Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guest Post: The Wilmington Photo Booth Company

Chances are that if you have attended a wedding in the past 2 years, you probably have seen a new vendor who is making a splash in the wedding industry: the photo booth!  This new option is guest friendly but being so new, some couples may not know what to look for in a photo booth vendor.  Enter Pete Marroni, owner of the Wilmington Photo Booth Company in Wilmington, DE, with some insight for couples to consider when choosing a photo booth vendor.  Take it away, Pete:

Photo booths are quickly becoming a must at wedding receptions. The buzz they create is unmatched at a wedding. So where do you start if you are choosing a photo booth company?

Have you seen a photo booth in action? If you have seen one or two photo booth companies in action you can use them as your starting point. Nothing beats seeing the photo booth company in action. As there are huge differences in quality and fun with the various companies. If you haven’t seen any companies ask around. Who should you ask? Anyone who has hired a company in the past is a great way to start. You can ask friends and family who you’ve known to been at an event with one, however you may not get the complete feel fro how the whole process worked and how the dealings were with the company. If you’ve hired an event planner they are a great resource. Event planners have typically seen many photo booths through their work. Often they can tell you the pros and cons of each company. The venue contact should know a great deal about photo booth companies as well. Both the venue and event planners love sharing this info as if you hire someone who has a good reputation it makes their job easier. Once you narrow down a few companies we recommend setting up appointments to go and see the photo booths in action. This can be done at their office or at a bridal show/public event. Be weary of anyone who is not willing to show their product.

What does the photo booth look like? There is nothing worse then having a great setting and having a cheesy looking photo booth. Again this comes down to seeing is believing. Also ask or see how many guests can fit into the frame. Many times you can only get two or three faces in a shot. If you want large group shots (which enhances the fun) make sure that the photo booth can accommodate. 

Is the company full time?  How quickly did the company get back to you after initial contact? Many companies have started a part time business and if they have you want to make sure that they are still responsive. Make sure that the company is fully licensed and insured. Many venues require the latter and require a certificate to confirm this. Also the quality of website that the company has is a pretty good indicator of how serious they are about their business.

Is the company receiving good reviews? As with all wedding vendors, on-line reviews are a great way to weed out the less than stellar performers. Testimonials on the company website are fine, however they are only going to put up the good ones.  A great resource for reviews are independent sites like the Knot and the Wedding Wire for instance.

How nice are the prints? A photo booth company that spent the extra time ensuring that they are producing high quality prints is worth looking at. How nice does the graphic and text look on the strip? How quickly do the prints come out? This is a very important aspect of your photo booth experience and is often overlooked. Ask to see samples from different companies.

How nice are the extras? The same could be same for props, memory book, frames and other options. See if the company reuses props. Ask to see a memory book and ask to see what company they use for their memory book and check out their reputation. The memory book is something that you will look at for years to come. Quality may not mean anything now but 5 or 6 years down the road a book that has held up well will stand out. Also check to see about place cards, thank you notes or save the date magnets. All of these options enhance the total experience.

How accessible are the prints after the wedding? With social media being king you want to make sure your guests and you have the ability to get the photos digitally after the event so they can easily be put on facebook. Some companies may not host the photos at all or they may charge you extra. Sometimes they are watermarked or they only get put up for a month. Also check to see what size photos are accessible and if the strips themselves are accessible. You may also want to check to see if guests can get additional strips after wedding at no extra charge? Many times only two strips print out and if there are ten people in the shot either 8 or 9 people are losing out on that memorable shot.

What kind of value are getting? Getting what you pay for is very important in today’s day of age. When comparing prices make sure you look at the overall picture, as sometimes cheaper is not better. True value comes from weighing all aspects of your experience. Good luck!

Sincerely,

Peter Marroni
Owner/Event Consultant
The Wilmington Photo Booth Co.
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(302) 388-3619
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