The EVL Events  Journal

Alternatives to the Traditional Guest Book

Aside from photos and videos, a guest book is something personal a couple has forever as a keepsake from their day. It is a reminder of friends and family nearest and dearest to them that were present to celebrate their wedding day. As the years go by, it’s a fun way to look back! As you’re reading this, you may recall all the different versions of guestbooks at the weddings you’ve attended. We think making your guestbook creative is a simple way of adding to your entire wedding theme, and it can allow your guests the ability to personalize and have a little fun!

Will Your Guest Book Be Displayed After the Wedding?

This is a great question to ask before spending too much time trying to decide on a guestbook. Is it important to you to use a guestbook as a display in your home? Would you like something to hang on your wall as art, something that you see daily that would make you smile? Or, to the contrary, is this something you’d like tucked away for safe keeping and revisit on anniversaries?

Short and Simple or Focal Point?

Do you want to have something for guests to sign only their names on, similarly to a traditional guestbook, but instead having a unique item for signatures? Or, would you rather have something that guests can personalize with a short note and offer words of advice if they wish? These questions can get you thinking of if you want your guest book to be more interactive and personalized.

What are Your Interests as a Couple?

Does your wedding have a theme that you would like to stick with throughout every aspect of your big day? Do either of you personally have a hobby or something you enjoy together? For example, if you love getting company together to play games, why not have a giant Jenga guestbook. This way, every time you play, you’ll see a fun note and the name of a friend that helped you celebrate your day. This way, you can relive your day over and over and share with friends also playing. If you are both musically inclined, had your first date at a concert, or have careers in music, you could have guests sign vinyl. If you both love to travel, wedding guests could sign a globe.

Options to Get You Thinking Creatively

Polaroids have really come back into the picture recently! This idea can be fun to capture time and see guests’ silly expressions, happiness and even props. Video messages are also one of the best ways to allow your guests to personalize! There are several apps available that would make this option a good

choice. Ask your photographer and videographer if they have recommendations; chances are, they’ve worked with an app or came across something user friendly.

Ink pad + fingerprints + fun picture = a one of a kind masterpiece!

Do you have a picture you’d like to recreate? Maybe you like the idea of thumbprints collectively being added to a guestbook to form a tree, or balloons on strings, or confetti popping out of a champagne bottle! The ideas are endless! Stick with ink colors that you would either display in your home or that go along with your wedding color scheme. Also, make sure to have wipes so that guests can clean their hands after “signing.”

A shadow box that showcases smaller items guests sign is a common idea. This can be personalized to include signed ticket stubs, puzzle pieces, wooden hearts or corks.

A simple, yet elegant touch could be to have an engagement picture printed, framed and include a matted border. Signatures could be on the border and afterwards, this is a nice piece that could have glass overtop and displayed.

Tips and Tricks

Regardless of what type of guestbook you decide on, here are a few things you’ll want to have ready for wedding day:

– Fine tip pens: Sharpies work wonders! However, practice writing on any leftover or extra material to ensure the pens do not bleed or smudge on the material. If you don’t have extra material, practice on a spot that won’t be a main focal point, like the back.

– Predefine spaces for guests to sign: some guests write small, and some take up a large area when signing. Regardless of the guestbook size, you want all guests to be able to at the least sign their name, if not, write a note. Should there be a frame around the piece to limit space?

– Display: Do you need a floor standing or a table easel to prop up your guestbook? Will you need a box of sorts to collect advice cards or polaroid’s? Will you need double sided tape so that guests can add their individual signature piece to a larger display? Will this be set right at the entrance of the reception? Will it be displayed on a card or gift table? Having a stand-alone space for your guestbook could help spread out the congestion at a smaller venue.

Make a separate announcement to make sure all guests in attendance sign. Your DJ can remind everyone throughout the reception, or you can display a separate sign to point people to it.

Whatever you chose, have fun with it!

Photo by Erich Camping

Photo by Erich Camping