One thing that I wish that I had thought more about at my own wedding, or thought about at all really, was a guest book. At the time, maybe I thought that because we were having a small wedding,we knew who was there. I realise now that guest books are more for the future, rather than the time of the wedding.
There are a number of people that were at our wedding that are no longer with us. My husband and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and something that I would have loved to have done was to read back on things that these people may have written for us. I would like to have a book with words of advice and warm wishes from people that are dearly missed in our lives now. It’s nice now to stumble over things that are written in their handwriting, so loving words of advice from our special day would have been really special.
Guests books now are not all just a bound book. There are so many awesome ideas out there that you can use that can be themed in with your wedding, or give your wedding day a special touch. Just another way to let your personality shine through and show your guests something else about you as a couple. When I started looking at these things I was blown away by some of the great ideas out there. It has really sparked my imagination. I hope this helps spark yours!
1. Finger Print Tree
I have previously written a blog especially about fingerprint trees, you can read it here. I was so impressed by the one that Holly and Simon had on their wedding day. These can be created by you or you can buy them, but they are a great way to remember who was there. There isn’t much room for adding a message so you could do other things if you wished to have people write you advice or a warm wish, but it is something that you can keep forever and it looks lovely hanging up in your home. You can go with a colour scheme that matches your house or your wedding day.
2. Letters from me to you
You can get your guests to write you a letter and put in in an envelope, then you can do lots of things with it. You could seal it into a time capsule that you decide to open later or you could stick all the envelopes into beautiful book or album to read over at any time you like. Another way to do this is a photo book with photos from your engagement shoot. If it’s something you think you might do speak to your photographer and make sure they take some shots with space for people to write in.
3. Message in a bottle
This could be fun style if guest book that offers advice that you can read later. You could have a questionnaire for your guests to fill in about what they think might happen to you between your wedding day and when you decide to open your messages in a bottle. This could be fun with all sorts of questions. You could decide on when you will open it before hand, for example on your 10 year wedding anniversary and have questions like : Where do you think Bride and Groom will be living 10 years from now? Do you think they will have children, if yes how many? Or How many pets will they own? What will be the thing they squabble about most? What will they still love about each other just as much as they do today? What is one piece of advice for them for their next 10 years of marriage? Not only is it fun to look back on, 10 years down the track, it is a great talking point for guests at the reception or to fill in time while the couple are off being photographed.
4. Board Games or Puzzles
This can be anything from Monopoly to Trivial Pursuit or a lovely wooden checkers or backgammon board. The favourite idea in this category for me would be Jenga, it’s one of my favourite games, and it would be lovely to have some sharpies and people on each table writing lovely things on them. This could be great if you are a bit of a nerd (like me) and you could choose Star Wars Monopoly or Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit if these were some of your favourite movies. Or have your guests write messages on the pieces of a puzzle that you can put together later on.
5. Love makes the world go around.
This one is beautiful and romantic, and something that you can display. Buy a Globe and have people write wishes on the globe for you. Something that your children and grandchildren might possibly like to look at one day too. Always handy when planning your second honeymoon too!
6. Blessing Tree/Wish Tree
I have blogged about this before too, check it out here. But this is similar to the letters and the messages in the bottles, it just depends how you want it presented. Alternatively you could have a mix of the finger print tree and the blessing tree and have a framed print and have small wooden or acrylic ‘leaves’ that people can write on
7. Home wares guestbook
You could choose a vase, platter or a fruit bowl, for example. If you are choosing something similar make sure it is oven proof ceramic as you can buy special markers that can set when baked in an oven! This way you can actually use the item and not worry about what your loved ones have written coming off when it is washed.
8. Photo Frame guestbook
This can be a traditional frame with a wide matt board. It would be great to frame a group photo of everyone that shared your day in it, so that everyone that writes on the matt, is in the photo too. You can also build a frame and have names pegged on some wire or string and get people to take a polaroid photo on the day, write a message on the bottom and then pin it where there name is. You could incorporate dress ups or other props.
9. Your favourite sport represented
Whether it is surfing or soccer or AFL, you can get your guests to write on footballs, soccer balls or even a surf or skateboard to ‘fit’ into your home. You might as well have some fun with these things!
10. Wedding Day Quilt
Last but not least this sounds like something that I would do if I had thought of it when I got married, or would love to make for someone close to me if they were interested. What would be better than taking a quilt or rug like this on a romantic picnic or when you are feeling unwell and on the couch, cover yourself with your wedding day quilt and let all of your memories come flooding back.
What wonderful ideas do you have for an original guestbook? Or have you been to a wedding that had something really cool?