It’s time to plan your perfect wedding. Everyone wants their special day to be long remembered and perfect. From the right dress and ideal venue to the wedding photos and delicious wedding cake, you want to cherish and remember everything from your wedding day.
Traditionally, most couples set up the same old station where friends and family sign a guestbook only to be lost on a bookshelf or, worse, in a storage box under the bed, never to be seen or looked at again.
Recent trends have started to move away from the traditional guest book to try and make them more functional and bespoke for the couple and their big day.
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Why a guestbook in the first place?
First and foremost, it’s a powerful tradition and many brides-to-be like following all of the wedding traditions, including providing a guest book.
Second, if you have a huge guest list, not every guest will convey their well-being to a person. Weddings are very hectic, and as a bride-to-be, you will have other responsibilities and can’t spend all night talking to every guest at a large wedding. A guest book is an excellent way for your guests to write all their thoughts down for you to enjoy later.
Getting your wedding attendees to sign the guestbook
Choosing the right location for your guestbook is essential. You want to put it somewhere where people can easily spot it and remember to sign it. The best place is at the entrance to your reception venue. Using a trusted family member who is not at the wedding party to stand nearby and encourage people to sign the guestbook. Using signage and decorations to attract your guests to the guestbook never goes amiss either.
Another great way to get guests to sign a guestbook is by choosing an attention-grabbing alternative wedding guestbook design.
Why choose an alternative guestbook rather than a traditional book?
Guestbooks traditionally help you remember who was at your wedding. An alternative guestbook goes deeper than that. Instead, it allows you to capture memories in a much more detailed way and create a wonderful keepsake. Your keepsake can be prominently displayed as part of your home décor, instead of collecting dust on a bookshelf or living in a box under your bed.
Alternative guestbooks not only help deepen the memories made at your wedding, but they also can add a better sense of you and your personality into the wedding itself. Your wedding should be about you and your partner, and everything associated with it should reflect who you both are as individuals and as a couple.
It’s important to remember that some alternative guestbook ideas are more interactive. Some even are an activity of sorts, so be sure to allow time for this in your day-of timeline, so everything has enough time to be completed.
The most important thing to remember, whether you choose a more traditional guestbook or an alternative guestbook, is ultimately about having fun and choosing the right option for you.
Alternative guestbook ideas
There are many different options to choose from when considering an alternative guestbook. It’s best to go with an opportunity that you will have fun making with your wedding guests, reflects your style as a couple and will be cherished for years to come. There are different ideas for all tastes and preferences.
Still almost a guestbook but with a twist
For those who want something close to the traditional guestbook but still different, try these ideas:
Make a calendar
It’s not a book exactly, but it is bound. So why not have your guests write notes throughout your first calendar as newlyweds. Add your names and your wedding date to the cover of the calendar, and as you go through each month, you can read notes and messages from your loved ones who shared your special day with you, all while staying organized for the following year.
Repurpose a coffee table book
If you have your heart set on a book, why not repurpose a coffee table book. Then, either leave instructions on where you would love to see notes in the book or just let your guests write wherever they want.
Set up a selfie-station
Another alternative take on the guestbook is to have your guests take a polaroid of themselves. Set up a selfie station and have them snap a photo. Then paste the pictures into a custom book, and have people handwrite personal notes instead of just signing their names.
Rustic-chic/nature lovers alternative guestbook ideas
If you are very into the rustic-chic home décor, then these unique anti-book guestbook ideas are just what you are looking for:
Eco-Friendly 3-D guestbook
You can purchase an extraordinary eco-friendly 3-D guestbook made from wood and other upcycled items. Have your guests write with different coloured markers and frame it for a unique thing that you can hang in your home.
Shadow Box of Hearts
Have fun displaying a rustic-looking shadow box with lovely decorations on an easel. Have your guests sign or write a nice message on little wooden hearts or whatever shape suits your overall wedding theme. Keep this as a treasured gift to view for years to come.
For all, you nature-lovers out there, have your guests sign their names or a short message on polished rocks or agate stones. Then, turn this into a lovely home decoration by adding all the stones into a vase or even adding them to your garden space.
Guestbook ideas for wine lovers
If wine is your and your future spouse’s hobby and second love, there are a couple of superb alternative guestbooks for you to check out:
Wine cork heart guestbook
This heart-shaped cork guestbook is super cute and perfect if you love all things wine. Have your guests sign a cork and hang it up in your at-home bar area or kitchen as a lovely wedding day memory to cherish.
Purchase a few bottles of your favourite wine to share on future anniversaries. Swap the labels for custom-made labels with your names. For example, the date of your wedding and its anniversary, and have your guests sign and write a little note on one of the bottles. Then, when you take out a bottle of wine on your anniversary, you can read all the messages from your friends and family on the bottles.
