Professional wedding advice for all walks of life. Feel free to ask anything and everything, no topic is off limits!


Guest Book Alternatives

A recurring theme I am starting to pick up on among my blogs and within the wedding world---> how to follow tradition while somehow spicing it up at the same time?? Well, the Guest Book is no exception to this conundrum. Many guests jot down their name and that is it in the Guest Book, how is that fun? The bride and groom already have a copy of their guest-list, why do they want to see it in the guest's actual handwriting? How about a Guest Book you will actually want to look at again after the wedding weekend has concluded? Nay, how about a Guest Book that might actually be functional and multi-purpose? Now that's what I'm talkin' about... let's explore your options:

1) Photo Album Guest Book:
This is an awesome idea, because everyone loves a picture book! I know my husband generally doesn't like to read books unless they have pictures in them... But I digress. There are a couple fun ways to accomplish the Photo Album Guest Book idea. Many people incorporate a Photo Booth into their Receptions now, a fun way for guests to pass the time during cocktail hour while you're taking your professional photos with the Photographer. Photo Booths for weddings are available everywhere, and if you have a great Wedding Planner, you should be able to rent a Photo Booth without breaking your budget.

So, the guests hop in the Photo Booth, take some cute, fun, wacky, silly faced pictures and when they're done, out pops TWO copies of their photos. Now you're killing two birds with one stone, (you've taken care of a "wedding favor" for your guest as well as their guest book entry): guests get to keep one copy of their photo booth slideshow and one copy easily is slid into your Guest Book with an area for them to write a fun note. How much better can a Guest Book be? You've got documentation of what your friends were wearing and what they said on your wedding day, something you will look at with your grandchildren years from now and say, "That was Tommy's grandma back in the day, goodness look at her hair!"

2) Signature Platters:
This Guest Book option is functional and can be displayed anywhere. Very easy to do, go to your local ceramics and firing store and pick what platter you like best. You can even customize them with your monogram or picture. Have the platter on display where your traditional Guest Book would be at the Ceremony, (many couples take it to the Reception as well so their guests aren't in a rush and can take their time writing a meaningful message). After the wedding, insert the platter into your oven and wah-lah, the signatures and messages are baked in time, never to be erased! (Careful not to drop the platter!) I know of couples who have put their platter on permanent display in their china cabinet while other couples have used it as a serving tray for many meals. If you don't have a local ceramics store to pick out platters and fire them, then check out these websites for ideas and products: www.celebrationplates.com (the platter Images above copyright (c) 2000-2009 Just Wright Designs, LLC) and www.ForeverandAlways.com

3) Signature Photo Frames:
Similar to the Signature Platter idea, a signature photo frame is very easy as well. These frames and mattes can be purchased at Target, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and many other retailers for very decent prices. Have a photo of you and your fiance blown up to whatever size you like, then get a frame with enough matte around the photo for your guests to sign during the wedding. This can act as your Guest Book, but many brides still have a traditional Guest Book when they do this option. Sometimes, couples will put an engagement photo in their frame for during the wedding signing session, then afterwards they change the picture to one from the actual wedding. Whatever picture you choose for this frame, it is a great way to be reminded daily of everyone who loves and supports your new marriage. After the wedding you can hang this memory anywhere in your house for your house guests to appreciate and even remember fun times from your wedding.

4) Artistic doodlers Guest Book:
This option allows your guests to have a relaxed but fun way of recording more than just their names. The Guest Book page is set up like an Elementary School project. There are questions such as, "How far did you travel to come to this wedding?" and space for your guest's answers. There are other fun questions for your guests to answer and you can even put pictures of your guests or yourselves in this Guest Book as well!

Another way to customize your ceremony:
-Monogrammed Runners, check out www.FairytaleRunners.com


  1. These are such great ideas!!!

  2. Thanks so much Jen! I just realized I forgot to cover the Polaroid camera option/vintage camera option for the photo book idea! It is on the more expensive side, but oh so fun :) Similar to how brides/grooms used to have disposable cameras on the tables so their guests could catch fun stuff on camera... not to go off on a tangent, but I totally forgot about this alternative :)

    ps I checked out your blogs and they are AWESOME.. definitely going to add you to my "must-read" list

  3. i am glad i did the photo frame option...this is special to me and I liked the personalization of people's handwriting...nice to have on a special pic you can always see

    just didn't want anyone to sign it upside down (which they did!) I want to be able to read it on the wall...