At many important events, it’s tradition for friends and family sign a guest book, often with a personal note. This gives guests a moment to reflect, and provides the hosts with a nice memory to look back on.
And while the gesture of a guest book is a heartfelt tradition, it might be too formal for your wedding—or you might want something that won’t just sit on a shelf. The good news is that you have plenty of guest book alternatives!
Below are just a few of our suggestions—all of which are useful for decorations or regular use.
1. Photo Frames
They make special signing mats just for this purpose! Usually, the photos are surrounded by a white mat material, for easy writing and reading. You’re still able to put the picture in a frame of your choosing to match any décor. If you want to put a unique twist on this idea, you could find wide wooden frames, and have guests sign with colorful paint markers.
2. Wooden Initials
Similar to photo frames, have guests sign initials you can later hang in your home. If you have a long guest list and one letter won’t be enough—use first name initials, too, or spell out your entire last name.
Bonus Tip: Pick colors that complement your at-home style, and not necessarily your wedding theme, so the pieces match when you display them.
3. Map or Globe
Do you and your spouse like to travel? Maybe you met abroad, or love the idea of being life-long travel companions. Bring a map for guests to sign, to frame in your home. Choose a spot that’s special to you both—maybe where you first met, or where you’re moving after the honeymoon—and find a map of it.
Source: One Wed
Perfect for a den or living room, a signed blanket will literally keep you warm with memories. This is a useful yet sentimental way to commemorate your wedding day. If you have a crafty friend or family member, ask them if their gift is a handmade quilt. Then use that as your guest book!
Bonus Tip: Do let them know your intentions ahead of time, so they don’t feel like you’re disrespecting their hard work.
Source: Red Klover
6. Photo Booth
No, we don’t mean sign an actual photo booth. Instead, rent a booth that prints doubles, so your guests can take one copy with them, and leave the other behind with a note. This serves as more than a guest book, too. You’ll be able to capture more photos of everyone—on top of the ones your photographer takes.
7. Dictionary or Book
The possibilities are endless with this option. Ask guests to choose a word that reminds them of your relationship, and write a note or memory near it. Or ask them to choose one that is an inside joke, or funny memory. Then have fun trying to find all the notes later!
8. Wine Corks
This idea is perfect for the couple who is already collecting corks—even better if you’ve been saving them from dates and special occasions. Ask that each guest sign a cork, and then fill a vase with them, or use them to write your initials or spell LOVE.
9. Popsicle Sticks
Collect them in a jar, and have guests write a date night idea, or a piece of advice. Then, when you need a pick-me-up, choose one or two to read with your spouse. And don’t forget to call the author after, to thank them for the note.
Stones have a natural calming feel, and are perfect for any indoor decoration, or outside garden. Guests can sign their name, or simply write their wishes for you, like Patience and Joy.
Source: Jennifer Halen
There are so many ways to make your guest book personal. When choosing, don’t just think about the wedding. Instead, consider how you will use the item after your special day. Is it something you can naturally fit in your home? Does it represent a piece of your relationship? If the answer is Yes to both of those questions, you have a winner!