Cool Photobooth Additions and Alternatives {What can I have instead of a photobooth?}

Photo-booth-for-weddings(Yes, this is what your coordinators look like after about 12 hours on site :-)! Image courtesy Evrim Icoz Photography)

The wedding photobooth used to be a fun novelty; now it seems like a wedding must-have, along with regular photography and mini-desserts. So common now, that we're often asked,

"What can I add to my wedding to entertain guests along with, or instead of, a photobooth?"

We are definitely still big fans of the photobooth because not only is it amusing, it serves as a different kind of wedding documentation and also as a party favor. But here are a few ideas if you want to supplement the wedding day with entertainment or amusements that are a little different and sure to be remembered:

GIFbooth: Do you love GIFs on tumblr? Or the fancy cinemagraphs that get passed around every Fashion Week? Animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Files) are made using a special videocamera setup that translates the captured video or still frames into a moving photo. These can be downloaded from a wedding website after the wedding, and make a fun momento, similar to a flipbook. Among others, GIFFF Booth and Limelight Photo can provide these services.

View more after the cut:

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{ Local Love } Pacific NW Honeymoon Destinations

If you are looking for great honeymoon destinations, then there is no need to look any further than the Pacific Northwest!  This area offers exciting attractions without venturing very far.

Whale watching, wine tasting, and wilderness are just a few of the things you can expect from Un-Cruise Adventures.  They offer options that include the route that Lewis & Clark took through the Columbia & Snake Rivers, as well as picturesque cruises starting in Seattle and exploring the San Juan Islands.  With all they have to offer, it wouldn't be hard to pick a perfect trip for you and your honey!

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Un-Cruise Adventures – Costal Washington & British Columbia

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Victoria, BC offeres the feel of a European vacation, but is only a short ferry trip from Seattle, WA.  You can stay in luxury at the Fairmont Empress Hotel which was built in 1908 and overlooks the Inner Harbour.  While there, make sure you don't miss Afternoon Tea, a time-honored tradition.  For a stunning day trip head to The Butchart Gardens.  Beautiful any time of the year, the gardens offer concerts, fireworks, flowers, and fountains.  Quite romantic!

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Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC

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The Butchart Gardens – Sunken Gardens

When planning your honeymoon make sure to keep these uniquely beautiful Pacific NW locations in mind!

{ Local Love } Fun rehearsal dinners and small party venues in Portland

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Today's installment of Local Love features the amazing Dayna McErlean's sister restaurants on NE Killingsworth – DOC and Yakuza. As different as different can be, DOC is an Italian kitchen with a changing set 4- or 5- course menu each night; while Yakuza is a Japanese-izakaya-influenced lounge.

What I love about each restaurant: DOC's homey, long-tables, family-style service that makes you feel as if you walked into your Italian grandmother's kitchen, even if you don't have an Italian grandmother. What the wedding planner in me loves is the reasonable, afforable rates for buying out the restaurant on a Friday night for a rehearsal dinner.

At Yakuza, I really enjoyed the Asian fusion menu items, including a Wasabi Martini and a Pear Jalapeno sushi roll, but what really wowed me was the secret hot tub in the backyard. I think it would be so fun to rent out the restaurant for an over-the-top bridesmaids luncheon or couples shower.

McErlean also owns The Colony St. Johns for weddings and larger events, and Dash Commercial Kitchen, so within her culinary empire you have lots of interesting choices.

 

{ Wedding Trend Watch } Interactive Art Walls

Say what you will about corporate event planning, but I am always amazed at how often corporate events stay one step ahead of wedding trends. Often, something I see at a corporate event I know will translate perfectly for a social one; and before long I see that trend start appearing at weddings.

The art wall is one of these trends. The party host puts up a large backdrop containing drawn frames, individual watercolor sheets, or even Lego(TM) baseplates and allows each guest to customize an area of the wall. Each guest installs their art piece in the display which then becomes a grand version of a guest book as well as part of the cocktail hour entertainment and a conversation piece.

Events-art-wallsHere, website design company Virb invited guests to draw what they loved, and to tag their photo on instagram in order to enter a contest. This same multi-frame backdrop could easily be used for individual wedding guest drawings or guest book entries.

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At the Lego Kids' Fest in Portland, individual 5" x 5" base plates/"tiles" were provided with a wide selection of Lego shapes and colors. After each guest completed a tile, they were invited to add their tile to the larger display.

Are you incorporating any interactive components into your guests' experience? Or did you come up with a novel idea for cocktail hour entertainment? Please share in the comments!

Photos: EJP Events

{The Daily Reblog} Fun Wedding Reception Ideas via Bridal Guide Magazine

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Canoeing during cocktail hour at Bridal Veil Lakes. Photo by Don Frank.

Today's reblog comes from Bridal Guide Magazine. I happened across this blog post as I was working with a couple who, when asked about any themes that appealed to them for planning their Portland wedding, simply said they wanted a fun reception!

We talked about lawn games, photobooths, and the usual suspects, but I found this article from Bridal Guide to be helpful in reminding us to dig deeper into our own experiences and favorite things to find those activities that guests are going to make the reception really fun and not stuffy or overly formal.

More ideas: wedding Mad Libs, flip books, crafting tables, board games at cocktail hour, and just generally setting up the layout of the space to include comfort both guests who want to dance and imbibe and also those who want to have cozy conversations. Also important: working out a timeline of events that minimizes guests waiting for the bride and groom to arrive; and also keeps the flow of events moving along.

Here's the link and hope you enjoy!

Fun Wedding Reception Ideas – Best Wedding Reception Tips | Wedding Planning, Ideas & Etiquette | Bridal Guide Magazine.