Be inspired by these wonderful alternatives to the traditional wedding guest book! From fingerprint trees to custom star maps, and wedding Jenga, you are certain to find something you L O V E!
One of the things I absolutely love the most about styling weddings is seeing all the wonderful personal finishing touches couples often bring to their special day, set up alongside our beautiful wedding decorations and props. From wedding favours handmade with love, to handwritten place card settings and homemade sweet treats - a little creativity definitely goes such a long way.
With this in mind, I thought I would take a little look at another super easy way you might like to personalise your wedding, with some truly wonderful (and fun!) alternatives to the traditional Wedding
You might be wondering at this point if you really need a guest book and what is the purpose. After all, many couples feel that their wedding photos will provide the perfect record of their special day, shared with loved ones and friends.
A guest book really has two purposes. Firstly, no matter what the size of your wedding, whether you are planning a huge celebration, or you have chosen or needed to arrange a smaller and more intimate ceremony with fewer guests, it will provide a wonderful record of all those sharing your special day.
Secondly it’s such a fabulous way for your guests to share their sentimental, loving, fun and creative messages with you. I can promise that you and your new husband or wife will have so much fun after the wedding reading through all of those special messages! I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to sit down with my husband the morning after our wedding, with a glass of fizz, to read through all the lovely messages from our guests – heart-warming, sentimental and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny! Memories we will absolutely cherish. It’s also such a lovely thing to revisit when you celebrate each anniversary together.
So shall we have a look at some alternatives to the traditional book? Here are 15 of my absolute favourites for a little wedding inspiration:
1. Wedding Jenga! If you are a couple who love traditional games then this might be the perfect option for you! Guests write their special messages on the wooden blocks and then whenever you play the game in the future, you will be reminded of all those special wedding wishes everyone left for you! It’s relatively inexpensive to purchase (depending on the number and size of the blocks you choose). Prices start from as little as £7.50 for a standard game, rising to over £150 if you are looking for a personalised set, with pieces engraved with your names and wedding date.
For the perfect finishing touch, simply add a lovely little sign such as ‘Please sign our Jenga Guest Book and help us build memories!’.
2. Wedding Globe: The perfect choice for a travel themed wedding or just because your guests mean the world to you! I love Ginger Ray’s gorgeous ‘The Adventure Begins’ rose gold and white globe (£39.99)
You can find similar designs in a wide range of sizes and colours, from blue to blush pink, on Etsy. Your guests simply sign the globe and leave a message. It’s such a lovely idea as you set out on your journey as a newly married couple.
3. Wedding Thumbprint Guest Book: There are so many different and totally gorgeous designs for these – from trees, to heart-shaped balloons, wedding wreaths to champagne bottles!
You can either order a printed canvas or poster of your chosen design, or a digital file that you simply download and print to your required size. Printed versions are usually supplied with an ink pad in one or several colours. Guests simply ink their thumbs and then pop their prints on your canvas, adding to the design. It’s a lovely idea to ask people to sign across their prints so you can see who attended.
Of course this option doesn’t provide space for guests to leave comments or well-wishes, but it really is a fabulous keepsake, a unique piece of art from your special day, and you could easily combine it with another option such as our wonderful Wedding Bucket List Kit (more on that later!), or by including ‘Advice for the Happy Couple’ cards on each table for your guests to complete. Do have a look at Etsy’s WeddingFusions for some absolutely stunning thumbprint designs and inspiration.
4. Shadow Box with Hearts: Have your guests pens their sweet messages and wishes on to one of the individual wooden hearts then drop it in the box! There are lots of lovely designs for these online, but I particularly like Lasercut Craft’s set (currently £36.45) as the frame can be personalised with your names at the top and the wedding date at the bottom. They can even add the name of your venue in the centre of the frame.
5. Custom Portrait: Why not opt for a lovely custom portrait of you both? You can even include your pets!
You simply supply your own photos and your chosen artist will be able to personalise your wedding dress/groom's suit, bouquet, buttonholes etc. Do have a look at Etsy’s KathrynSelbert. Her work is truly gorgeous! Files are supplied digitally for you to approve and then print for approx. £53.00.
On your wedding day, it’s super easy to set up your fabulous portrait on an easel with pens or markers for your guests to sign, and after your special day you will be left with a totally unique and wonderful memento to hang on your wall!
6. Four in a Row: Here’s another fabulous Guest Book idea, that’s great fun and is guaranteed not be overlooked by your guests! There are lots of different sizes and designs but I particularly like this lovely version from Hobbycraft. Priced at just £25, it comes complete with 56 blank wooden heart tokens (28 white and 28 brown) for your guests to sign and write their wedding wishes on, together with a lovely little ‘please sign our Guest Book’ card.
