The humble wedding guest book may not be high on your list of priorities when you have a ton of wedding worries such guest list headaches, catering choices and of course the decision over which dream dress to choose.
A wedding guest book will however provide you with lasting memories and messages from your special day. Giving proper consideration to the type of wedding guest book you want, who will be responsible for it and where it will be positioned will ensure you can look back fondly and remember all the guests that shared your wedding celebration with you.
In short, a wedding guest book is often an afterthought…
Unless you ensure all of the following you could end up with just 1 or 2 messages scrawled illegibly on a couple of pages in a book that has never seen the light of day since (this is what happened to us)!
- Placing the book in an optimum, high traffic location so that your guests can find it
- Directing your guests to write something about you and your event
- Continually corralling guests throughout the evening who have yet to write anything
- Ensuring that the book isn’t moved or damaged
This sounds like a lot of hassle when you quite rightly want to be busy enjoying the celebration you’ve spent so long organising. Then what’s the solution?
Create a wedding guest book guests want to sign!
By creating a unique and interesting entertainment point that cannot be missed guests are ten times more likely to contribute to your wedding guest book. They are also less likely to be stuck for what to say or do.
Modern wedding guest books come in many shapes and sizes and do not need to be limited to a physical book.
The Object of Attention
Asking guests to write on an object instead of a book gives them a reason to write neatly and thoughtfully. They are unlikely to miss the activity as it creates a focal point at your wedding reception and the item can be displayed proudly in your home or in some cases it will create a talking point or game for friends and family to enjoy for years to come.
Good ideas include:
Glass bottles, serving plates, a chopping board, a unique canvas, a bench for your garden or if you enjoy a particular sport or hobby why not build that into the theme such as a surf board, crash helmet or musical instrument.
Other alternative guest book ideas include wishing stones which can be display inside or outside, small pieces of wood which can be displayed in a number of different ways or even a game such as Jenga or a wooden puzzle.
A great place to source items like these is the online market place Etsy. Some of the guest book suppliers listed at the end of this article also include alternative guest book ideas in their products.
‘Leaf’ a finger print.
A modern alternative to a written guest book is asking guests to leave their mark using their finger or thumb print on a photos which together create the leaves on a tree or a bunch of balloons or similar. This idea is great idea to save guests wondering what to write and leaves you with a unique and a original piece of art for your home.
The Fabulous Finger Print company offer personalised creations.
Words of Wisdom
Tips and advice cards are perfect for those who are not sure what to say. Again there are many ways to collect these. You could ask for date night ideas, marriage tips, bucketlist ideas. These can be collected as a message in a bottle or even sealed envelopes not to be opened until a special anniversary.
A Photo Guest Book Covers All The Bases
Photo or event video guest books are the best way to really relive your wedding. You can capture your guests in all sorts of ways and if you hire a photo or video booth you’ll also have a member of staff to ensure your guestbook is being filled.
If you’ve chosen the right supplier then the photo booth will be one of the most high traffic areas of your event. There should be queues of people both for the booth and the guest book.
You should expect the highest level of service from your supplier to ensure they are not only managing the photo booth, but guiding your guests to complete the guest book in the most appropriate and meaningful way.
We often remark that there are always “photo booth addicts” at every event we attend. It’s usually a group of 10- 15 individuals who become entirely obsessed with the photo booth experience. Their enthusiasm is infectious, but how would you feel if your guest book was filled with just these individuals?
With this in mind, your photo booth supplier should be constantly vigilant as to who has and who hasn’t used the booth alongside who is yet to fill in the guest book. There will be older generations, or perhaps more reserved types ( especially at weddings ), who just don’t understand the photo booth “craze”.
However, if you’ve chosen the right photo booth supplier, you’ll find they are there to do a lot more than just hand out photo prints. They are there to help those individuals understand that it’s really all about creating wonderful moments for the guest book and ensure your guest book is filled to the brim by the end of the evening with photo’s and messages from all of your guests.
A conscientious photo booth supplier who is determined to deliver the best in photo booth hire will also not let the guest book out of their sight. Wine glasses and beer bottles will be swiftly removed from the guest books vicinity and any suggestion of damage will be entirely eradicated.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a full hired photo booth service you can still create a photo guestbook using polaroid photo or a a photo print service such as Smiley Print but be aware you’ll need to assign a member of your wedding party to organise the activity to ensure your guestbook is filled.
