Updating Tradition: The Wedding Guest Book

Updating Tradition: The Wedding Guest Book

November 3rd, 2016

A wedding guest book is a beautiful item to have because it allows a couple to remember who shared in their joyous day. Although couples have their RSVP list, they are more likely to hold onto their wedding guest book than their RSVP list. And couples are so busy during the wedding trying to say hello to everyone while also sharing moments together, that sometimes they simply do not get enough time with everyone or get a moment to speak to everyone. So the guest book is a sweet reminder of who was there on their wedding day.

Unfortunately, I have spoken with many guests who do not feel obligated to sign a guest book because they feel that the couple will not look at it in the future. Some other reasons guests do not sign the guest book is because it feels monotonous and boring after attending several weddings, or the line to sign the guest book is too long. Even if the line disappears into the evening, the guest probably forgot about the guest book at that point. The last thing a couple wants is their guests to feel bothered or frustrated with some portion of your wedding, and if you and your spouse are a sentimental couple, then you definitely want them participating in the guest book. Here are some of my favorite alternatives:

Still like the traditional guest book but want to update it? Try a Polaroid scrapbook. Weddings are all about the couple, but if you give guests the opportunity to have a moment for themselves and to express themselves, they will feel more likely to participate in the guest book. Although sad but realistic, over the years people lose touch, and faces are more recognizable than names, so add a photograph with a name and it will help the couple remember exactly who attended their wedding.

Photograph Wedding Guest Book

(Photograph Courtesy of Genesa Richards Photography)

If you are concerned about guests not feeling obligated to sign the guest book because they know couples will not look at them, try a guest quilt! The couple provides a quilt for guests to sign their name or a sweet message. Although this is fairly similar to a guest book, if the couple indicates how they will use this quilt in the future, guests will be more likely to sign it. When you and your husband/wife need a blanket to cuddle up under, you will most likely reach for your wedding quilt so you can be surrounded with love.

Wedding Guest Quilt

(Photograph courtesy of Avalanche Photography)

Another wedding guest book alternative that is still traditional but more unique is an artifact guest book. If you and your husband/wife share a common interest or find something particularly important to you, then use that for people to sign. The simple fact that it is not a book, will make your guests feel a tad more excited to sign it. If the couple loves skiing, find a pair of wooden skis that can be hung up in your home. If the couple is musical, provide a guitar for guests to sign. Guests know that this item will be displayed in their home and will want their names to appear on it.

Artifact Wedding Guest Book

(Photograph courtesy of Cameron Ingalls)

Lastly is my favorite guest book alternative, a bucket list/date jar. A couple indicates for guests to write down a bucket list item or a date that the couple should complete together. Ideas can range from “eat at a foreign cuisine restaurant you both have not tried before” to “go skinny dipping in the Indian Ocean.” There are no limits to what guests will come up with, and you and your husband/wife will have a lifetime of fun or crazy activities to complete. An added benefit to this guest book idea is that sometimes marriages get tough and sometimes marriages get stuck in the same routine. If that is ever the case, then a couple can bring themselves back to the love on their wedding day and can share in a new activity together.

Bucket List / Date Jar Guest Book

(Photograph courtesy of Samantha Murray Photography)