Dinner with Friends

While most wedding professionals countdown to November when they can kick up their heels and enjoy the lull during the holiday season, the fun is just beginning for us. With 112 events (and counting) during the first three weeks of December, Magbooth is in full swing to say the very least.

Although we won’t be resting on our laurels anytime soon, we do make sure we find a little time to enjoy the chaos of the holidays ourselves. Below are a few images of our San Francisco holiday party when our crew was able to come together to celebrate a year of hard work. We certainly couldn’t do what we do without our amazing event staff and we are so lucky to have each and every one of them across the nation. After all, we couldn’t spread the Magbooth love 112 times over again without them!

Lastly, thanks so much to Presidio Social Club for a lovely evening of amazing food, incredible hospitality, and all around good times.

Guest Post: Wedding Tips from Amanda Bishop

Driving around Louisville you may notice that business facades are a little less boring than they used to be. That is largely in part to design duo Amanda and Ty of State Champs. Wildly talented graphic and hand painting designers, Ty and Amanda are also in the midst of planning their wedding 2,300+ miles away. In just a few short weeks, one of Magbooth’s favorite couples will tie the knot on Whidbey Island just north of Seattle, Washington. We’re pretty stoked to be part of the guest list, so we decided to meet up with Amanda for a coffee and talk shop: wedding shop.

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How did you choose your wedding venue?

My parents own a vineyard on Whidbey Island, but also that part of the country is very important to both Ty and me. I am from Louisville and attended college in Seattle. After college I made plans to move back to Seattle full-time when fate intervened and I met Ty a month before my move. So we began dating long-distance. It was very old school – writing letters and spending hours on the phone. Seattle is such a special place to me, it really shaped me into the person I am, so it was even more special when Ty came to visit for the first time. We fell in love there.

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As artists, what details of the wedding are you creating yourselves?

We created the invitations, which we had letterpress printed by the talented dudes at Hound Dog Press, and did our own website using SquareSpace. There will be lots of hand-painted signs – like directional signs and the ice cream bar menu. We designed matchboxes to give with sparklers as a guest favor. OH! And, we designed soccer jerseys for the “Marital Cup” we’re hosting the day before the wedding. We found an all-white soccer ball that will then be our guest book at the reception. Soccer is just part of who we are. All of our family and friends love the game so we thought it would be a fun activity that everyone could do to shake the nerves and just relax.

What details do you think are/aren’t worth paying someone else to handle?

We’ve hired a day-of coordinator to handle all of the day-of stress. We’ve also hired a local florist – it’s just worth it. Arranging flowers is time consuming and we don’t have the resources and access to different flowers that a florist has. However we are setting up all of the decorations ourselves. We’re also handling the pre-ceremony cocktail hour. My maid-of-honor is a culinary badass so she’s doing snacks and then we’ll have three drink dispensers with a signature margarita. All the wine is obviously from my parent’s vineyard, and we’ll have beers from local breweries too.

What are your top priorities for the big day?

We are most excited to see all our friends from all over the place that we don’t get to see often. One friend from England has never been to America so we want to make this experience epic! Food and dancing are #1. There are so many things we don’t care about, but food is a big one. We’re still working on perfecting the playlist. The venue is our private property so we’re planning for the dance party to go on for as long as we want!

How much time/thought did you put into finding THE dress?

I LOVED trying on dresses; I never wanted it to end and I totally didn’t expect that. We went to three or four places in Seattle, a couple places in Louisville, and ended up finding the dress in Cincinnati. I was sad that the search was over. I did get a second dress for the dance portion of the reception.

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What traditions are you incorporating or not incorporating?

We aren’t doing a garter or bouquet toss. We are keeping the ceremony as short as possible and not having a first dance or dance with our parents. It just doesn’t make sense with who our parents are – my mom is low key and we just prefer “party dancing” more than formal, in-front-of-everyone dancing. We wanted an ice cream cart instead of a cake, but our parents wanted cake so we’re getting a small cake to cut and serve to our parents. We decided not to see each other before the ceremony – I’m so excited for that moment! We’re also not doing posed photos. Our photographer is a close friend from high school who works for Free People photographing models. I just want those candid photos of the moments.

What advice would you give other brides? Anything you would do differently?

