What’s the Best Time to Schedule a Wedding Photo Booth?

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photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

We are often asked,  “What is the best time to start a photo booth at a wedding”. I recently read a post from another booth company that recommended scheduling the last three hours of a wedding reception- skipping the cocktail hour, dinner hour, toasts and first dance.

Oh Boy, Do We Disagree

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

We recommend opening the photobooth at the cocktail hour. Here’s why.

Boring

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

The cocktail hour can be troublesome for guests with children and young adults, AKA boring. A photo booth keeps the kids and adults entertained while the bridal party is busy taking formal photos. This is the perfect time for a family photo.

Mom Needs Another Family Photo

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

We hear it from Moms all the time, “Do you know how hard it is to get a good family photo?”

Kids Break the Ice 

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

Relatives from out of state use this time for photos with family and friends they haven’t seen  in years. The elders really enjoy light hearted photos and memories they can cherish.

PS It is no secret that when the dance floor opens up and the music gets loud, guest will politely make their exit. This is why early booth time counts.

You don’t want to miss that Generational Photo with Pops, mom and kids.

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

Young adults love it

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

Young adults love it because, well, they love photos of themselves. More obnixious- more fun.

We Encourage Brides and Grooms

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

We encourage brides and grooms to jump in the photobooth immediately after their formal photos are taken. This way they look fresh. Don’t wait till the end of your looooong wedding day. We have seen too many brides and grooms with that tired, running on empty look.

The Bride Never Waits

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

Call it a “Fast Pass” or “Cutsy’s”, the bride is always escorted to the front of the line.  And when she is in the booth, she’s a Disney princess. Guests line up to have their photo taken with her.

The Dinner Hour

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

Guests don’t start and finish eating at the same time. Instead, table 1 slowly makes their way through the buffet line. This is the perfect time for table 5 to jump in the booth. And, when table 1 finishes eating, table 6 is getting started.

From experience we know there is about a 20 minute lull during the dinner hour.  We turn down the lights, restock print paper, clean and organize and get a quick bite to eat.  We don’t charge for this ‘down-time’. If your photo booth charges for this time, negotiate an “idle rate”.

The Toast and First Dance

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

Toasts and first Dance.  Booth closed. All attention focused on the bride. We don’t charge for this idle time, because we know every reception has a toast, and it is important.

Open for Business

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But when the dance floor opens up, so does the photo booth. This is the time for guests to get one more photo with Grandma before she leaves. One more with the kiddies before they head to bed.

Party Time is Photo Booth Time

photo of bride and groom in photobooth in Phoenix

The rest of the night, the booth is in full swing with the guests who came to party.

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What can we do for you?

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Need for Website Speed

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Need Fast Web Page Loading Speed

Need for a New Website Host

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Every year I update my website. Better SEO, Better Content, Better User Experience,  ad infinitum.
This year I became obsessed with improving website load speed. I put my website vendors up against my stop watch.

At the Starting Line

Evaluating My Crew

fast and reliable website vendors

Basic stats for my website:

WordPress: Divi Theme
Content Delivery Network: Absolutely not!
Web Host: InMotionHosting Los Angeles data center.
Cache plugin: WP Fastest Cache.

WordPress Theme: Divi

Divi ad regarding most popular wordpress theme

Divi:  Divi by Elegant Themes has some basic speed settings such as minifying java script. These made minor improvements. But I will need help from other services to throttle up my quest for speed.

While speed optimization is not Divi’s strong suit, it has many other attributes. Primarily, easy to use. I often switch between the traditional word press builder and the drag and drop visiual builder.

Divi maintains an abundant knowledge base. This big learning platform increases radically with thousands of third party tutorials.

Money wise, I bought a lifetime liscence at a very reasonable price. Divi is priced fairly. A couple times a year, Elegant Themes throws a sale and creates exceptional value.

Divi wordpress theme logo

Content Delivery Network-Absolutely Not!

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Content Delivery Network: No!

I am a local business in the US with a local customer base using a local website host. No reason to pay a CDN to increase website speed in Asia or Europe. I’ll spend this money on other, better speed improvement tools. I gave Cloudflare CDN (free version) a trial. After months of monitoring my load time, Cloudflare consistently slowed my site locally. Maybe it sped up my site across the world. But, that is not my customer base.

Click here for my brief rant on CDNs.

 

Web Host: InMotionHostting

Approval for Inmotionhosting

InMotionHosting has been an excellent host. Extremely good support. Extensive written knowledge base. In the past, speed was superior. However, I began experiencing a long delay on my contact form. When I would submit an email through the contact form (as a User Experience test), I would wait, and wait and wait for a confirmation that the email successfully transfered.  This lead me to closely monitor my page load times. Seventy five percent of the time, load times ranged from .8 to 1.4 seconds. My home page consists of 2 megs of data (lots of photos).  But,  25% of my tests resulted in pathetic load times ranging from 7 to 10 seconds. I was unable to identify a cause from waterfall charts. InMotionHosting had no answer. Their server is located in Los Angeles. Maybe the problem is latency from overcrowded networks in southern California?

Footnote: After leaving InmotionHosting I learned the long wait time for submitting an email was caused by a host spam filter. Still, no answer for the random, slow loading pages.

