I love my wedding guestbook, even if our hundred guests only used about six pages of it. As it turns out, a lot of people have small handwriting even when they’re penning loving messages on huge pages. Plus, a good portion of our guests also attended the rehearsal dinner, where they were asked to sign a poster. Maybe they were all sick of writing “best wishes” and similar messages?
The fact that so many pages remained blank even after I tried filling up the unused space with cards and other stuff tells me that the guestbook idea is one that is open to extreme levels of interpretation. Before you do anything else, try to envision a guestbook without the ‘book.’ I’ve read about guests filling out postcards that are sent to the newlyweds, writing on engraveable plates and platters that can be displayed or used, and even doling out salutations on river rocks!
Mélangerie created this unique guestbook for an outdoor wedding. Attendees were encouraged to “air out” the bride and groom’s dirty laundry. The instructions were printed on a modified detergent bottle and the cards were shaped like shirts, socks, and trousers, which were then clipped to a laudry line strung up in an entranceway.
Then again, it’s hard to lose the ‘book’ completely. Things like postcards usually end up being pasted into books.
Here we are back at books…ah well. Poloroid will be giving up the ghost for good really soon, but you can still source the film, and there’s no denying that people love instamatic snapshots! Adesso Albums makes a pre-fab Poloroid guestbook, but The Closet Therapist demonstrates that it’s plenty easy to DIY.
To pull this off, you need a friend who is willing to take charge of this project at the wedding. Thank you Renee!! Of course you need a Polaroid (I borrowed one) and film, glue to paste the pictures in the book. I also bought a quality set of Staedtler felt tip markers so they could write a message in different colors. It would also behoove you to get the DJ involved so everyone visits the Guestbook Area.
There’s a chance that pre-printed pages from The Guestbook Store might inspire a little creativity. Guests sometimes have trouble thinking of something clever to write because there are other attendees waiting behind them to sign the book. I have to say, however, that my favorite guestbook entries are those that were silly or creative…the best man left a yearbook-esque greeting while my brother called us “pimpin’ fools.”
Leave these sheets at each table with some permanent pens to give your guests plenty of time to think of something worthwhile to write, then slide the pages into one of the many awesome albums sold by this uber-specific shop.
If you’re not keen on the notion of paying for a bunch of fill-in-the-blank pages, you can download a similar guestbook page design from Jay’s Technical Talk. He and his wife provided blank guest-book pages at each table, along with a glass of colored markers, and the results were lovely. Going this route means finding a suitable book, but how hard could that possibly be?
You can even mail out the guestbook pages (or whatever) prior to the wedding so guests have plenty of time to think of something witty, profound, and meaningful to say. Each attendee can then bring their individual page to the reception — or mail it back to the newlyweds afterward — so they can be assembled into a portable package.
Right now you may be asking yourself whether you even need a guestbook. Only you can decide, because only you know if you’re the sort of person who will look at it a year later, ten years later, or in the last years of your life. Personally, I’m glad I had a guestbook, but I’m also the kind of person who goes through all their photographs every few months. You might say I feed my nostalgia.
If you’re not sure, be like The Closet Therapist at get a cheapy ten dollar blank book. The congratulatory greetings your guests write therein will be no less special for it and, frankly, some of these expensive guestbooks really are a total gyp.