Besides eloping…Have some way to remind yourself throughout the process to be true to yourself and to your significant other. People are excited and want to be helpful but not all of their advice is great for you. The best day will come from making it fit you as a couple. We sent our save-the-dates by email, which sounded like a great idea, but they ended up in several peoples’ spam folders. If I could do that over, I would just do a simple postcard. Keep it simple – go get your pictures taken in a photo booth (ahem, Magbooth) and just do a postcard.

Garage Bar + Magbooth

 

Photo courtesy of Garage Bar

When I first visited our flagship office in Louisville I was immediately intrigued by a building across the way. It looked like an old gas station/mechanics shop that had been transformed into the ultimate hip bar. Turns out that is exactly the case.

The overall atmosphere and aesthetic was right up my alley. It had a solid looking menu, tasty drinks, and ping-pong tables out front. I was sold.  The whole Magbooth team ended up grabbing food and drinks at Garage Bar later that evening. My overall assessment — this place is rad. The brick oven pizzas are delicious (I’m a big fan of thin crust) and their cocktails are solid. My personal favorites were the District 8 (Bourbon, house tonic, orange and lemon juice, Angostura bitters) and the Ginger Shandy (Ginger syrup, citrus soda and PBR).

As I visited Kentucky more and more I found myself at Garage more and more. It was awesome to see how our team out there had formed such a strong relationship with the restaurant and bar. After learning that we had worked a number of events with Garage, I figured it would be awesome to sit down with General Manager, Megan Breier, and ask about her relationship with Magbooth over the years.

After our chat, the whole team returned to Garage later that night for some food and drinks. I went ahead and got some footage of this going down as well. I’m seriously looking forward to hanging out there on my next visit. My recommendation: make sure you do the same!

Guest Post: Alexandra Sierra, American Brain Tumor Association

The American Brain Tumor Association’s (ABTA) national signature fundraising events are our BT5K Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5K Run & Walks.  Our Chicago event is our largest, with over 4000 people in attendance annually.  We wanted to do something special this year to help people celebrate the day and have some fun.  What better than a photo booth?

We had a lot of caveats — it was an early morning, outdoor setting, we needed wheelchair accessibility and of course…we had a limited non-profit budget.  Thankfully, of all the vendors, Magbooth was able to fulfill all our needs.  And in the end, their team went above and beyond.

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Before daylight (and before I even arrived!), Joe from Magbooth was already there setting up.  Joe was polite, professional, nice, funny and really took initiative.  He helped us figure out how to manage the lines, large groups, and most importantly, the costume inventory.  As participants gathered around the booth, Joe happily assisted all of them with costume changes and pose ideas.  He was, in a word, FANTASTIC.  Everybody had a great time at the booth — people walked away in fits of giggles, looking and smiling at their event keepsake.  In a world where brain tumors impact lives, our event participants know what each day means and how important it is to remember the good times.

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Eventually the crowd thinned, the other tents began breaking down, and the last remaining people were waiting for a chance to get their pictures taken in the photo booth. Joe just smiled- he wasn’t turning anyone away! As I left, I made a mental note to send our Magbooth rep a note of praise for their superb employee and customer service. This was before I learned that as Joe was leaving, he encountered an ABTA staff member and her son in the garage with a car that wouldn’t start. Super Joe to the rescue! He left to get help and waited until a service truck arrived and everybody was safely on their way home. Talk about an outstanding employee and person!

Magbooth’s Etsy Craft Party

If you’re like us, you have piles and stacks of Magbooth photos. You can’t frame ALL of them (although you want to) and you’d never dream of throwing them away.  How will you ever turn those piles of amazing photos into a crafting marvel?  We’re glad you asked.

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Tomorrow is Etsy Craft Party Day, a one-day celebration of meeting and making. The 2014 Etsy Craft Party theme is Recapture: Bring New Meaning to Your Photographs, so obviously Team Magbooth had to jump on board!  Join the global celebration here. We’ll get you started with a few of our favorite Magbooth craft projects, but be sure to tag us in your own Magbooth photo craftiness: #MagCraft.  Ready, set, #CRAFTPARTY!

GATHER YOUR FAVORITE CRAFT-MAKING SUPPLIES

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MAGBOOTH CRAFT PROJECT #1: CUSTOM PHOTO BUTTONS

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MAGBOOTH CRAFT PROJECT #2: PHOTO POSTCARDS/SAVE-THE-DATES

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 (These save-the-dates are custom made by Team Magbooth. Available upon request.)

