*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
You know what my favorite part of a wedding is? Sunday brunch. And not just because the waffle maker at the Quality Inn is the best hangover cure. It’s because Sunday morning is when all of your new best friends from the night before gather around, high on post-wedding bliss, and eat breakfast together like you’ve been friends for years. Sunday brunch is when my people’s people are now my people. APW’s brand new sponsor guesterly has a simple goal: get your guests to that Sunday brunch feeling before your wedding starts.
Guesterly is like a pocket-sized yearbook for your wedding guests. It’s an alternative to the standard wedding program in that it’s all about your people, and made for your people (and made for making them have a ton of fun at your wedding). Guesterly got started when APW readers (and former magazine editors) Rachel and Lorne were planning their own wedding and set a simple mission statement for the event: inclusiveness. So they made a book and filled it with info and photos about all their guests, with the hopes that it would help bring their guests together. (Cough. Chatting, new friend making, hooking up? We all have different “togetherness” goals.) It was a huge hit at their wedding, and soon friends’ started asking them to make books for their weddings, and next thing they knew, guesterly was born.
Is This Another Thing I Need?
What guesterly is not is another thing to add to your checklist. Guesterly’s goal isn’t to give you one more thing to do, or to make you feel like now you have to have a WEDDING MAGAZINE, why with all the things? Instead, guesterly‘s goal is to give you an easy way to create a sense of community at your wedding, if community is part of your wedding’s mission statement. For those of you for whom figuring out how to have a fun wedding is the goal, guesterly gives you a tool to get people ready to party with each other before they even arrive. In fact, guesterly creators Rachel and Lorne even admit that you don’t have to buy their product to have a guesterly-like book at your wedding. Rather, they just make the process super easy and give you a really high quality product at around the same price it would cost you to make it yourself. Says Rachel:
The heart of guesterly is all about bringing people together: we believe that it’s people who make a night great, who make a wedding memorable, who make a life special.
While we’re the only ones creating and championing this concept—mini books celebrating and introducing your guests—you could certainly create a guesterly-style book on your own. We love this concept so much that if you want to take the idea and run with it, do it! But we created the first guesterly for our own wedding by hand, and then for friends’ weddings. We know how much time it takes, and how it’s (still!) expensive to print at home. (True fact: it cost us $300 to print our own full-color guesterlys at home—very close to what it would cost with the guesterly service today!) So, at guesterly, we’ve negotiated wholesale printing costs, we’ve sourced the talent of top designers, and our automatic photo gathering system (simply enter a list of guest names and we gather, on average, 80% of your photos!) means it’s affordable and easy.
The guesterly software makes it super fast and easy to create a guesterly booklet—and prices are as low as $4 a book (when you order 100). And every order includes FREE design love from a professional graphic designer who personally looks over the design and gives it that extra sparkle. Even better, all of our guesterly designers have experience at a top magazine—from O, the Oprah Magazine, to Glamour to GQ—so you are working with the best in the business to make an outstandingly beautiful book.
Big on community, short on time
Guesterly is an awesome solution for those of you who want that community feeling at your wedding, but who don’t have a ton of time to make something yourself. (You’ve got better things to do than right click on all your guest’s Facebook pictures and then paste them into some kind of bookmaking software, right? Like maybe… plan a wedding? Or hell, just watching this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy sounds like more fun than that.) So let’s talk about how it works:
Step 1: Choose your design style and colors and make your cover
Step 2: Input your guest list (you can even copy and paste it in); you and your partner authenticate with Facebook (the same way you authenticate when you sign in to the New York Times, for example) and guesterly automatically gathers most of the photos you’ll need for the book (about 80% depending on how private your friends are). And they don’t do anything else with your Facebook authentication after that.
Step 3: Edit your guests via the guesterly guestbook dashboard (change and add photos, and write a fun fact about each person if desired)
Step 4: Edit the welcome message and head to the checkout! Guesterly’s designers will adjust your cover so it’s perfect and send you a PDF proof, then send your guesterly to print.
All of which takes about an hour, and can be done while you watch this week’s episode of Grey’s. So. Go you.
The Bottom Line
Guesterly books start at $4 each, which works out to be about the same cost as that extra beer you were planning on giving your guests for social lubrication (which they don’t need now, because guesterly!). Pricing varies based on the number of pages in your book and how many books you’ll need, but guesterly isn’t hiding the ball there. You can see the full breakdown right here. Rachel and Lorne are so certain that you’ll love your guesterly experience and end product that they even offer a 100% money back guarantee. If your guesterly books arrive and you don’t love them, simply send them all back for a full refund. Plus, guesterly is offering $20 off to anyone who signs up for guesterly by Friday. Just head over here to redeem your offer.
Not everyone is looking to turn their wedding into a community event, but if you are one of those people (or if you’re just having an intimate wedding and want everyone to know each other before they show up), then guesterly is your jam. Guesterly has taken a complicated process and made it easy and affordable, but that’s not the part that matters. What matters is that guesterly is an easy way for you to prioritize your guests, by making the wedding as fun and inclusive as possible. (Sunday brunch fun! Less awkward introductions fun! A reason to be social fun! “OH! Are you the friend in NYC who owns the floral business? That looked so cool!”) So if you’ve been secretly hoping that your old friend from high school will hook up with your partner’s best friend from college on your wedding night because they’d be so totally perfect for each other, then maybe you should head over to guesterly right now and get started on your book. They’ll thank you for it later, maybe at their own wedding? Here is to dreaming!