Couple Spends $150 on Disposable Cameras for Wedding, Learn Hard Truth

A close-up image of a hand holding up two dark film negatives against a light source. The negatives show a faint outline of a room with some illuminated areas. The background is partially blurred with a blue and white surface visible.
Out of 160 prints, only a handful came out okay.

A couple has learned the hard way that giving out disposable cameras at weddings doesn’t always go to plan.

Helena Stark spent $150 on six disposable cameras for guests to use at their wedding in Napa, California.

However, a viral TikTok video going through the photos shows print after print disastrously underexposed and completely unusable.

“Out of 162 photos, we did have 17 usable ones,” Stark writes under the TikTok that’s received over a quarter of a million views. out of 162 photos… we did have 17 usable ones! Dw we had digital pics by the hundreds we’re fine but just FYI if you’re planning to do this 🥰 #wedding #weddingday #weddingvibes #weddingtiktok #weddingtok ♬ Mii Music but It Makes You Uncomfortable – lukeitslukas

Stark did add that she had digital pictures so “we’re fine” but wanted to put the word out in case any other couples were thinking of doing the same.

She tells Newsweek that the pair bought the Fujifilm cameras off of Amazon saying it a type of party favor for guests to enjoy and take pictures.

“It was a pretty small wedding of around 20 people, and most guests were older, so I figured everyone knew how to use a film camera,” she says.

“We got them developed at Walmart, and that took about three weeks, and then got them back and…well, you saw the video.”

Speculating on what went wrong, many in the comments suggested that nobody used the built-in flash that disposable cameras come with.

“But I have a few I did flash on, and they just turned out a sort of washed-out green,” Stark tells Newsweek. “I distinctly remember film cameras not being this difficult to use when I was younger.”

The experience has put her off disposable cameras and suggests that it was possibly an issue with the film.

“I think that either the film was low quality or very old,” Stark says. “It could be a development issue too, but my stepdad was a photographer and had a darkroom in our house, and I remember seeing more light leak issues, not just total darkness.”

The bride says she heard from several other people who experienced a similar issue giving out disposable cameras at their wedding.

“Honestly, when I saw what the photos looked like, I just started laughing,” she adds. “Things like this happen with weddings; I’m just glad we had other photos as a backup!”