7. Wedding Puzzle: Here’s another lovely game idea! Guests will love this interactive and fun option, selecting a puzzle piece to sign their name. After your wedding, you can choose to frame the finished masterpiece, or simply bring it out on a rainy day to make whilst reliving all those wonderful memories! Prices depend on the size of the puzzle (the number of pieces you require) and the degree of personalisation you would like. You can choose to add your names and wedding date to a large central puzzle piece or even add a photo of you both! I absolutely LOVE this version supplied by Etsy’s SecretCreation – it’s wonderful!
8. Custom Star Map: Here’s a totally fabulous guestbook alternative – why not have your love ‘written in the stars’ with a custom map, capturing the alignment of the stars on your wedding date? Do have a look at Etsy’s TheStarsAboveCo. Their full-colour maps, priced at approximately £45, are totally beautiful with lots of personalisation options and plenty of blank space around the outside of the map for approximately 100 guests to sign. Simply pop your stunning map on an easel for a really out-of-this-world wedding display!
9. Wedding Wishes Jar: Simple but unique, a wish jar makes a great alternative guest book. Your wedding reception guests write out their well wishes, marriage advice, date night ideas, or shared memories on the little cards provided and then pop them in the jar for you to keep.
There are lots of different designs, but I love this elegant glass jar with a beech lid from Wedding Star (£29.99). It can even be personalised with your names and wedding date and is supplied with pretty little cards for your guests to complete.
10. The ‘Meaningful’ Guestbook: So this one really is a ‘wildcard’! It’s time to put on your thinking hats, get creative and choose something that is really meaningful to you both that your guests can sign. It might be a special piece of artwork you both love, a piece of furniture such as a coffee table, an instrument or favourite record for music lovers, bottles of fizz or wine or even a surfboard - perfect for a beach themed wedding!
11. Polaroid Guestbook: I LOVE this idea because it’s always hugely popular with guests! All you need to provide is a simple instant camera, a sign with instructions, pens for guests to sign their photos and a book for them to pop them in. Alternatively you might like to supply a frame with pegs so that each photo can be displayed.
We have a super ‘Our Love Story’ photo display frame in a birdcage design available for hire that is often used for this purpose, and it always looks amazing filled with wedding guest snaps. Pop on through to our Stock Page to find out more.
12. The Key to a Happy Marriage!: If you have a vintage themed wedding, this one might be the perfect choice for you. Simply collect antique style keys and attach little tags for your guests to sign. These could be popped in a vintage suitcase, basket or bowl, but this also works brilliantly with a cork board or frame, so your guests can pin their keys once signed. Another idea would be to provide a little freestanding tree or branch to hang them on – it makes such a pretty display!
13. Wooden Wedding Guestbook: If you are looking for something unique with a rustic twist, why not consider a custom made wooden sign? I love this fabulous layered wood sign guestbook from Etsy’s 48HourMonogram. They range in size from 18”-30” and finish (painted or stained), with prices starting at about £40. Once signed you will have a fabulous, personal piece of artwork to treasure from your special day.
14. Personalised Photo Book: Why not get creative online and make a photo book filled with your childhood, engagement photos or simply lots of gorgeous pics of you together making memories. This really is so easy to do – even if you have never done anything like it before. Photobox are fantastic for this and can provide you with a high quality coffee table style book in a range of different colours and styles. Your guests will absolutely LOVE looking through your photos and choosing a page to sign their wedding wishes and I guarantee you will want to keep your book out on display and will pick it up time and time again.
15. A Bucket List for the Bride & Groom!: I have to confess, this in one of my personal favourites and something we now offer for hire as one of our fabulous finishing touches.
Our lovely 'Bucket List Kit' comes with a handmade chalkboard sign, along with a silver bucket, floral edged log slice, pencils and tags for your guests to complete with their suggestions for adventures you might like to fulfil in your lifetime together. It’s always hugely popular, lots of fun and the tags are such a wonderful keepsake after your big day. Pop them in a wooden keepsake box, or why not glue them into a display frame or a beautiful paper album for a totally unique guestbook.
So that’s my favourite Top 15! Ultimately, however you choose to record and keep your guest messages, whether you opt for a traditional book, or one of these wonderful alternatives, it’s definitely something worth doing. If you have any guest book ideas you would like to share, please feel free to leave them in them in the comments here for other bride and grooms-to-be, or pop on through to my Facebook page @theweddinglibrarydorset and leave a little comment on my Blog Post there. That would be lovely!
It just remains for me to say that when you book with The Wedding Library and choose our wonderful decorations and props, rest assured we are always on hand throughout your wedding journey with lots of advice, handy tips, information and ideas – from table seating and timings for your big day, to comprehensive wedding décor checklists. Super helpful, stress-free wedding planning all the way!
If you think we can help, then please do get in touch for an informal chat. I would love to talk through your wedding hopes dreams and help make them a reality.
Happy wedding planning everyone!