Wedding Gift: Creative Guestbook Ideas
October 14, 2013 11:11 AM   Subscribe

My best friend is getting married in June and I'm a bridesmaid. I've offered to put together a guestbook for the couple as part of the big day. I've heard of so many creative ideas - books with photos, framed signed photos, puzzles, etc., but some of them seem impractical. I want this to be something they can potentially display in their home as a reminder of the ceremony. I need ideas, links, personal anecdotes (what made your guestbook special?), to help me put together the best guest book for a lovely couple! It can be DIY or for purchase.
posted by brynna to Grab Bag (19 answers total)
I went to a wedding where the guest "book" was a tree, and people clipped notecards on it. I thought that was really cute and unique. I think the tree was made of just branches, I don't think it was a real plant, but you could probably do it either way.
posted by katypickle at 11:15 AM on October 14, 2013

Two cousins, two different ideas:

(1) One cousin had a large log and rented one of those woodburning pens. Guests signed the log. It was very cool, but with the caveats for your best friend's wedding that it may not fit with your friend's theme and could be hard to transport.

(2) Another cousin had a guestbook with a polaroid camera - guests took a picture with the bride and groom (or just alone without the bride and groom) and pasted it in the book with "advice" for a happy marriage. Another caveat: polaroid cameras and the film--especially the film--are expensive, but available on ebay.
posted by juliagulia at 11:18 AM on October 14, 2013

Seconding the Polaroid suggestion. My friend did that for hers, and I thought it was really cool that she had a photo of each guest from the moment that they were writing that guestbook note. The one issue was that she had to have someone manning the guestbook area to take the photos. The bonus, though, was that having someone man the guestbook area meant there was someone to encourage people to sign the guestbook. I find that a big issue with guestbooks at weddings is that a lot of people forget to sign or overlook it.
posted by emily37 at 11:31 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

This was my job at a dear friend's wedding. I went the Polaroid route and wandered around snapping photos of guests during arrival and telling them that it would appear later in the guestbook for them to sign. It was a small wedding; I would not do this at a large one. The stragglers I could still capture later during the reception. It all worked out rather well.

I selected a nice blank book of homemade paper. It was an 8x8 or so. And a nice shimmery brown-gold paint pen. And I added photo corners to the photos.

Regarding the camera, nowadays you can always use a digital camera and have one of those photo printers on hand. Paste 1-2 photos per page and then do the rounds. It takes time, but they absolutely love it.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 11:38 AM on October 14, 2013

I went to a wedding where there was a photo booth (complete with props and such), and next to the photo booth was a scrapbook (or maybe just the pages?) with scissors, glue sticks, pens, etc. The photo booth printed out pairs of pix, and you glued one of those in the scrapbook along with a note.
posted by radioamy at 11:47 AM on October 14, 2013

If they're getting married in a particular city, I've seen coffee table books with glamour shots of the city that people use as guest books - or some other coffee table book on a subject near and dear to the b&g - pitbulls? sailing? national parks? Just have the guests sign wherever they find space, using an extra fine sharpie or other archival quality pen. It's a lovely item made lovelier by the well wishes of their wedding guests.
posted by hungrybruno at 11:56 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used this very casual one along with a big pack of archival markers; it was probably the only "weddingy" thing I did. The guests were really good sports about it (although I did assign two people to greet them on the way into the reception hall and make sure they were going to be good sports about it) and we got a lot of funny, touching and interesting pages and drawings back. If you don't want to someone individually asking people to do it, you'd probably be okay leaving a stack of papers and markers on each table, too, and when you make your rounds admire the nice ones.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:26 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

My aunt got us a gigantic bottle of wine (like HUGE) and we not only drank it but guests signed the bottle. It looks cool chilling in a corner of our home.
posted by adorap0621 at 12:33 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

For my best friend's wedding, I bought a large white ceramic platter and drew her monogram on it (which I'd designed) with special markers (like this) and then everyone signed it. After the wedding, she put it in the oven to bake on the well wishes.

It looks nice on display and can probably be used, maybe not for foodstuffs, but for keys and coins and such.
posted by pyjammy at 12:33 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have a guestbook quilt that one of my bridesmaids made; it's small wall-hanging size (3'x3' maybe). She made simple blocks in pale fabrics and people signed on those, then she finished it after the ceremony. (She made a flower for the center out of the fabric that had been our curtains in our college dorm room!) It's been hanging in our guest room as a wall hanging for 10 years and I love it. It's so much better to see all the names of people I love who were there that day than to have a book put away in a drawer somewhere. (I do also have the traditional book. I don't know where it is.)

I have also seen white tablecloths used as guest books, where people sign the tablecloth and then the newlyweds use it for holidays and things, and can add to it.

My new sister-in-law went with a very wide photo mat for people to sign, and will frame a wedding picture in it when she gets her pictures back. It looked very nice.

Station someone near the guestbook during cocktail hour to get the non-traditional thing started, and post instructions about what you want so people can see what to do. Make an announcement about it at the start of dinner -- "If you haven't already signed our guestbook ladder, make sure you do, we're going to use it to climb up to our balcony every day!" Whatever.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:03 PM on October 14, 2013

We used one of those photo trees with the clips on wires ( with small cards. There were pens, markers, crayons, etc available, and we got some really great artwork from everyone. All this artwork went into the photo album along with the photos.

The fotofalls tree is our Christmas tree now.
posted by hyperfascinated at 1:07 PM on October 14, 2013

A friend provided colored copy paper, colored washable markers, colored pencils, and other art supplies, and asked guests to help make a book. Some people signed a page in the beginning, others made a page. It also provided activity for kids at the reception.
posted by theora55 at 1:14 PM on October 14, 2013

Guest book is a tree, bride and groom provide stamping ink and people populate the tree with ink stamp leaves made of their fingerprints and sign underneath the leaf.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:14 PM on October 14, 2013

We used a mason jar and tags. It was inspired by this: and ours looked like this:
posted by amapolaroja at 2:44 PM on October 14, 2013

Two words: Project Life.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 3:36 PM on October 14, 2013

Our wedding was this past Saturday, and we used the Guestbook Store guestbook pages that charmedimsure links above. It was GREAT- much more than just a signature from everyone- people filled out the pages and put some thought into them! Some were silly, some were serious, and every one of them will be a treasure to us years from now.
posted by aabbbiee at 5:09 PM on October 14, 2013

We used a relatively cheap expandable (you can add pages to it) photo album. I used a hole punch to make some card stock into extra pages that we used as a guest book. The idea was to make the guest book and the photo album be the same thing. (Unfortunately we have yet to print out photos to put in the remaining pages, but it's never too late for that!)
posted by ErWenn at 8:09 PM on October 14, 2013

We took a map of the world and put it on an easel, and everyone used sharpie markers to sign it. We later framed it to put on our wall, and it looks really niceā€”it helps to start with a pretty, antique-style map. (The one we used is sold in a lot of fancy paper stores as "wrapping paper.")
posted by saramour at 8:23 AM on October 15, 2013

I've been to a couple weddings where guests sign the mat of a large photo of the couple (like from an engagement photo session, or maybe a wedding photo yet to come), which they can display at home.

A couple friends of mine had wooden Adirondack chairs, and paint pens for the guests to sign them, which was a unique idea. The chairs were sealed with a clear varnish after the wedding to protect all the signatures.

Another idea I saw recently is to give address cards for guests to fill in with their own information (and a note, if they like); then the couple's address book is already filled in after the wedding.
posted by LolaGeek at 9:11 AM on October 15, 2013

« Older Please make this pregnant lady cry   |   Being forced to use Windows DVD maker. New... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.