Guestbooks for the game lovers
If you both are super into games, there are a couple of guestbook ideas for you:
Personalised Jenga set
Turn your board game night with your spouse into something more romantic. Grab a blank Jenga set and have your guests sign a piece and write notes on all the details. It will be a lovely little game to take out on your first anniversary.
Why not incorporate puzzles into your big day if you love doing puzzles. Guests will get a kick out signing a piece. Afterwards, you will be able to put it all together and have a fun activity to do together. You can make it an anniversary tradition or glue it together when you finish it and hang it up as decorating your home.
Alternative guestbooks for the travellers
If travelling is your favourite hobby, incorporating these guestbook ideas for your wedding will be a lovely addition and help keep your wanderlust alive:
Commemorate a favourite holiday destination
Take a favourite holiday memory and have it custom-painted on a canvas. Have your wedding guests sign it and write little messages or pieces of advice. It makes an excellent decoration for your home.
Ask for travel recommendations
Purchase a vintage globe instead of a guestbook. Provide different coloured markers and ask guests to sign the world on places they like to travel and visit. Then, plan your anniversary trips and try to visit these places that your wedding guests were kind enough to recommend.
Instead of asking for advice or the average congratulatory messages, ask your guests to recommend adventures for you and your future spouse to enjoy together. You can set up a custom sign with instructions to collect all the notes. Try using custom stationery to add a creative and personal flair.
These are just some of the many ideas you can create for a personal and unique guestbook that isn’t booked at all. There are many great ideas to help you remember who was there on your special day to help you celebrate.
Make sure your unique guestbook is visible and has clear instructions to participate. If you are going the route of a more activity-based guestbook, be sure to remember to include time during the reception so it can be completed properly.
The post is written by Sara Sparrow who is a project coordinator and technical writer at College paper help service.
Summary: DIY Unique Guest Book Ideas That Aren’t Books at All – Ideas for Every Wedding Theme
- Move beyond traditional guest books and explore unique alternatives that suit your wedding theme and add a personal touch.
- Create a thumbprint tree where guests can leave their thumbprints as leaves on a drawn tree, resulting in a beautiful and interactive piece of art.
- Set up a Polaroid or photo booth station where guests can take instant photos and leave a copy for the couple, creating a fun and memorable guest book.
- Use a world map or a map of a significant location to have guests sign and mark their hometowns or places they’ve traveled from, symbolizing the gathering of loved ones.
- Provide small cards or puzzle pieces for guests to write well wishes or advice, which can later be compiled into a framed collage or put together as a puzzle.
- Use a vintage typewriter or a designated laptop where guests can type messages digitally, which can then be compiled into a digital guest book or slideshow.
- Set up a wish jar or a decorative box where guests can write down their wishes or words of wisdom on small pieces of paper and drop them in for the couple to read later.
- Create a signature quilt where guests can sign fabric squares that will later be sewn together to make a meaningful and cozy keepsake.
- Set up a vinyl record or a musical instrument for guests to sign, especially if you have a music-themed wedding, resulting in a unique and personalized memento.
- Provide a large wooden or metal monogram of your initials where guests can sign or leave messages, which can later be displayed as a decorative piece in your home.
FAQ – Wedding Guest Books
What are some unique guest book ideas that can be used instead of traditional books at weddings?
There are plenty of creative alternatives to traditional guest books. You could try using a large wooden monogram where guests can sign their names, a personalized puzzle where each guest writes a message on a puzzle piece, or even a vintage typewriter where guests can leave short messages for the couple.
How can I incorporate a beach theme into my guest book?
For a beach-themed wedding, consider using a message in a bottle guest book. Provide small glass bottles and slips of paper for guests to write their messages, then have them place the messages in the bottles. Another idea is to have guests sign seashells that can be displayed in a decorative bowl or jar.
Are there any guest book ideas that work well for rustic weddings?
Absolutely! For a rustic wedding, you could set up a wooden plank or a wooden slice where guests can write their well wishes. Another option is to use a vintage mailbox where guests can leave handwritten notes for the couple. Both ideas add a charming touch to your rustic theme.
What are some unique guest book ideas for a garden wedding?
A garden wedding calls for nature-inspired guest book alternatives. You could have guests sign leaves of a large potted tree or write their messages on small wooden stakes and insert them into a flower bed. Another idea is to create a decorative birdhouse where guests can leave handwritten notes.
I want to have a guest book alternative that I can display in my home after the wedding. Any suggestions?
If you’re looking for a guest book alternative that doubles as a beautiful keepsake, consider a signing canvas or a signing photo frame. Guests can sign directly on the canvas or the matting of the frame, and afterwards, you can hang it on your wall as a reminder of your special day.