The wedding is over. The bride’s family has taken their posts in the reception greeting line. The photographer still holds the groom’s family hostage at the church. Some guests are milling restlessly where the dinner line will soon form, but on the other side of the room there is another line. Queued up in front of a booth with flashing lights and a video screen, laughing guests are waiting their turn inside the wedding photo booth.

Decades ago, mall shoppers and amusement park visitors lined up at the booths too. Back then one or two people crowded into a tiny booth, watched a blinking light for the flash cue, and saw their results as a grainy black and white strip in which eyes were sometimes closed and mouths open. Today’s photo booths are digital, and come in many sizes. Some accommodate as many as thirty people. Many offer backdrops and special lighting. They can include green screens which allow guests to stage elaborate movie-like effects like jumping or flying.

Back at our wedding reception, people are filing through the meal line and trying to find seating at the banquet tables, but the photo booth party is still going strong. Guests watch the video screen, getting a view of the goings-on inside the booth. As guests wait they fill out a form, writing their name and a personal message to the wedding couple.

The Party Photo Booth is not a replacement for traditional photography. Professional photographs of the wedding, and the wedding party, as well as less formal shots at the reception are cherished keepsakes. What it may replace is the antiquated, stuffy wedding guestbook. Instead of a name and an address on a line next to a drawing of a calla lily, the bride and groom receive a bevy of nearly spontaneous photos of their guests with personal messages and hysterical poses. Guests get a copy of their photographs too, as a memento, and some photo booths allow the guest to immediately download the photos onto Facebook or Twitter.

The Party Photo Booth isn’t cheap. A four-hour session may cost $700, but that includes unlimited photo shooting, set-up, take-down and monitoring by an attendant, and all the excitement of the novel attraction at the event. It also includes a complete digital album of all photos taken for the bride and groom.

New technology in the booths assures quality pictures. There is no need to bend or contort to find a well-lit position. As a matter of fact, if guests bend and contort it is to offer the happy couple best wishes in highly original ways. The only drawback to the booth is that you must orchestrate your reception so that all guests get a shot at the booth so that the bride and groom have a complete record of everyone in attendance.

The Party Photo Booth makes fun for everyone at the event, something they’ll remember for months or years, and they’ll have the pictures to prove it.