If you’re looking for fun favors for your guests, a great icebreaker and some easy entertainment, a photo booth is just the thing!  Alison Hylton, owner of Party Pictures RVA, shows us just how great a photo booth is for your wedding reception! Plus, she has some fun facts about herself that might surprise you!

Tell us a little about your company!

Party Pictures RVA is a family owned and operated company serving all of Virginia! We love running photo booths, and especially working weddings. Not many people can say every time they go to work they’re at a party with people having a great time!

How did you get started in this business?

After going to several weddings with photo booths, I thought about how much I enjoyed using them, as well as all the other guests. Having gone to school for theatre with an emphasis on costume design, getting people to play dress up and enjoy themselves was a natural fit for me! We realized that this could be a great side income, but it was so much more successful than we planned for. It’s an around the clock job, but I love every minute of it.

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What differentiates you from other businesses in your field?

“Treat others how you would like to be treated” is constantly on my mind. We keep our prices affordable while still delivering a top of the line product and service. We personalize everything — clients receive custom strip designs, our scrapbooks aren’t boring black paper black paper but customized to the particular theme or color scheme, EVERY client receives all images on USB, and we do a 32″ slideshow of all images during the event, all at no extra cost.

Why do you like working with weddings?

Weddings are such joyous occasions. It’s a blessing whenever we’re chosen to be a part of a client’s special day! We have a special set of props reserved just for weddings. Photo booths are such a wonderful addition to weddings. It serves as both entertainment, a great ice breaker during cocktail hour and wonderful favors for guests to bring home! If a couple adds on frames, they can even double as place cards! With such flexibility, our photo booth can actually save clients money!

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What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?

I had a bride who wanted to do her own scrapbook to save money. When I arrived at the venue, the only thing there was a pile of scrapbook paper and tape, no pens or signage! Luckily, I always travel prepared and had plenty of pens and Sharpies with me. When some guests walked away with the extra copy that was to go in the book, I printed additional copies to put in for her.

From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?

Listen to your vendor’s advice! They’ve been through these situations more than you and have more insight. For example, I had a bride who had her heart set on a small enclosed booth outside in the summer. We talked about how that might get REALLY hot for her guests and talked about options that would make everyone happy. She told me later how happy she was that she listened to me!

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What or who motivates you?

My mother is a huge inspiration to me. She can seriously do it all! She started her own company when I was little and ran it successfully for over 20+ years, all while raising 3 children! She helped me plan my wedding right after being diagnosed with cancer, which she beat! Even now, she has a great job, rows crew, volunteers her time, and is an awesome mom and grandma to my kids! If she’s not an inspiring role model, I don’t know who is!

What do you like to do when you are away from work?

I have a serious case of wanderlust that I want to pass on to my kids. I travel as much as I can with them! We drove out to Nebraska in October for my brother’s wedding, stopping at interesting points along the way. I’m from CT, so we visit family there often, and down to Florida whenever we can. My husband and I went to Ireland (where he’s from) after our daughter was born, and brought her to Paris from there. I want my kids to experience the world!

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What would we be surprised to learn about you?

I played rugby in college, and I can rap Notorious B.I.G.’s Juicy without pause.

Thank you, Alison, for letting us get to know you more! To learn more about Alison and Party Pictures RVA, please visit  www.partypicturesrva.com.