Fun with Guest Books

There are so many fun ways to personalize your wedding, and what you choose as a guest book is definitely one of those areas. While a traditional guest book where your guests sign their name in a book will likely always be the appropriate standard, many couples are opting for something a little more adventurous. And before thinking that you have to throw tradition completely out the window for one of these fun options, there is no rule that says you can’t have a traditional guest book & one of these other ideas as well.

A traditional guest book is one in which guests of the wedding sign their names to document their attendance at your event. While a traditional guest book may not allow for a lot of creativity on the part of the guests, there are lots of fun and beautiful options available beyond basic white that can match the look of your wedding.

All About Weddings has a great selection of guest books at their Tukwila store and online.  Their Nostalgia Guest Book, available in white and ivory, has a variety of options of satin ribbon colors to choose from to personalize it and match your wedding including mocha, latte, platinum, mocha pink, Tiffany blue, aubergine, black, espresso, spring moss, white or ivory.

nostalgia-guest-book

Damask prints are a popular choice right now, and Etsy is a wonderful website to find all sorts of hidden handmade treasures.  I found this beautiful black and white guest book with matching pen that might be a perfect match for one of our current couples.

guestbook-damask

Kolo offers great options for a slight spin on a traditional guest book.  These books which are commonly used for photos and scrap booking, make for great guest books.  The books are bound by screws, so when undone, pages can be spread about to allow people lots of individual time to think of something thoughtful to write on the page they have.  Additional pages can be purchased to customize the size of a lot of the albums.  You can put a fun picture of the two of you on the cover, adding a wonderful personal touch.

guestbook-kolo

This style of book can also be used for couples who want to add something extra to their guest book such as polaroid pictures.  This ensures that you have pictures of all of the guests of your wedding and is a fun keepsake.  A few words of advice if you would like to do this:  Make sure to have a backup camera in case the first polaroid fails; have an extra person or two on hand to help with this style of guest book, it take a little extra time to take the pictures and match them up with the signed pages; make sure to have some extra room for people to sign (this suggestion applies to a number of non-traditional guestbooks that require more than a quick signature); and have something appropriate to adhere the polaroids to the pages.

There are fun alternatives to this style of guest book.  Seattle Photobooths rents old style photobooths which can be used to add another fun element to your guest book.  Have guests take a second set of pictures and this doubles as a great keepsake favor for them.

guestbook-photobooth

To capture guest shots on a grander scale, the talented Kate McElwee of Kate McElwee Photography sets up her version of a photo booth by setting up a neutral backdrop in a space that allows for larger group shots with a  more elbow room than a true photo booth.  Kate can even have the pictures ready in a matter of minutes for inclusion in the guest book.

When it comes to photos, there are additional creative options available as well.  Fabulous local photographers such as John & Joseph Photography, Redstone Pictures, and Sarah Rhoads Photo can create custom photo albums from engagement photo sessions allowing guests extra space on pages to sign your book while browsing through amazing pictures of the happy couple.

For those who are a little more DIY, sites such as iPhoto and Blurb allow you the freedom to create a custom photo album for guests to sign.

guestbook-blurb

One trend we have seen on the rise is the Wishing Tree.  While there are different takes on this, essentially branches are placed in a vase, and guests use pieces of paper attached to ribbons to write a well wish and attach it to the tree.  This can be designed to match your wedding, and we found this beautifully ornate version on Here Comes the Guide.

guestbook-wishing-tree

guestbook-wishing-tree2

We’ve also had couples place large jars with the titles “Wishes,” “Advice,” and “Memories,” that guests can fill with fun little notes.

When it comes to signatures, who says it has to be a guest book?  Some of the more “traditional non-traditional” items include a signature frame or a guestbook platter such as these two items from The Knot.

guestbook-signature-frame guestbook-platter

For the more adventurous you can take it a step further.  If you are big sports fans you could have guests sign a jersey of your favorite team.  Musicians?  Have people sign a guitar.  If you are avid travelers consider having your guests sign a vintage suitcase.  We had one couple have guests sign squares of fabric (with fabric safe pens) that the mother of the bride later made into a quilt.

One of the most interesting options we have seen comes from the Guestbook Store, where you can customize guest books that include questions to your guests such as: “How do you know the couple?”  “Where did you travel from?”  and “How many kids do you think they will have and what will their names be?” You can even request that they draw a picture of the bride and groom.

There are so many options available and its all about finding the right match.  We think its a nice treat to ensure that the bride and groom get the guest book to take with them at the end of the night.  Especially if they are leaving on their honeymoon the next morning, being able to have that instant memory to share will spark lots of fun for the both of you.  If you can, bring it with you on your carry on bag and wait until you are in the plane to look at it.  Not only will it be a fun way to kick off your honeymoon, but when the flight attendant gets the hint about what you are looking at it they may do something to treat you extra special.  How about that…a guest book that acts as a free pass into first class?  Just maybe!

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