Monday, November 26, 2007

Fab 5: Guest book alternatives

Welcome back from a long Thanksgiving weekend. I hope everyone filled up on lots of turkey.

In today's Fab 5, I'm sharing five ideas for your wedding guest book. Almost every wedding has one: a book that guests sign as they enter the reception or ceremony. The traditional guest book contains pages and pages of blank lines (And often costs way more than its worth, just because it is a "wedding" guest book. If you want the traditional book, consider purchasing a pretty journal instead--you'll save money!). Most guests will usually sign just their names, and the book gets shoved on a shelf or in a closet, rarely looked at again.

With just a little creativity, brides and grooms can choose a guest book alternative that will not only be more meaningful to them, but will also be more interesting for their guests. Whichever option you choose, be sure to have a sign with instructions--many guests may be bewildered by a different choice. Here are five popular alternative to the traditional wedding guest book:

  1. Wishing Tree

    Your guests write wishes or advice for your happiness on individual cards, and hang them from a small tree, which can double as a welcoming decoration at your reception. If you can't swing the tree, pick up some branches from a craft store and display them in a vase. For a more cost-efficient idea, try a "Wishing Bowl" instead, and instruct guests to toss their cards into a glass bowl.

    What to do after the wedding? You could use the cards to create a wedding scrapbook, combined with photos, invitations and other mementos from your wedding. Or, store the cards in a memory box and break them out on anniversaries.
    Image from Weddingbee

  2. Polaroid Guest Book

    Station a friend at the door to snap photos of your guests as they enter, and have guests write their message in the space next to their photo. You can find these instant photo guest books online, but if you're feeling crafty, create your own with card stock, scrapbook paper and photo corners. The book doubles as a photo album you can share and browse for years to come.
    Image from Beau Coup

  3. Signature Photo Mat

    Collect your guests' signatures on a photo mat, add a photo from your wedding and frame. Hang on your wall for memories of all of the people who cared about you and shared in your special day.
    Image from

  4. Wedding Quilt

    Set out pre-cut quilt squares and acid-free pens for your guest to sign. You can choose squares that match your wedding colors or, perhaps more practical, the decor of your home. After the wedding, quilt the squares together (add some unsigned squares as well) and cuddle with your new husband under a blanket of love (I know, I'm getting a little cheesy here!).
    Image from

  5. Custom Photo Guest Book

    Create a customized guest book with your own photos. You can use engagement pictures or pictures of the two of you throughout your relationship--or you could even incorporate pictures of you growing up. This provides another option that doubles as a photo album, plus your guests will enjoy looking at the photos.

    I couldn't find a book out there that's sold specifically for this purpose--if you know of one, let me know. However, you can make your own in several different ways. If you have a design program, this would simple enough to create. For my own wedding, I created and purchased the book through iPhoto, using an image of lines created in word when I wanted signing space. By hand, purchase scrapbook paper and attach photos with photo corners--you can find lined paper, but it doesn't have to be.


Shannon Hughes said...

I am getting ready to publish a post on guest book ideas myself, and I just stumbled upon your blog. Cute ideas: ) What a great site you have! Fun tips and great inspiration.

Lisa - New York City Bride said...

Love the ideas...but I found an even better wedding signature frame at Their signature mat is a silver metal mat board and you sign with a diamond scribe! Very nice!

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Kat said...

Custom photo guest books are available at Agent Kat Design Weddings. Specializing in Wedding Guest Books that are called "Love Stories" with Your Song, How We Met, and very unique touches. Check it out!

I love these ideas! I've seen a lot of these implemented through the years.