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Top 10 Wedding Guest Book Ideas

Wedding Planning

Wedding guest books these days seem to be anything but books. In fact, the books, which started out as a couple’s formal address book or record of the guests who attended their wedding, have evolved into unique mementos to help couples remember the day of their union.

1. Theme -- Create a wedding guest book that ties in with the theme of your wedding. For a Christmas wedding, for example, have a Christmas tree covered in glass ornaments in the colors of your wedding. Have paint pens on hand and ask guests to write messages on the ornaments, which you can take out every holiday to display on your Christmas tree. For a beach wedding, have guests write messages on shells to be displayed in a decorative glass vase.

2. Heartfelt -- The key to a great guest book is a collection of great responses from your guests. Inspire your guests to write more than a short note in your guest book, such as “Congratulations!” Create a memory book full of heartfelt messages by leaving some questions on note cards for guests to select and answer. You can ask your guests to write responses to questions, such as the following:

  • How could you first tell the couple was in love?
  • Share a funny memory about the bride and groom.
  • How did you first meet the bride and groom?
  • What’s your advice for a happy, long-lasting marriage?

3. Personalize -- For small, intimate weddings, write requests in your wedding invitations, asking guests to bring special photos or other mementos that you would like to include in your wedding guest book.

4. Paper -- Select paper that encourages guests to write long, personalized messages. Forego expensive stationary that may inhibit guests to take up a lot of space and, instead, just leave just their names, addresses, and short notes. Opt for heavy, informal sketch paper, and inspire guests to get really creative by leaving colored markers on your wedding guest table to decorate their messages to you and your groom.

5. Note Cards -- One alternative to traditional wedding guest books is to provide individual note cards for guests to write messages on. Fill your guest book with envelopes of the same size, glued to each page, and ask guests to place their notes in an envelope. Knowing that their messages will not be on display for all to see might encourage your guests to leave more personalized heartfelt messages.

6. Canvas -- Art-loving couples may opt to use an oversized canvas purchased from a local art supply store as the base for their wedding guest book. Provide paint brushes of various sizes along with different colors of paint and ask guests to sign the canvas in their own unique way. After the wedding, frame the canvas and you will have a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork for your home.

7. Stones -- A twist on an Irish wedding tradition is to have guests sign well wishes and special notes on smooth stones. Set up a wedding guest book table with enough stones for each guest, permanent markers, and a tall, glass vase filled with water. When done, the guests can deposit the stones into the vase to symbolize the tradition of wedding guests tossing stones into a lake or pond near the wedding celebration.

8. Say Cheese -- Polaroid albums have become one of the most popular alternatives to the traditional wedding guest books. Create an album by gluing photo clasps on each page to hold the photos in place. Ask a friend or family member to be your guest book attendant, helping guests take photos and showing them where to write their captions/messages. Have colorful pens on hand to inspire guests’ creativity.

9. Plant it -- A guest book you can plant? That is exactly what you will have if you use a sapling as your wedding guest book. Purchase a small sapling from a local nursery and plant it in a decorative pot. Use card stock cut in special designs, such as flowers, hearts, doves, etc. as note cards for your guests to write on. Punch a hole in each card and have ribbon on the table so that when guests are done writing their notes they can tie the cards onto a branch. Toward the end of the ceremony, you will have a tree adorned with loving messages. After the wedding, plant the tree and watch it grow.

10. Attendant -- To make sure that your efforts to collect guests’ notes and words of wisdom do not leave you with a half-empty wedding guest book, assign a trusted friend or family member to stand near the wedding guest book table and ask guests to write notes as they enter the reception area. If your guest book is portable, ask the guest book attendant to take the book from table to table to gather the guests’ notes.

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