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MAGBOOTH CRAFT PROJECT #3: WALLPAPERS, BOTH DIGITAL AND ACTUAL

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MAGBOOTH CRAFT PROJECT #4: CUSTOM PHOTO LABELS

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MAGBOOTH CRAFT PROJECT #5: SHARE YOURS! TAG US #MAGCRAFT AND ETSY #CRAFTPARTY

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Magbooth Favorite: Love/Make

A large majority of Magbooth rentals are for weddings, which makes attending bridal shows an important part of our outreach strategy.  Between our San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver markets – let’s just say, I have attended quite a few shows.  Now, the majority of the shows we attend are awesome, but sometimes we find a show that stands out for one reason or another.  Love/Make, hosted by Bold Italic, was one of those stand-out shows.

The first thing I noticed was that Love/Make coordinated with Magbooth’s style and aesthetic perfectly.  I found that this made for a successful show.  The brides and grooms just seemed more inclined to let their hair down, grab a wooden moustache and snap a few photos in the booth.  I ended up spending the day connecting with the guests on a personal level and I rarely felt like I was “pitching” or “selling” at all.  The booth just spoke for itself.

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We had a great location at the show as well.  Between the DIY Flower Crown station by Home Sweet Flowers and the Wedding Help 5¢ booth by APW, I think it’s safe to say we all provided some serious fun at the show.

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Some of my favorite highlights were the strong brew provided by Ritual Coffee, the solid tunes by All Ears DJ, and the killer frozen treats from Pop Up Gelato.  All the vendors were great and we all just meshed – each adding a layer of awesome to show.

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Planning a wedding can obviously be equal parts stress and excitement, so I hear.  Attending bridal shows can be an overwhelming experience as well, but it doesn’t have to be.  The people at Bold Italic understand this.  They clearly spent the time to create a fun, creative, and inspiring environment for all attendees and their effort did not go unnoticed.

So Love/Make crew – I think it’s safe to say you killed it.  Thanks for putting on a show that was not only fun for the soon-to-be-newlyweds but also for the vendors.  It was beyond productive and worth every minute.  Looking forward to the next one!

All the photos of the show were taken by JBM Weddings

Magbooth’s Wedding Planning Tip: Create a Shot List

I said it once, I will say it twice — create a shot list!

The nice thing about Magbooth is that there is no corralling of family and friends to sit still for a photo. The booth works its magic all by itself. For your wedding photographer, however, things are not so simple. For him/her it is a daunting task to capture every single minute detail and person at your wedding. Thus, some of the best advice I can give to brides and grooms-to-be is create a shot list!

People said this probably a million times before my wedding but I ignored it and figured that my photographer knew what he was doing. I thought it would be a little over the top for me to hand him a list of all of the things he was probably planning to shoot anyway.

After our wedding we received nearly a thousand photos, all of which we adore. However, I realized that despite the large amount of photos, a lot of my close friends, family and some of the DIY projects I spent hours creating weren’t captured among them – to no fault of my photographer. I realized that he had so much going on in the day with no reference of what and who were super important to me. Come to find out after the wedding, he would have preferred a shot list and I actually made his job harder by not creating one.

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Thus, to save you some headache, below is a starting point or a reference of how you should create your shot list.  Thank me after your wedding!

Pre-Ceremony:

  • Bride’s gown
  • Wedding and engagement rings
  • Bouquets and accessories
  • Shoes
  • Putting on the dress

The Ceremony:

  • Still-life shots of the programs
  • Groom’s expression while waiting for the bride
  • Bridal party entrance
  • Bride and FOB walking down the aisle
  • FOB giving away the bride
  • Bride and groom at the alter
  • Guests watching the ceremony
  • Reciting vows
  • Fob watching the ceremony
  • The Kiss
  • Returning down the aisle

Portraits:

  • Bride and groom with entire bridal party
  • Bride with each individual bridesmaid
  • Groom with each individual groomsman
  • Bride and groom alone
  • Bride and groom with each set of parents and siblings
  • Bride and groom with each set of grandparents

Reception:

  • Still life of centerpieces, seating cards, cake
  • Still life of place settings
  • Bridal party entrance
  • DIY bar and seating signage
  • Speeches
  • First dance
  • Parent dances
  • Guests dancing
  • Cutting the cake

Happy planning!

- Alexandra