If you’ve been a longtime reader of my blog, you know I’m a big fan of photo booth rentals for weddings. A photo booth is a great way to capture the fun at your wedding and it gives you more photos to cherish. It can also solve some common problems like how to keep your guests entertained and engaged.
We’re lucky to have some pretty cool photo booth rental options in Austin, Texas, and I’d like to introduce you to two of those vendors today. Oh Happy Day Booth and Vannagram & Co. provide wedding photo booth rentals in the Austin area. Keep reading to find out more about these unique photo booth teams and how they can elevate your wedding or get together.
Tell us a little about yourself and your photo booth business.
Oh Happy Day Booth (OHD): I originally started off as a wedding photographer, but I knew my progressive neurological disorder put an expiration date on that career. I wanted to find something that had some longevity to it that would allow me to delegate the parts of my business that were physically difficult, and I knew I could find that in a photo booth business. I jumped in with both feet, and strive to lean in to every experience along the way. When I started the business, I had three goals in mind: to provide a steady income for myself so I could support myself without relying on an employer, hire women and pay them well (we have an all-female staff!), and change the way that people perceive professionals with physical disabilities.
Vannagram & Co. (V&C): In early 2015, my husband and I as newlyweds decided to quit our jobs, buy a VW bus and take off on the open road in search of adventure with an open mind to new business opportunities for the future. We first traveled to South America, renting a van down there and lived out of it for about 7 weeks, traveling from the southernmost tip of Patagonia through the Argentinean and Chilean wine countries and ending up in the Atacama Desert and a quick trip to indulge in all the meat, wine and tango in Buenos Aires before heading back to the States.
Then we returned home to Austin, picked up our newly purchased 1979 VW bus, Anna the Vanna, and took to the road out west on a US adventure visiting as many national parks as possible along the way. While on the road, we came across a lot of VW buses and met many people choosing the #vanlife for many of the same reasons we did.
After about 4 months on the road in the US, we came back to Austin and while Jared was on the hunt for a new job, he encouraged me to pursue my idea that I came up with on the road — to turn the VW bus into a photo booth to rent out for weddings, corporate events, private parties and festivals. Now we are heading into our 4th year in business and thriving!
What do you love most about your work?
OHD: I love that we get to be a part of special events that are extremely important to our clients, and we get to preserve memories from those events that guests can look back on for a long time.
V&C: One of the greatest things about my job is that I literally get to make people smile for a living. How great is that?! But beyond that, one of my favorite things about owning a VW photo booth is hearing the loads of laughter spill out of the bus when people hop in and use the photo booth. I get so much joy out of hearing groups hop in the bus scheming about what different poses they are going to do and props they are going to use and then when the giggles start and can’t stop, I just get a kick out of it!
I also really love personalizing each event to exceed the client’s expectations. I gather all of the basic info from the client, but I truly get a sense of their style when they share their color palettes, mood boards, Pinterest boards and invitation suites. I love being able to take their inspirational imagery for their event and creating custom backdrops, props and custom photo and GIF template frames for their wedding or event. No event is alike, each one is customized for the individual client.
What goes into creating a couple’s wedding vision?
OHD: We send a questionnaire to each client where they can tell us a bit about their vision for their wedding, and we translate that into a photo booth template! We also like to take a look at their invitations so we can really visualize it! Making the photo booth match the invitations is a great way to ensure the photo booth experience is cohesive with the rest of the wedding.
V&C: Coming from an event planning background, I appreciate knowing all of the details of the wedding. I totally nerd out on detailed timelines, floorplans, itineraries and event schedules that wedding planners send prior to the wedding. I literally devour every bit of them! Knowing all of these details helps me understand the couple better, what vendors they have selected and know all of the expectations involved.
I also get a much clearer image of a couple’s vision once they share the creative aspects of their wedding. I am a very visual person by nature and by sharing examples of what they envision their wedding to look like either through Pinterest or mood boards, I am able to figure out which direction I need to go in design-wise for their backdrop, props, and photo / GIF templates. I like for all of the details to work well together and look cohesive.
Where do you find the most inspiration?
OHD: We find a lot of creative inspiration from fashion magazines, storefront displays, and staying in tune with trends changing in other industries that we can apply to our own work.
