<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1423716064560199&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Smiley Blog

what you need to know before hiring a photo booth for your event

Posted by Lee Johnson on 05-Feb-2019 09:42:27
Lee Johnson


Planning A Wedding or Party Can Be  A Stressful Experience

 71% of people getting married worry about having to cancel their wedding

52% of people worry about problems with their supplier or venue

The average cost of a wedding in the UK has now hit £30,000

Couples, on average, take up to 10 years to pay for their wedding day

There are approximately 247,000 weddings a year

Supplier difficulties are considered one of the main reasons for stress resulting in financial challenges, relationship and health problems

The Photo Booth Industry

eastanglia image 3

In the UK there are approximately 500 - 600 active photobooth hire businesses of which a vast majority are owner/operator businesses. Meaning that many of them are run and delivered by one individual. 

Why Are Photo Booths So Popular?

Alongside the pure entertainment value one of the highlights for many newly married couples and party organisers, following their celebrations, is spending time looking through a completely full guest book filled with messages and photos of their loved ones. This combined with their guests returning home with handfuls of prints makes the photo booth service a compelling addition to any wedding. or party.

SBSurrey2018-06-04_20-58-52_4Photo from our Smiley Station Photo booth Hire

Photo Booths are considered one of the most effective ways to bring guests together whilst simultaneously creating fun and memorable experiences for the whole wedding/ party.

Example Photo-3

In a recent survey the brides, when asked, stated that the photo booth was one of the “most impactful and important aspects of their evening celebrations”

 Average Number Of Guests At A Wedding in the UK


Average Number Of Photos Taken During A 3 Hour Hire


Average Number Of Photos Taken During A 4 Hour Hire


Most Popular Addition To A Photo Booth Hire

Bespoke Artwork for the Prints

softcat_postcard sample-1

Guest Book and Prop Box

guest book 3

Considered Most Important Aspect Of A photo Booth Hire

Quality Of Prints


Number of Prints

Professional and Friendly Staff


What You Should Know...

The chances of an event supplier not delivering the service they have been booked for is remarkably high

There are two main factors that contribute to this –

  • The average engagement in the UK is 20 months (based on a recent report by bridebook.com )
  • In the UK 50% of all start up businesses fail within the first 12 months and 86% fail within 5 years.

For many the chances of the supplier providing the service is, at best, 50/50


Recent High Profile Photo Booth Scandals

Photobomb UK


The owner of this photo booth hire company received £1000’s of deposits and delivered a handful of events. In the hope of growing the business they found themselves agreeing to deliver an enormous amount of events without having the resources or ability to deliver resulting in 100’s of brides without a photobooth for their celebration’s.

 Bake A Cake

bake a cake

( Full story - BAKE A CAKE  )

Low prices and “too good to be true” offers meant that hundreds of brides were left without a photo booth for their wedding day. With an aggressive Facebook campaign they offered incredibly low prices resulting in many couples handing over deposits or balances that were never returned.

