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Bride and groom wedding party
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive when working with couples to plan the perfect photo booth experience for their reception is, “How many hours should we have the photo booth open for guests?”

Our answer depends on the schedule for your reception.

One of the most common reception schedules we see for weddings is:
– Cocktail Hour (between end of ceremony and start of diner)
– Dinner (toasts, cake cutting, first dances)
– Start of Dance/Reception

With this reception schedule we suggest that couples schedule the photo booth for guest use during both the cocktail hour and during the dance/reception.  With this schedule guests who aren’t planning to stay long after dinner have a chance to use the booth during the cocktail hour and the wedding party, who has a lot going on through dinner, gets the chance to use the booth when their obligations are fewer.

The key to booking a photo booth with this schedule is ensuring you book enough hours in your photo booth package.  Many couples want the minimum three hour package thinking that an hour during the cocktail hour and two hours after dinner is enough time.  While three hours may be enough time for all your guests to have their photos taken (depending upon the size of your reception), it can present a problem.

The problem? Wedding reception dinners almost NEVER last only an hour!

With people getting their dinner, eating their dinner, the speeches, the cake cutting, and all the other wonderful elements of the “dinner” the dinner typically lasts around an hour and a half.

What’s the problem with that, you ask? Well, when dinner runs longer than an hour it cuts into the final two hours of photo booth time.

To avoid this issue, we strongly recommend couples consider booking an Up to 6 Hour or Up to 8 Hour package for their wedding experience photo booth package to ensure that they and their guests don’t miss out on any of the fun of the photo booth.

But isn’t the upgrade to 6 Hours or 8 Hours expensive?
No!  When compared to the Up to 3 Hour rate, our Up to 6 and Up to 8 Hour wedding experience photo booth packages are priced so you are, on average, only paying for 4.5 hours of photo booth time.  So even if you’re only looking for a 4 hour photo booth experience paying for an extra half hour is a small price to pay to ensure that you and your guests have an opportunity to capture all the fun, smiles, laughter, and love of your special day!

The added benefit of booking an Up to 6 Hour or Up to 8 Hour rental is that if you reception is rocking and there are endless lines at the photo booth,  you have the option, at no additional cost, of keeping the booth open for the full 6 or 8 hours of your package instead of the original three, four, or five hours you scheduled.

What if we’re not offering a Cocktail Hour before dinner?
If your reception schedule doesn’t include a cocktail hour and you only want the photo booth open after dinner, we can accommodate that schedule too.  This schedule does lend itself a little better to booking a three hour package instead of an Up to 6 Hour or Up to 8 Hour package, but you still have to be careful to set a realistic start time for your rental to ensure dinner is finished before the photo booth start time.

One other consideration with a photo booth that is only open after dinner, is scheduling the setup time.  Will you need the photo booth to be setup before dinner starts?

Is the ceremony in the same venue as the reception?  If so, will the photo booth need to be setup prior to the start of the ceremony?

If setup is required more than 90 minutes prior to the ceremony or dinner there may be an added early setup fee required for your rental.  While we try to avoid added fees, such as idle time, early delivery, and delivery fees, there are times when special circumstances dictate an added fee to accommodate unique schedules.  We take every possible step to interfere with your reception by hauling equipment in and doing setup while your guests are in the venue.

So, how many hours do I need a photo booth for at my reception?
An Up to 3 Hour rental can be an excellent option for smaller receptions or when you don’t want the photo booth to open until after dinner.  An Up to 6 Hour rental is an excellent option for medium sized receptions with the photo booth either starting after dinner or during the pre-dinner cocktail hour.An Up to 8 Hour rental is an excellent option when you want the photo booth to be open through the entirety of your reception.

On average we can accommodate about 25 sessions in the photo booth per hour.  Therefore we can do about 75 sessions in three hours, 150 in six hours, and 200 in eight hours.  Each photo booth session has between 2 and 15 people in it and most people who use the photo booth once will use it again.

We hope this information helps you determine the perfect length for your exceptional wedding experience photo booth rental.

Click here to learn more about our exceptional photo booth packages.