I’m unsure why the tradition of having wedding guests sign their name in a book started – maybe just so the bride and groom could later look back and remember who was there? I’ll be honest with you – I had a traditional guest book for my first wedding…and I think I looked through it twice. What a waste.
Your guest book doesn’t have to be a boring book that never gets looked at. Here are some alternative ideas for you…
A matted photo – it can be a favorite photo from your past, one from your engagement or bridal session, or even a to be determined wedding photo. Use a much larger matte than the photo and have your guests sign all around it. When I did this I even provided pens in my wedding colors. This now hangs in my dining room and is a treasured memento from our wedding. I look at it all the time and even read it frequently!
A Photobooth – I have mentioned photobooths before – they are so much fun! A book is provided so your guests can immediately add their photostrip to your book along with their well wishes. Not only is it a great, interactive guest book but your guests get a copy of the photo strip as well – – making it an excellent wedding favor!
Create your own – This might be a bit time-consuming if you have a large guest list, but if your count is small try this: create a photo book using photos of you with your guests – think of how much fun it will be to put together! Maybe even put a little message to that guest on the page as well (“I’m so glad you could be here Aunt Mary!”). Then your guests can find their page and sign it. Scrapblog is an excellent website for putting together your own photo book and it is so easy to use! Don’t want to (or don’t have time to) look for photos of each guest? Why not create your own book using photos of you and your husband to be?
Another make your own idea? Inspired by Guestbook Store, create pages that encourage your guests’ interactions: how did we meet? What is your favorite memory of us? What is the secret to a happy marriage? Print them on a card stock and have them at each place setting. For best results, I would do one question per page and have a variety. These would be fun to make but you can also buy them if you don’t have that kind of time.
Have a Wish Tree – Manzanita branches in a vase and cards with ribbons to tie them on the branches. Your guests can write their well wishes or best advice and tie them to the tree! Later you compile them in a book or make a collage to hang in your home.
Be creative – you are only limited by your imagination. Look for inspiration on the web (check out this blog post for more wonderful ideas) – like an idea but not sure you can afford it? Look for ways to do-it-yourself – but be sure you take supplies and time into consideration when doing it! Have fun!