Friday, June 10, 2011

Fuiji Instax Mini Giveaway!

Throughout the wedding planning process, this blog has become more than a place to share my wedding and marriage thoughts. It became my wedding community and you all have been my wedding team. You've cheered me on (and cheered me up) in comments and emails. You've helped me build a wedding, by making my accessories, coordinating my wedding, and giving me a Fuji Instax Mini camera for free.

That's right. Out of the blue, reader Maggie (who you may know from her comments here and from her recent APW Wedding Graduate post) offered to send me her Fuji Instax Mini camera for my DIY photobooth. Maggie and I bonded over our seemingly simple (but actually complex) community center weddings. We worried about DIY logistics. We battled with expectations about photography and authenticity and beauty. And then, she sent me a camera. And all her unusued film. So we could have the DIY photobooth we'd been hoping for but were unsure we could afford. And she sent it to me in the card box she'd made for her own wedding. And then I cried because I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have stumbled into this community and these friendships. And then I cried again after we sifted through all the amazing photos and messages from our DIY photobooth and guestbook, which was pulled together for pennies from Maggie's generosity and our friends' halloween costumes. And that simple act of generosity and magic created moments and memories like this:

Maggie's only stipulation about the gift was that the camera had to be passed along, for free, to another couple. And then that couple had to pass it along too. And so on. So I happily passed along the camera. It went to one of my bridesmaids, who got married a month after me. At which point, Maggie's camera helped create new moments and memories like this:

When I passed along the camera to my girlfriend, I added my own stipulation. I didn't want the camera to get passed along to a random couple. I wanted it to go back into the community it came from. I wanted it to come back here. Back you you. To whoever might need a free camera to help create photobooth memories at his or her wedding. 

So today I'm holding a giveaway for this Fuji Instax Mini camera. Unfortunately, there isn't any film left and it's about 80 cents per picture, but it's 100% worth it.  The photos are about the size of a credit card - so they're small, but large enough to capture tons of fun. You can find free costumery (like we did) or just put out a guestbook for fun photos messages (like my girlfriend did). Either way, I hope it brings one of you as much joy as it brought us. I have a sneaking suspicion it will.

So how do you enter? It's easy. Just a) leave a comment telling me your favorite Halloween costume and if any of it will go into your photobooth. And b) leave your email. And  c) you have to tell me you promise to pass along the camera for free, with whatever film you have left,  when your wedding is done. Because that's how wedding magic grows. And this camera is all about building and capturing wedding magic. 

The contest will close next Thursday at 6pm PST. I'll announce the winner next Friday, June 17.  

This is the box the camera arrived in for me. It was Maggie's card box, and it became mine. The box got ruined along the way or I'd pass that along too, but this photo (captured by Kelly Prizel Photography) felt like the right way to end today's post.


  1. My favorite Halloween costume was probably this year's statue of liberty circa 1890, that is, before the green patina set and it was still copper colored. I will probably put the torch and crown in the photobooth prob box, but the fabric I used for the robe has been repurposed for our chuppah, so that is unavailable. My email is

    Thanks for paying it forward with this rad giveaway!

  2. I've loved all of my costumes, but I'm really hoping this year we can pull off Inspector Gadget and Penny. If we do, THAT will be my favorite.

    We want to have a wedding booth, but with all of the other detail garbage that's taken over our lives, we haven't gotten around to actually organizing it yet. It's looked like it's going to fall by the wayside, which would be a shame. I would mos' def pass this ish along to future brides. Probably also in cute packaging. Just saying.

    My email address is

  3. My favorite Halloween costume was Wilma from the Flintstones. I threw it together last minute from a thrift store find (leopard print skintight dress, teased hair) that probably came straight from the trailer park. Unfortunately, it died that night from too much good times. The photo guest book booth props are going to come mostly from a care package my sister put together that includes sunglasses big enough to wear as a bra. Email is

    You and Maggie are both RAD, I feel so lucky to have stumbled into this community! I've already gotten so much love I'll definitely pass it along.

  4. My favorite Halloween costume was my Hot Librarian year (not what it sounds like). I worked at a rare book library and a month before we had had a fire. No books damaged but still scary. So for Halloween I took one of my work polos w the library logo on it and ripped it up and literally burned it with a lighter. It was singed and a total mess. Paired with a miniskirt, sexy librarian glasses and burnt-cork smudges all over my face and arms and I was a Hot Librarian (get it???).
    I like it bc it was clever, but the reason it is my favorite is that party was the first time my fiance (a former coworker) and I really socialized and, dare I say, flirted.
    The glasses will go in the propbox along w the clown noses from our engagement photos and all the other crazy we have in the house. We are theatre folk.

    Thank you so much for this community and this blog. The sanity that emanates from here has gotten me through more wedding obstacles than I can count.

  5. haha. My favorite halloween costume was when my fiancé dressed up as a PC instead of a Mac. It was great and imaginative.

    I'm not sure my fiancé and I will have a photo booth, but we are collecting a variety of cameras to be used at our reception. We are not having a photographer, so a Fuji Instamax would be awesome to add some variety to the images are guests shoot.

    I have had so much help through craigslist and buying used items from other brides that I would love the opportunity to pass the camera along to another bride-to-be. My e-mail is aandj8804[at] Thank you for passing on something so fun!

  6. Definitely my Michael Myers (from Halloween) costume. Under the mask no one can tell who you are, and I ran around with a big bloody knife all night. Fun times. The knife may make it to the photo booth, but I don't think many people will want to mess up their hair with the mask....
    And yes, I promise to pass! I'll even come back here to pass it on if you like.

  7. My favorite halloween costume is one yet to be put into action - I really want to dress up my dog as an ewok! I know,it would make me one of "those people" who dresses up her dog but he looks like an ewok anyway and is adorable.

    I don't think I have the energy to create a photo booth, but I would love it next to our guestbook. We plan to do a photo line (photos of us on a string with clothes hangers) and it would be nice to have people add their own pics to the line!

    And of course I'd pass it along, in fact, I'd give it back to you to pass along since you probably have a bigger community.


  8. Your post just made me have an ah-ha moment! I'm cliping escort cards on ribbons and was trying to figure out how to to use that for our guestbook as well - and it would be great to have everyone replace their escort cards with a silly/fun photo and the size would be PERFECT. Really though.

    And it actually might get used at our rehearsal lunch/picnic too.

    I hope who ever wins uses it with joy!

    eabshere at gmail dot com.

  9. Oops, I didn't leave my email:

    mrk41709 at gmail dot com.

  10. I didn't know about this! This is so damn sweet it's got me all teared up. You keep making me cry happy, sappy, wedding tears!
    I can't pass this along, but my fave Halloween costume was my first Halloween with The Candyman. I took 70's prom outfits and ran over them a few times with the car. I rubbed dirt on them. Then I did zombie makeup on us both and we were the Dead Zombie Prom Couple. The Candyman looked a lot like Beetlejuice.

  11. My favorite costume was the Daffy Duck costume I made in Junior High school. That thing survived for 15'years, won costume contests and was responsible for busting high schoolers who were caught smoking behind the school when my mom wore it one Halloween. Alas, it finally bit the dust last year.

    I was thinking it might be a blast to create a HS Prom photobooth for the reception, with a cute blow up of our old prom picture. I of course would pass it along to brides in the blogging community, who have saved my bridal bacon and sanity many times over FHA past year-plus.

  12. Okay, so this post is making me feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy. I can't believe you actually used the box! And posted pictures from both weddings - that's fantastic! I felt sort of bad after our wedding because I'd panicked at the last minute and bought WAY too much film and felt like it was a wasteful "oops" ... but this makes it all feel worth it. :) :) I hope the wedding magic continues for the next couple! (the photos and camera really are a lot of fun).

    And just for kicks: my favorite Halloween costume was "Sexy Lunch Lady," complete w/a hairnet, yellow rubber gloves and a ladle.

  13. My favourite Halloween costume was as a mexican - a poncho, a moustache and a sombrero (:

    I definitely will pass on the camera which has captured so much joy to allow someone else to capture to also capture the wonderful memories.

    Thank you for this opportunity (:

  14. My favorite Halloween costume - by far - was MINNIE MOUSE :) I had big sequined ears with a big pink bow, and big pink bows on my shoes, and a big pink polka dotted dress. Of course, I dressed up my black puppy as Mickey and we ended up winning a costume contest which got us a year free at a local puppy dog park, which ended up being the BEST thing ever!

    jessiterrell at gmail . com

    Of course I will pass it on! My wedding is in 4 months in October and will be straight insanity.

  15. This is awesome! I don't need to enter cos I have an old polaroid camera I was going to use... and I live in Australia, land of the crazy postage costs. But I think it's such a cool idea and will excitedly follow the camera's progress!

    My favourite halloween costume was actually J's. He went as Clark Kent and had a rippable front white shirt with a superman chest underneath.

  16. Wow! I read this post and just squealed with delight! First of all---I have to say I love your "pay it forward" method :) It's so sweet!!!! And I think your "stipulations" for entering the contest are fun :)

    a) Favorite Halloween Costume would be when the fiance and I dressed up as members from DEVO in 2010. (Pics here: Those red hats have ALREADY been placed in the "guest book photos box" we have sitting in our living room for the wedding in 34 days! Our friends have been dropping off various props the past month to use for our DIY photoboth.

    b. My email is

    c. I PROMISE with all of my heart that I would pass this on to the next couple. I just have to share that I cannot believe you posted this contest. My fiance and I had our heart set on a photo booth for our wedding--but it just wasn't in the budget. My sister has been trying to think of alternatives for many months. Over memorial day weekend we discovered the Fuji Max camera and came up with a plan to use it to pull off what I envisioned as a cool guestbook/ photo slbum. Unfortunately, I also JUST lost my job (my teaching position was furloughed for next year) so have been debating whether this was something we should financially spring for.

    We enlisted a friend to take pictures for us--and we were just going to do "digital" photos that we would develop later and put into the guestbook/photobook that the guests would sign during dinner. However--it would be MEGA cool if we could have them sign AND put the picture in on the same day!!! The Fujimax could make this happen!!!!!

    Regardless if we win or not---I really like your idea and thank you for opening this up to your blog readers :)

  17. Hello....
    My bf, I mean fiance (we got engaged yesterday), like to do couples costumes for Halloween. My favorite so far is from 2 years ago. I dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and he was the Big Bad Wolf. I think it would be hilarious to have the wolf mask and & hairy wolf gloves as part of the photo booth accessories.
    I believe in wedding karma and will definitely pass it along to another bride. My email is:

  18. Great idea! I'll be honest, I'm not the bride...but I AM the bridesmaid, so hopefully my entry can still count b/c I KNOW that my friend wants one of these for the photobooth at her wedding. I will definitely make sure it gets passed on after her wedding b/c that is a great idea & I will definitely make sure my husband's giant '70s 'fro Halloween wig is in the box of picture props! Thank you! (

  19. Yay!! My fiance and I are getting married next year in Joshua Tree National Park. We are going completely DIY and definitely want a fun photo booth for our guest book! I saw that they have new polaroid cameras but they are expensive and UGLY! So this would be so rad! My favorite Halloween costume was two years ago when I was Jem (from the early 90s cartoon!) The props at our wedding will likely be fake mustaches and fun vintage picture frames. We want to have a corkboard at the site so people can sign the photos and tack them up immediately. And if I happened to win this awesome camera I would send it back to you so that you could pass it on to someone else who loves your blog!!!

  20. I have been planning to buy a Fuji Instax at our wedding, but was having some insecurity about how it will be slipshod compared to awesome smilebooth-type setups. And then I went to a wedding this weekend, with the fancy photobooth. And I love our silly photos so much, and the fancy red velvet booth and paid person managing the business was so, so unnecessary. I am so excited for all the silly photo memories that will be created at our wedding. My favorite H-costume was when my fiance and I dressed as caterers, from the show Party Down, with plastic champagne flutes velcro-ed to a platter. Everyone thought we were actual party staff that were highly incompetent! Thanks so much.

  21. Love this!! I'm getting married in September and this would make such an awesome addition to our in-the-works photobooth! My favorite Halloween costume was when I dressed as Smurfette, complete with blue tights and blue body paint covering my face and arms.

    Unfortunatly, I think that blue body paint may be a little messy for the wedding (the paint removal process was long and tedious), so the Smurf costume we'll have to skip. We will be filling in where Smurfette left off with a Carmen Miranda fruit hat, Army flight suits, a red feather boa, and an authentic Mexican sombrero, among many others I'm sure.

    I would love to be part of this chain of camera good will, and of course will pass it along to another kindred spirit after my wedding. As a side note, I have a cousin who is getting married in July, and I would love to surprise her with some awesome pics from this camera before using it at my own wedding!

    Thanks for the chance, what a great idea!

    -Marisa (