I’ve been asked quite a few times if disposable cameras are a good idea for weddings and also have seen this asked a lot of times on Facebook wedding groups and other online forums.

I can see the attraction. The idea that guests will take some funny photographs. They’ll make a nice addition to the official photographs for you to remember your wedding day with. Maybe perhaps capturing those moments that your wedding photographer can’t or maybe after he/she has left for the day.

After all, they’re pretty inexpensive. Anyone can use them. Pop one on each table and just collect them at the end of the evening.

Unfortunately in my experience the idea is far better than the reality. In practice I think they’re a complete waste of money! Let me explain why.

Firstly let’s be honest. We’re in the digital age now. How many guests at your wedding won’t have a cameraphone? Close to zero. In fact only the younger kids won’t. And that’s who usually ends up using them‚ if anyone at all. I’ve seen these sat on tables most of the time whilst everyone just uses their phones. Until eventually maybe an Auntie runs around snapping a few shots from each camera just to use them up.

The reason of course is you can instantly see your results on a digital camera/phone. Your guests share that moment instantly. Gone are the days of waiting a couple of weeks for the postman to deliver the photos. I guarantee you half your guests won’t even know how to switch on the flash!

Secondly the cost. Most couples buy a batch of these cameras cheaply from the Internet. At this current time they’re selling on eBay for about £5 each. Cheaper if you buy them in packs of 10 (around £33). That works out at £3.30 a camera. Wait a moment‚ what sort of quality are you going to get from a camera worth £3.30?!?!! Including a film!

The answer is not very good quality. To the point where you might as well use a cameraphone! In fact I recently had to use a disposable camera (long story). Here’s a couple of photos that eventually came back. I got a load of photos back of that quality and it cost me including development £15!

Thirdly and this is the bit which most couples forget to factor in. Developing costs! The cheapest I can find online to develop a roll of 24 photos is £4.25. It’s more if you go to a High Street shop. So let’s say you bought a pack of ten cameras. That’s £33 + £42.50 to get the films developed!!!! A total of £75! All of a sudden that great idea of getting a few photographs cheaply doesn’t seem so cheap after all. It wouldn’t be THAT bad I guess if you were going to get back 240 photos for £75. Certainly much cheaper than hiring a professional.

But wait. Think back to when we only had film cameras. Out of the 24 or 36 photos you got back from the lab, how many of those came out? How many were dark to the point they were unusable or simply blurry rubbish? Quite a few right? Of course that was when you were using a ‘proper camera’. But here you’re using a camera worth £3! A camera that most people don’t even use at a wedding and Auntie Mabel just ran around at the end to use them up!

So you end up spending a small fortune and get back a few poor quality photos that your basic camera phone would have taken much better and for no cost.

Continue to next page for a couple of great alternative ideas