Combining wedding guest book ideas
You don’t need to stick to one or other of the ideas mentioned. Why have guests sign an object while lining up for their turn in the photo booth? Or how about a large frame that a collage of photo booth prints can be added to after the event? You can give guests a chalkboard to leave their wedding tip/advice on with their photo.
By now you can probably see that a photo booth at a wedding or party without a guest book is a huge opportunity missed. It is important, however, to ensure that you’ve chosen a supplier that has as much passion about delivering this part of the service as your event deserves. If not, consider the opposite of a great experience, a half filled, damaged and poorly managed guest book that is best placed in a bin.
To help you avoid that, here’s a couple of questions you should ask –
- Do they provide a guest book with your photo booth hire and, if so, what do they do?– Let them describe the service they deliver. If you’re receiving a lack of detail or enthusiasm then you’ll receive more of the same at your event and your guest book will be the poorer for it.
- How many prints will they provide for each guest that uses the booth? – Many people fall foul of this as, during the hire, many suppliers will only provide one print. A catastrophe if you have more than one person in the image and you need one for the guest book. Ensure that your provider will be giving UNLIMITED prints, meaning that if there are 10 guests in the photo all 10 will get a copy and an additional will be printed for the guest book.
If you’re wondering what other questions you should ask to find the perfect photo booth hire provider, don’t panic! We’ve created these 9 key questions you should ask every photo booth supplier you enquire with – 9 QUESTIONS EVERYONE SHOULD ASK A PHOTO BOOTH SUPPLIER
Where to buy a wedding guest book
A good photo booth service will often include a guest book as part of their package. If you are wanting to create your own guest book activity or just want something more personal there are some great options below.
HobbyCraft offer a range of guest books which offer the creative bride endless DIY personalisation options.
Ginger Ray provide a range of guest books and alternative guest books services such as frames, wedding wishes and wooden jigsaws
Confetti offer a range of beautifully unique wooden and acrylic personalised guest book designs
Oh So Cherished provide leather designs which are all handmade and can be personlaised in size as well as style.
Luck and Luck have a range of inexpensive guest books with matching signs and cards, and alternative options.
Papier provide a variety of small bound guest books with personalised covers.
Should I have a wedding guest book?
Although guest books can be challenging, there is a very compelling reason to have one.
When done correctly a guest book is, by far, one of the most important items from your event in which you refer back to it for decades after. The power of messages written by family or friends who are no longer here in years to come cannot be understated.
As you can see from the ideas in this post creating a guest book can also be a fun entertainment point for your guests at your wedding.
Wedding Guest Book FAQ
What is a wedding guest book?
A wedding guest book is a keepsake idea where guests who have attended your wedding record warm wishes and messages that can be treasured for years to come.
How much is a wedding guest book?
A wedding guest book averages between £10 and £50. They can be personalised and are available in a range of styles, colours and materials.
Do you need a wedding guest book?
As with all wedding traditions it is down to the personal preferences of the bride and groom whether or not to include a wedding guest book. Unlike many traditions a wedding guest book is something that can be enjoyed long after the event itself as a wonderful momento of your wedding celebration.
What size should a wedding guest book be?
A wedding guest book should be A5 or A4 in size. It is important to ensure that the guest book will lay flat so that guests can easily write and that the inside paper is plain and easy to write on.
Where can I buy a wedding guest book?
Many stationary companies provide wedding guest books, sometimes referred to as scrap books. Our favourites are Hobby Craft, Ginger Ray, Etsy, Norma Dorothy, Martha Brook, Confetti, Oh So Cherished, Luck and Luck and Papier
What alternatives are there to a wedding guest book?
There are many alternatives to a traditional wedding guest book. Guests can sign their names on objects such as a bottle, plate, chopping board, photo frame or piece of furniture. Finger prints on a canvas positioned to create a unique photo is a popular modern tradition. Other ideas include writing messages of advice or ideas for date nights and romantic holidays for future years. A photo guest book is also very popular either provided by a photo booth hire service or by creating a DIY photo station.
Where should I place my wedding guest book?
Your guest book should be placed in a high traffic error where it will be seen and therefore used. If you do not have anyone activtely managing the activity then signs to encourage and instruct guests in what to do are advisable. Try to avoid leaving the guest book where it can be easily damaged or lost.