After the cake is cut and your gorgeous flowers have wilted, there are just a few things that will last long after your reception and well into your marriage. That's why so many of us brides splurge on a professional photographer, and maybe even a videographer, since film is the best way to preserve our memories from that special day.
However, your guest book can also serve as a fun memento of your wedding day. Skip the standard since most guests have already written a thoughtful note in their card, and thinking of another heartwarming message on the spur of the moment doesn't always come so easily. We suggest getting creative and offering guests alternatives to the blank book which are ultimately more meaningful and are sure to be treasured for years to come.
Here are some of our favorite creative guest books:
1. Have your guests sign wine bottles, each of which represents a marriage milestone (your 1st, 5th, 10th and 25th wedding anniversaries). Save each bottle to be opened on that anniversary while you read their heartfelt messages and toast to how far you've come together.
2. If you or your future spouse loves music, then consider asking guests to sign your favorite musical instrument. This alternative guest book idea will hit just the right note! You can also name various tables at your reception after meaningful love songs.
3. Sticking with the music-themed reception, if listening to classic songs is a cherished pastime for you and your fiancé, then include your favorite oldies for your guest book. This is an instant conversation-starter for your guests. If you can, it also might be fun to source a vintage jukebox and play the best tunes for your cocktail hour.
4. Surf's up! Thinking of having a destination wedding or want to pay tribute to your favorite hobby in the ocean? Then you'll love this idea of using a surfboard for a guest book. The best part is that you can display it in your home long after your wedding day has come and passed.
5. Love art or industrial areas? Hire a friend or local graffiti artist to create a custom piece of artwork to display at your wedding for guests to sign — it'll instantly become the most talked-about detail at your wedding.
6. Have a need for speed? Ask guests to sign your motorcycle helmets. You can even have your groom show up to the ceremony by way of a Harley or opt out of the traditional limo at the end of the night and place a "Just Married" banner on the back of the bike. Talk about riding off in style!
7. The bridal quilt is one of our favorite guest book options.
There are two ways to introduce this idea to your wedding guests.
The first option is to send a square piece of fabric along with your wedding invitation in the mail. When guests return their RSVP card, they'll also mail back the piece of fabric with their well wishes, and you can display the completed quilt on the big day. It's a great way to incorporate the quilt into traditional Jewish ceremonies for use in the design of the chuppah.
The second option is to have guests sign the completed quilt before or after the wedding ceremony. Either way, this is one wedding detail that will surely become a treasured family heirloom. For a sentimental wedding touch, you could also incorporate fabric swatches from your mother, grandmother, and even your mother-in-law's wedding dresses into the quilt.
8. We love libraries. There’s just something magical about being surrounded by all of those amazing books. This guest book is beyond adorable for all of the bookworms out there. Recreate the look by gluing miniature envelopes and corresponding library card inserts so that your guests can check in at your wedding.
9. Polaroid cameras are popping up at vintage themed weddings and we just love them! Guests can snap their photo and hang it on a clothesline or glue it into a book. Not only is this fun and engaging for them, but it's also economically practical.
10. Oenophiles, start saving all of the corks every time you open a bottle of your favorite red or white and use them as an inexpensive alternative to a guest book! This idea is especially perfect for vineyard nuptials.
11. Who couldn't use a few words of wisdom from time to time? Ask guests to leave sweet notes with their advice on how to have a lasting marriage. This standby is great for any wedding style or theme.
12. Are you and your future husband tech geeks? Then try including a guest book where loved ones can record their well wishes with a webcam!
13. Ask your guests where they will see you in 25 years. Not only will some of the answers surprise you, but you just may get a few laughs from it! You can also ask relatives and friends write down what you should name your first child. That’s always a great source for giggles!
14. Love finding new ways to express yourself? Ask your guests to circle words in a dictionary that they think describe your commitment to one another. Invite guests to circle a word they feel describe you as a pair, and then sign their name by the choice. It's a super sweet idea, and you can neatly tuck the dictionary away on bookcase and take out on special days.
You could also swap in a bible instead if you're religious.
15. A customizable puzzle-piece guest book is becoming a popular choice at weddings. Imagine how fun it would be to share with your future kiddos one day!
16. A picnic table, bench or other furniture piece for your new home together is a wonderful way for your guests to leave their mark on something you can enjoy each and everyday. Have your guests use paint pens and sign the piece of furniture or even some stained pieces of wood that would then ultimately become a piece of furniture in your new home.
17. A vintage typewriter is also a popular alternative to the classic guest book, and for good reason! Taking the time to type out your message gives you the opportunity to collect your thoughts, and whether you share a message big or small, the antique-style feels special. This makes the entire process of "signing" the guest book a fun and interactive part of the wedding reception.
18. An art piece is a lovely way to see your guest book daily. You and your future spouse can create a piece of art that guests could sign. Given the option to sign with an archivally safe pen or the optio to place their thumbprints for a unique signature for you to hold them near every day.
19. A map or globle is an especially great idea if you’re hosting a destination wedding or have guests from around the world. Have your friends and family sign a map from their hometown, or a place that hold meaning for them.
20. A wishing tree is a wonderful and unique guest book. Simply place several a beautiful cherry blossom, manzanita, or magnolia branches in a pot. Make cards with ribbons attached and ask your guests to write their well wishes or advice and hang the cards on the branches. This makes for a pretty keepsake for around the house afterwards.
21. The wedding postcards and mailbox is also really cute and fun! Assemble postcards of the city or state where your wedding being is held; then ask your guests to sign the back of a postcard and slip it into a unique mailbox. This guest book type would be perfect for a travel-themed wedding!
22. Fill in the blank pages with giggles! We love this idea. Having guests complete a fun wedding mad libs keeps them giggling at your reception and will keep you in stitches for many years to come! Grab your own Wedding Mad Libs on Etsy.
23. The fingerprints tree is such a sweet and unique idea! You can even DIY your own background by drawing a tree with lots of empty branches on a poster. At your wedding, place a sign asking guests to “leaf” a fingerprint and sign their name.
24. Signing a poster is one we absolutely love here in Music City! Especially when you get a classic poster from a place like Hatch Show Print for that real Nashville feel. Select a poster that means something to the both of you. Ensure the poster has a large border edge space for guests to sign, or have them sign the mat that it will be framed within. Leave instructions for guests to write a message and you’ll have a wonderful keepsake for years to come!
25. Create a custom guest book…yes, we realize this idea is hugging the line of being a standard guest book, but when you use your engagement photos to create a custom made book that your wedding guests can sign it becomes a treasured keepsake for you as a couple.
26. A wood slab guest book is perfect for a rustic wedding. Of course, you need a guest book to match your theme. Nothing says rustic woodsy like a tree trunk slab. Have your guests sign a custom make wood slab for a keep sake you can hang on a wall.
27. Games guest books are always fun! Honestly, who doesn’t love a good board game? Incorporate games into your guest book theme and get guests to sign their very own Jenga piece. We promise that it will bring back fond memories every time you take one from the bottom and stack it on top!
28. A football guest book is perfect for sports fans or sports coaches! We promise they will love the idea of a pigskin at their wedding. Get your guests to sign a football, soccerball, or basketball to keep as a memory of your big day.
29. A rock/shell guest book may seem like a weird idea. However, perhaps you both enjoy strolling along a beach and have collected numerous special rocks or shells along the way. A fun and different idea is to have guests each sign a rock or shell. Add them to your garden or keep them in a vase as a fun memento.
30. Last but not least are recipes for love. Rather than giving a couple your best wishes we really like the idea of giving them advice on relationships and love. Let guests fill out their own recipe card for love.