue we went to see was Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa which really impressed the both of
us. The wedding co-coordinator at Donnington was unbelievably helpful and so personable I knew I’d feel happy discussing my plans with her as time went on. With a semi-rural location and plenty of affordable rooms for family and friends it really was a winner.

The third and final venue we viewed was Elcott Park Hotel. For about 10 years I have regularly driven past the sign for Elcott Park Hotel dreaming of getting married there. The key selling points for Elcott Park is the rural location and the neutral decor throughout meaning any colour theme you choose would work well in every room.

After discussing numbers however, Elcott Park came up a few thousand pound more expensive than Donnington Valley and the overall feel I got from the venue and the staff at Donnington was more welcoming. So Donnington Valley was my number 1 choice.

 Now to see if the H2B agrees with me. EEK!

Funnily, my work Christmas party a few months beforehand was at Donning Valley Hotel & Spa, so he had seen the venue before, but I wanted him to view it again with sober eyes. There was a wedding fair on the day I took the H2B, which was actually beneficial as it helped us see how the ceremony and receptions rooms could be laid out and we had a brilliant sit down chat with the wedding coordinator who helped us to realise our vision and budget.
The H2B said yes, so we provisionally booked in our date and agreed to pay the deposit in two payments.

April 2015 – 50% of deposit paid
August 2015 – 50% of deposit paid
No more payments until April 2016

Wedding Date = Saturday 8th October 2016


I’ve got to be honest, finding a photographer scared the hell out of me. Even now that we’ve found and booked our photographer I’m still scared. We all know only too well that the photos are the only lasting thing from your wedding that you will have, which makes the search so daunting. Each photographer has their own style and so many styles are wonderful! Narrowing down a search is just so dam hard!

I registered on Trusted Local and continued to search for photographers during Twitter wedding chat hours. Once I had received a few responses through Trusted Local and had favourited a few people found during Twitter wedding chats the H2B and I sat down one Saturday and looked through each one. Without any input from me as to whom I liked best the H2B chose the same photographer that would have been my first choice. A phone call later and we had booked Natalie Moore!

One of things that scared me most about wedding planning had been ticked off the list! oh my goodness I could have fallen over with relief once the deposit was paid.

Alternative Bouquet

I always had the vision that there won’t be any flowers anywhere on my big day. Alternatives to flowers are so much more ME. Back in 2012 I made a bouquet, two wrist corsages and 5 button holes using woolen pompoms. My vision was to bring Autumn into the non-floral pieces (hehe, see what I did there? ;-P ) with the use of pine cones or acorns. I really wasn’t sure how to search for someone to create the pieces for me so was pleasantly surprised when Hazel Walshaw contacted me following a Twitter chat hour. Discussing my ideas with Hazel for the Bridal bouquet, Bridesmaids wrist corsages and the 5 button holes was so easy (Pinterest definitely helped give vision to my ideas!). Hazel is such an expert in the wedding industry I am overjoyed to have her making my alternative accessories.


I’m going to be looking at dresses very soon and can not wait to report back to you on how my first shopping trips go.

The internet is for BARGAINS

…and it really really is!

Looking online for wedding items is as easy as pie. The big high street websites such as Debenhams, BHS, Littlewoods and Phase Eight have sales through the year, so keep your eye on these sites for their sales as they are definitely worth it. As well as though websites other ones that are worth a look are ebay, Amazon, ChloeBeck, Glitzy Secrets, Not on the, and one of my personal favorites Etsy among many many more.

To save money on your dream wedding dress you can find your perfect type of gown by going into shops and trying different dresses on until you find the perfect one and then order your that dress on eBay. There are dress makers in China who make great copies of wedding dresses to your measurements for the fraction of the cost that the dress would have cost bought from a bridal shop/bridal fayre etc.

There are mixed reviews from the custom made dresses from China, some people who have had good experiences and others who have had not so positive experiences, for this reason I advice that it is very important to check the reviews for the seller before you decide to purchase.

If you are happy to have pre-owned, wedding forums can be a great place to pick up some bargain from women who have recently got married. Many modern brides sell their wedding stuff on after the wedding, everything from bride and bridesmaids dresses to accessories and decorations. Popular wedding forums that you can join include,, and Confetti. Not only will you be able to talk to other brides getting married near you or at the same time as year as you, you will be able to swap ideas and tips on great suppliers and themes but also be able to have the chance to buy other brides un-needed wedding items once the wedding is over.

Don’t like the idea of shop bought invites as suggest in “Think High Street” – then you can still but cheap invites online. Vista Print, Moo and 123print  have great  invites and save the dates that you can personalise as much or as little as you like. Moo do fantastic post cards that can be used to name a few ideas as:

  • RSVP’s

RSVP Postcard

  • Messages to the Bride and Groom from guests as an alternative to a guest book

Message postcards

  • Place setting’s for the wedding breakfast

Place setting post card

Post cards are cheap, quirky, and easily personalised to suit your theme and personal style.