Wedding Reception Tips – Disposable Cameras

December 3, 2010

in Photography

Lens and mounting of a large-format camera.

Wedding Photography

Using disposable cameras at your budget wedding is one of the tips that is often mentioned to save money. You can buy budget cameras, put them on the table, and your guests can bless you with photos of your reception. But, is this really a good way to save money on your wedding?

The cameras themselves are not expensive. You can purchase them in a lot (a large group) for as low as $2.99 per camera. You can purchase cameras that match the theme of your wedding reception.

You will have to develop each camera. That is not very expensive either. You can always use a mail order service or go to a drugstore or Costco for your developing. Generally the drugstore option will be the most expensive. I have found photo developing for as low as $2.69 a roll.

That comes out to $5.68 per 27 exposure camera ($0.21 a print). Not bad, but it still might not be a great option.

We are used to digital cameras now. Digital cameras allow you to take the best picture and pick and choose what you print. The quality of pictures that you will get on the reception table cameras will probably be low.

Is there going to be drinking at your reception? Get ready for some interesting pictures (depending on your sense of humor this may or may not be a good thing). Are there going to be children at the reception? Chances are at least a couple will be snapping some of those pictures.

Many people carry digital cameras now, especially to a wedding. Ask them for copies of the pictures they snap at your reception.

If you really want film cameras on the table at your wedding reception then consider purchasing professional grade film. At least the quality of the picture will be better.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

susan December 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Actually I think that their will be a few really good photos that will get snapped, the rest will range from trash to trashy.


Heidi January 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I can’t think of an instance where it would be worth it.


Dave January 13, 2012 at 1:57 am

When it comes to video at the reception, rather than having guests using their digital cameras or even their own consumer grade video cameras, nominate one of your most extroverted guests to host a wedding guest message chapter. Your videographer will surely have a hand held mic available (and preferably a camera light) and together they can work through the crowd asking guests if they would like to leave a comment or two for the happy couple on film. I’ve done this many times and often it ends up being one of the most enjoyable chapters to watch 🙂
Dave recently posted..Maiya & Shaun’s Wedding VideoMy Profile


Heidi January 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm

thanks for the idea!


Wedding Videographer January 30, 2012 at 4:40 am

Your most welcome! 🙂
Wedding Videographer recently posted..Combined Wedding Video and Photos PackageMy Profile


Matt Clarke April 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

I have been to a few weddings where they used this idea and it was really fun! I am not sure that you can rely on it as the only source of photos, but it was a great ice-breaker for the guests at the reception. Some of the pics came out great and some were a little bit crazy!


Carol Slark May 6, 2012 at 3:17 am

I am afraid I agree with most! Although the intention to keep costs down is great, the photos that are taken are of poor quality. If children attend they tend to hog the cameras & parents think its cute! Then the photos are very random. As the night goes on more alchohol is consumed & then it gets messy!

Shame as good intention is meant by giving the guests the opportunity to take the images on your behalf.


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