Decision: Got to Change

checklist of website requirements

With the problem continuing for two months, it was time to search for an new host. Primary criteria for the host would be a local data center to reduce latency, high reliability, and fast servers. My traffic is relatively low, a couple hundred unique visitors each month, so shared hosting fits my needs. But, I want a host that would guarantee other sites on my shared server would not hog resources and slow down my site. I wasn’t set on finding the cheapest service, but looking for a fair value.
I built a simple test site on my first the candidate host site. The first host was a disaster. After two weeks I was still unable to get the website loaded for testing. I requested a refund. This was a hassle also. During the process of requesting a refund I realized the cost was 15 bucks for a year of hosting. Insanely cheap. I couldn’t hold a grudge or trash talk the host with a price like that.

Found a Quickie: MonsterMegs Webhost

image for MonsterMegs web hosting fast

My second choice, MonsterMegs, has turned out to be fantastic. They have earned my trust. I was reluctant to leave InMotionHosting because of their customer service. The crappy load times may or may not be in their control. I just know the poor load times are real.

Now, after 60 days of running a test site with MonsterMegs web hosting, I am ready to migrate from InMotionHosting. My 2 mg test page loads consistently in the range of .9 seconds to 1.4 seconds. Very similar to InMotionHosting, but without the 25% of slow, crippling load times.

MonsterMegs customer service is by ticket only. No phone or chat. The tech department is available 24/7. I requested technical help twice. Both times I received excellent service. Instead of pointing me to an article on how to complete my task, MonsterMegs just went ahead and did it for me. Sweet! Their written knowledge base seems small, but growing.

This year my priority has shifted from web hosting customer service to web hosting speed.

MonsterMegs servers are fast. Hardware incpludes NVMe SSD hard drives and  Intel Xeon Platinum 8260Y scalable processors, 128GB DDR4 ram, and a quick 10 GBPS port. NVMe drives are the latest in hard drive technology, offering twice the speed of the latest SSD hard drives.

On the software side, MonsterMegs uses LiteSpeed Web Server, CloudLinux and CPanel- Control Panel. One hazard I find unacceptable is a web host company placing my webiste on an overcrowed, overrsold server. MonsterMegs claims CloudLinux is set to guarantee my site always has 100% use of a single core processor.

In the competitive world of website hosting, claims are exagerated (IMHO they are frickin lies). What do the accolades above really mean? I don’t know. I am not an expert in these things. But, I can read a GTMetrixwebsite speedtest report. My website with MonsterMegs consistently loads fast.

WP Fastest Cache

Fastest wordpress cache for a reason

I am saying it gain, I am not a tech genius. But, I can open any webpage, especially mine, in a bowser and decide if it is too slow. I can also read a website speedtest report. WP Fastest Cache is faster than the other cache plugins I have tried, including Litespeed WP. WP Fastest Cache is simple to use. The freemium version worked so much better than the others, I purchased the premium. Premium covers mobile. Freemium does not.  I like the guy’s business model- perfect it then let the customer set it and forget it. When updates are required, they are easy and seemless through WordPress.

The Finish  Line

Speedometer representing website speed

Another successful DIY adventure. It is possible to find a local webhost with fast speed and reliability. MonsterMegs is a winner.

Rant about Free CDNS

Speedometer representing website speed

If you have a free Cloudflare account and have not notice an improvement in web page loading speed, or suspect slower speeds, you’re in good company.

I remember a Cloudflare article explaining that with a free plan, I was not guaranteed to have my website served by a local server/ data center. I can no longer find the article. Maybe it has been taken down or, my research skills are lacking. In my opinion Cloudflare’s motivation for offering free service isn’t to speed up your site, but to collect your data. Use of Cloudflare lets them peer into your web stats and traffic. Fact: Cloudflare serves up more web traffic than Facebook. Private data is the king of commodities.

Off with their heads.

Back

Can we design photo strip graphics for you?
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Green Screen Samples

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Open air photobooth with green screen 

At the start of each photo session, guests press a button to choose one of eight backgrounds. Here are eight sample backgrounds.

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Here is what every guest receives

A full size 4×6 photo.

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Plus a 2×6 photo strip

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Can we design photo strip graphics for you?
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Child Friendly Photo Booth Theme

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Candyland Theme for Children’s Parties

For all your young at heart party guests we have the perfect set of photo strip graphics. The Candyland theme is timeless.

Add the Candyland Graphic to your photo strips

In this example, we’ll print three photos and the candyland logo on a 2×6 photo strip.
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Father Daughter Dances

What can be sweeter than a Father Daughter Dance? This Candyland photo strip graphic is universal for family keepsakes.
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Candy, Costumes and a Toothbrush

We bring the props. The Kids know what to do. Grab and pose in front of the camera. Print and repeat.
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Post card style photo strip

An alternative to the standard print is the larger 4 inch by 6 inch post card photo strip. Bigger means more photo candy sweetness.

We Customize Logos

We add names and short messages to the Candyland photo strip logo.
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Can we design photo strip graphics for you?
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Holiday Graphics with Green Screen

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Use Green Screen for Fun and Unique Designs.
Create a unique photo post card for the holidays with our green screen magic. This set of graphics compliments the most formal events to the most casual events. These graphics shout FUN. They are the perfect size for a small group of friends, large group or a romantic couple.

Photo Strips, Photo Cards or 4×6 Prints

We can add these graphics in the form of a photo strip (2×6), photo card (4×6) or a photo print (4×6). You provide the smiles and love.
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Componets to the Print

The print is made up of a background of distressed white farm wood ringed by presents. The center layer consistes of the photo taken in the booth with a green screen. The computer cuts out the green in the photo and imprints it on top of the background. Finally, an overlay is applied to the print. The overlay is the lower portion of the background that easily blend all three layers together. 

Special thanks to Photo by Giftpundits for their outstanding artwork.

 

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For more information about photo booth services
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