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  • Writer's pictureRachel Griffin, owner & lead wedding planner

Guest Books 101


A table with an array of colored sharpies on it
Image by Masterpiece Weddings

Wedding Guest Books


Wedding guest books are a long wedding tradition for good reason. They’re a great way to collect some love from all your family and friends that were a part of your celebration. We LOVE that recently couples have been getting super creative with them too! This is our guest books 101 to help you pick which one is perfect for you!


Favorite Guest Book Ideas

  • Engagement Photos

  • Polaroids 

  • Photo Booth Book

  • Decor Item

  • Games

  • Books

  • Outside the Box



Engagement Photos

Using your engagement photos for a wedding guest book is a wonderful way to share these special images with your guests and create a keepsake from your big day. Using them in a photo

album that has space in the margins for signing works great. You can also enlarge your favorite image with a frame and have guests sign the mat or image itself. 




Polaroids

This is a fun and interactive way to capture love from your guests. You’ll get a scrapbook or photo album, two to three polaroid cameras and lots of film and let guests do the rest. They can take fun shots of themselves, place them in the album and sign a special message to you both. 


Photo Booth Book

If you’ve hired a photo booth for your big day, consider adding on a wedding guest book option to your package with them. In this case, they’ll handle all the details for you! They typically collect digital copies of all images that night and will also print a copy, place it in a book for you both, and have couples sign while they wait for their copies to print. 


Audio 

Recently audio guest books have been a HUGE hit! Our favorite source for these is After the Tone.

How fun to HEAR your guests’ messages to you?! We can only imagine after a few drinks the funny ones you’ll get too! 



Decor Item

This could be anything that you’d like to decorate your future home with. We’ve seen whiskey barrel tops, special boards that have been engraved, a piece of art you’re planning to hang in your home, or even a section of wood a couple was going to use in a custom bar they were

building. Make sure the item you choose has enough blank space for guests and is actually easily written on for ease of use. 



Games

If you’re a board game loving couple, this is a fantastic idea that’s also completely usable after the big day! Guests can sign game pieces (think Jenga) or even game boards themselves. Boards like Monopoly have lots of room in the middle for notes and signatures. How much fun would it be to play with them after your wedding and read through all the notes?!


A decorated table with a bible on it
Image by Masterpiece Weddings



Books

Special books make beautiful wedding guest books too! The family Bible or Dictionary are some of the most popular choices we see. Guests can find their favorite words or scriptures and leave a note for you in the margins. When you use these books after the wedding, you’ll constantly be coming across surprises as you discover all the different places guests picked to sign. 



Outside the Box

Some of our favorites are, of course, outside the box ideas! We love a new twist on a familiar tradition around here. Some of our favorite guest book twists have been these:

Pinata - Guests filled a pinata with notes to the couple. They busted it open on their first anniversary to read them all.

Lego People - Each guest got to build their own Lego version of themselves for the couple to save!

Records - Our musical couples have chosen to have guests sign old records that they framed and hung in their home after the big day.

Typewriter - Our couple brought a vintage typewriter and lots of paper for guests to type out messages to them. After the wedding, they placed them in a special book. 



Guest Book Tips:

  • Don’t forget the pens or markers! These are some of the most often forgotten wedding day items we’ve found.

  • If using pens or markers, look for archival quality ones. These are made without acid that will degrade or color your guest book over time. 

  • One of our most important Guest books 101 tip would be to include signs! Signs always help! Especially if you’re choosing something more unique - having a sign with instructions helps your guests know how they should participate.

  • Consider having a Guest Book Attendant. This is a great job for a family member or friend that would love to help for your day. They can make sure everyone signs it and explain any details about how your particular guest book works.

  • If you’re choosing one that creates trash - i.e. polaroid scrapbook - make sure to have a mini trash can or something similar for guests to place film wrappers, stickers backs, etc in. 

A couple signing a map being used as a wedding guest book
Image by Masterpiece Weddings

There are so many ways to create meaningful and fun wedding guest books that will make you smile for years to come after your special day. Which guest book 101 idea are you choosing??


If you’re looking for more options, check out our Unique Guest Book Board on Pinterest!


If you need further help figuring out the logistics of your guest book - contact us! We’d love to help you brainstorm ideas.

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