V&C: Personally, I find that I get the most inspiration through travel. It gives me the opportunity to reset after a busy wedding and social season. Also by visiting new places, I get to experience different cultures and people and being away from work with an open mind and spirit helps to generate inspiration and allows ideas to freely flow. After all, going on an adventure is where this business idea was conceptualized!
What’s your favorite part of working within the wedding industry?
OHD: Collaborating with other amazing vendors to create an amazing, unique experience for each client.
V&C: There is such an amazing community of vendors who support and encourage each other in this industry. Coming from the corporate event planning world, I have to admit I was a little intimidated to enter the wedding vendor world but everyone has been so accepting and collaborative and honestly, I have met some of my very good friends in this industry!
What trends are you loving right now?
- No-prop photo booths (we’re a big, big fan!)
- Velvet decor elements
- Live bands
- Whataburger as midnight snacks before send-off
- Artful Details – like using painterly and / or color-blocked invitations, décor and backdrops
- Minimalist Monochromatic Color Palettes – loving the shades of cream, oatmeal and ecru as a color palette
- Sustainable / Environmentally Conscious Touches – more foraged greenery vs perishable floral, recycled textiles, natural wood and compostable dinnerware.
- Western Flair – loving the 70’s rocker chic / western look with grooms donning full on-chain stitched suits and incorporating motorcycles into the photos
- Dried Floral – this trend could probably fall in the sustainable category but we absolutely love this look because then your floral has a much longer shelf life than just your wedding day. We have definitely implemented this trend in our custom backdrops.
Is there anything you’d like clients to know before they come to you?
- Compare apples to apples when looking at different photo booth providers.
- Ask to look at full galleries so you can see their quality of photos for a full event.
- If high-quality photos and prints are a priority, ensure what kind of camera the provider is using. Some photo booths use a webcam (our selfie station uses an iPad!) and others use a DSLR camera with studio-grade lighting (like our portrait booth).
- Check reviews online.
- Check social media and if the provider you are looking at does not have photos of their set up at events shown in pictures, ask to see that! You want the set up to look cohesive with your event and not look like a mess in the corner of your reception hall! Cords should be covered, the backdrop should be steamed, and props (if you choose to use them!) should be neatly organized and clean.
V&C: I would encourage clients to think about the time frame that they would like us in service. If they have a wedding planner, talk over the flow of the day with them. I always like for the time we are in service to be utilized by their guests so that the client feels they are getting the absolute most from their booking.
Also, when space planning, I would encourage creating an inclusive environment by putting a bar or a lounge (or both!) as a hangout area close by our bus. It also helps to position us close to the dancefloor. Typically guests go from the dancefloor to bar to photo booth so the party has a good, natural flow to it.
What can clients expect when working with you?
OHD: High quality customer service, a friendly and engaging photo booth attendant.
V&C: Our clients can expect professionalism, personalization and extreme attention to detail when working with us. We pride ourselves in making sure that every element of our communication and service is executed with the utmost care.
How far in advance should a couple book with you?
OHD: We have clients book us up to 15 months in advance, but on average, our clients book us between four and six months before their wedding!.
V&C: Booking with us as soon as possible is best. We book out typically 6 months to a year in advance. We are already starting to get bookings for 2021, which for a photo booth is typically pretty early. Many couples book their venues, photographers, and maybe florists first, but we are incredibly flattered when we are the first vendor that the couple books, which has happened more often than one would think! Many times when we are the first vendor booked, the couple asks us for advice on who we would recommend they research for other vendors they plan to hire, which is always flattering.
What tips/advice can you give couples planning their big day?
OHD: Look past the little inconveniences that happen on the day of the wedding and focus on the fact that at the end of the day, you’re married to your best friend and that is one heck of a reason to celebrate!
V&C: Make sure in the planning process you stay true to who you and your partner are. Add in touches throughout the day that are quintessentially who you are as a couple. Those personal accents will make your wedding uniquely you and will be the elements that guests walk away remembering.
I would also advise couples to invest in a wedding planner, whether it be a day-of coordinator or full-service coordinator. The wedding planner will be able to think of items especially logistically that will be helpful to make your big day flow as smoothly as possible. Many times wedding planners can also help in saving money along the way by aiding the couple in prioritizing what is most important and what is unnecessary to spend money on.
Interested in other wedding day vendors? Let’s connect!