 9 Questions You Should Ask A Supplier Before Booking Them

How long has their business been running?
wedding cake fail
Do you really want someone learning on the job at one of the most important occasions in your life? I wouldn't and you shouldn't either. You deserve a seasoned professional who has demonstrated an ability to consistently deliver excellence no matter what curve ball is thrown at them.
How many events do they do a year?
If they can answer the first question to your satisfaction, but they're only doing a handful of events a year this should set alarm bells ringing. Low numbers of events either means they're not serious or there's something in their business model that's not delivering. It could be that they just haven't nailed their marketing, but the more events a supplier does or has done the better equipped they are at understanding how to deliver excellence for your celebrations.
Can I have your last 10 testimonials?
10 is a good number. Check the dates of these and also the source. You want a supplier that is providing you with recent testimonials and doing it in a transparent way. Facebook is fantastic at collecting testimonials for business pages as well as trust pilot. Also do a search online by typing the business name followed by the word "review". It's surprising what comes up. Finding a less than positive review doesn't need to stop you in your tracks as sometimes the unavoidable happens, but check on the details of what happened and how the business looked after the less than satisfied customer. 
How many people work in your business?
 one man band
So many times we hear stories of how an incident has occurred to a supplier and they have been unable to deliver their service resulting in them palming off the event to another nearby supplier (who you may have not wanted to use) to cover.
It's inevitable that life will get in the way, whether it be failings in managing their own administration, illness or equipment. Yet in the events industry we often accept the whole business delivery being down to one person. It could be a DJ, a caterer, a venue decorator or any number of others. The bigger the team the less likely this is to happen.
What happens to your booking when one of these issues happens?
Make sure you're looking for an established team so that if things go wrong with one person you're not left high and dry and the business can get on with delivering you the service you've paid for.
What's your usual prices?
Everyone wants a deal, but you should expect transparency with pricing from your supplier. If they're asking for further information before giving a quote then that's normal, but be cautious if they're pricing strategy is wildly irratic or well under the industry norm. 
In the events industry deposits prior to the event to secure the booking is common place.
The challenge is in determining whether you are actually getting a deal or are you just being suckered in by a sales pitch in order to get your deposit? 
Established business with a strong track record are very unlikely to do this, but there are a lot of people out there that just want the cash as quickly as possible. They'll tell you a great offer, achieve the booking and deposit and then dump your event a few weeks or days before with some excuse about theft or damage to equipment. In the meantime what they've actually done is traded your booking for another one that was willing to pay a far higher price. This happens surprisingly often so don't be fooled by low prices. It either means they don't know what they're doing, have a sub standard product or that they're up to no good. This isn't retail where you buy in volume to get a low price and can sell it low. This is service and once they're hired on a date that date is then gone from their diary.
What insurances and certificates do you hold?
If they're not insured and their equipment isn't tested then it's unlikely your venue will not even allow them on the premises. Venue requirements on suppliers has increased significantly in recent years with many requiring the supplier to have insurance cover of a minimum of £5m.
Can you show me images and/or videos of your work?
Get them to send you this and scrutinise this in the same way you did when you walked round the venue you chose. How does it stand up? Is it well presented? Does it demonstrate their attention to detail? Is it a true reflection of the service they've described?
Evernote Camera Roll 20170501 180915.jpg
If they just point you to their website ask for more. Many small business websites are months if not years old in the content they produced. You want the most up to date view as to what they're doing and how they're doing it.
What does their social media pages look like?
If they're busy and creating great work then you'll see it here. They'll proudly be displaying their content to an engaged group of followers. It'll also give you an indication as to how they communicate and if it's in keeping with the communications you've had so far.
If there is little content or just unrelated random content not directly associated with their service delivery then be warned, there's a part of the story you're not seeing and should be. 


What You Should Look For In A Photo Booth Hire

  •  You should not entrust your wedding with any business except one with a sterling reputation
  • They should have many years of experience in delivering Photo Booth hire. Often, due to the very nature of events, things can go wrong and the suppliers experience helps navigate those problems.
  • Many weddings are booked between 12-18 months in advance. If your supplier has less than 3 years experience it’s unlikely that they have delivered a significant number of events to ensure they have the experience you deserve for your celebrations.
  • The photo booth company will have set up systems, checks, and balances to be sure you receive a perfectly delivered photo booth service that you and your loved ones can enjoy
  • This system should ensure you receive your photo booth exactly at the time you requested it

Stages Of A Photo Booth Hire


Checkpoint 1

  • Select And Agree Package
  • Complete Booking Form
  • Complete payment of the deposit
  • Introduction made to your photo booth team member who will be looking after you from now through to the day of your event

Checkpoint 2

  • 30 Days before your event your photo booth team will guide you through the steps of creating the bespoke artwork for your photo booth prints
  • Artwork completed and sent to you for your approval
  • After any amendments you sign off the art work and receive the invoice for the final balance of the hire

Checkpoint 3

  • 15 days before your event the photo booth company liaise with the venue to ensure they have everything they require such as PAT test certificates and the photo booth company insurance documents
  • Photobooth company confirms with you venue has been contacted and re-confirm timings

Checkpoint 4

  • One hour before the hire time starts the photo booth team arrive to set up and prepare for the event
  • Event is delivered to a very enthusiastic and happy group of friends and family

Checkpoint 5

  • 24 Hours after the event you receive an email confirming all the images from the evenings celebrations are now available on the online gallery
  • Relax and enjoy looking through your very full guest book of messages and images.


 Smiley Booth

 Photography and entertainment specialists who build world class experiences that deliver a lasting and meaningful impact long after the event has past.


  • A Photo Booth hire company passionate in delivering excellence with the most innovative and advanced photo booth solutions available in the UK and Europe
  • Delivering Photo Booth hires for weddings, parties and corporate events since 2008
  • We deliver approximately 1500 photo booth hires each year to an audience of over 80,000 people
  • The largest photo booth hire company in the UK





Topics: photo booth hire

Something Powerful

Tell The Reader More

The headline and subheader tells us what you're offering, and the form header closes the deal. Over here you can explain why your offer is so great it's worth filling out a form for.


  • Bullets are great
  • For spelling out benefits and
  • Turning visitors into leads.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts