One of my best friends got married this Labor Day and the bachelorette party was celebrated in San Diego, with bridesmaids flying in from all over the country (oh, and me from Canada!). In just around 48 hours we crammed so much fun into our weekend and I wanted a fun way for the bride to cherish the memories when, these days, photos can so easily get lost living on phones and social media feeds versus somewhere physical. The high school scrapbooker in me wanted to put together a photo album that would be a riot to look through, so I'm going to share here how to make a bachelorette party polaroid memory book like the one I gifted to the bride on her wedding weekend.
What you'll need to make the Memory Book:
- Blank Journal
- Polaroid Camera and PLENTY of film (3 to 5 10-packs of instax)
- Sticky Photo Brackets
- Washi (optional)
- Stickers (optional)
- Bachelorette Itinerary or Invitation as cover (optional)
Tips for Making a Memory Book
Have Enough Film
When we first arrived, I made sure to put out the camera, film, journal, and sticky photo brackets on the main table. (Technically there were two Intax cameras present!) As soon as the bride arrived I started snapping photos. The trick is to have enough film to know you can take as many photos as you'd like to, and in turn, also get as many photos as you want. There's nothing like a perceived shortage to keep you from using what film you have and missing out on capturing moments to only end up with extra film. Start with extra film, so you can shoot freely.
Let Everyone Know What's Up
As soon as I took the first few photos I went to the journal and started using the sticky brackets to put the photos directly into the pages. It was then that I let everyone know that all of the photos taken with the Instax would go directly into the memory book. There was a tiny bit of pushback, or disappointment because normally with polaroids everyone can take ones they like, but I made it clear these would all be for the bride. As soon as I outlined that this was a gift for the bride, everyone was on board. I also took this time to let everyone know they could take photos with the camera and to put the photos with the album when they were done.
Build as You Go
While I did let everyone know that they could use the sticky photo brackets to put the photos directly into the memory book themselves, for the most part, people took photos and then dropped them near the book when they were done. I then went over every half hour or so and spent five minutes sipping on my drink and adding the photos to the journal. Adding the photos as the time went by was integral to keeping the photos in order, and made my life easier down the line when it was time to finish the memory book.
Remember the Exposures
If you've ever shot with an Instax polaroid camera before, you know that the exposures can be tricky. Several of my shots came out pitch black, and our beach shots are almost white. Oops! When inside make sure you adjust to the indoor exposure, and the same for outdoors. It seems straightforward but is harder than you think. So this goes hand in hand with having enough film because when you're taking this many Instax photos in several different settings, a few are not going to turn out.
Don't Forget About the Camera
As an Instagram junky, I always had my phone at the ready, but I had to remind myself to pick up the Instax and take some time to make a sweep about the room taking pictures with the Polaroid camera. I tried to get a few photos for each activity we did and made a point of getting photos of everyone's outfits before going out since we didn't want to take the Polaroid out to the club with us. Make sure you don't forget about the camera and miss out on a whole swath of the event. I forgot I had the camera on the beach, therefore we only have four pics from after we'd packed up. Not the end of the world, but a missed opportunity.
Save the Gift for Later
When I arrived in San Diego for the bachelorette party, I'd intended on giving the finished memory book to the bride at the end. Instead, I took it back home with me in order to fill in the memories and captions of the photos, giving it a finished look. It was even more special being able to give her a fully polished scrapbook of sorts at her rehearsal dinner, to commemorate her final hurrah as a Miss on the last day before becoming a Misses.
When filling in the memory book, I took a cute rhyme like storytelling route to filling in the captions. To remember what we'd done and what some of the pictures had in them. I got quotes from the weekend and added them in, and added some dazzle with stickers, too. Maybe you don't need stickers, or there are multiple people that can write in the notes. Perhaps you even have pens with the memory book so people can write in it during the event! As a special touch on my memory book, I washi'd the Bachelorette Itinerary I'd bought on Etsy to the cover. Maybe you could get a group photo printed. The limits are endless since you're building this from scratch. Make this your own!
Bachelorette Party Polaroid Photo Memory Book
Want to see the itinerary for our 3 day destination bachelorette party in San Diego? Check it out here!