For when you want your guests to sign more than just “Happy Wedding Day” in your guest book!
I’ll be honest—when planning, wedding guest books were not on my radar. In fact the guest book at my reception was a complete afterthought. I’m not someone who enjoys having clutter around, even if it’s of sentimental value, so when I was given a DIYed guest book, I plonked it in a corner of our reception venue without thinking much about it. Well, the joke was on me, because to my surprise, I loved reading everything that guests had to say about our nuptials (of course, I later digitized the guest book, because again, clutter, but that’s another story for another time).
WHAT are WEDDING GUEST BOOKs ANYWAY?
Wedding guest books serve as keepsakes, where friends and family can pen sentiments and heart-felt wishes to the happy couple. It can be a great way to relive your wedding day, and it could be a permanent fixture on your bookshelf for you and your spouse to pore over from time to time. Traditionally, it was a record of everyone who showed up to the wedding so the couple could send thank you notes easily. But tradition isn’t wrong, because it can be a great way to write more personalized thank you notes to your guests by referring to what they’ve written in your guest book. The idea of a guest book is that it’s a great and incredibly simple way to let your guests participate in a part of your wedding.
DO I NEED A Guest Book?
Wedding guest books are more common in the U.S. and U.K. than they are in other parts of the world, although non-traditional guest books are becoming increasingly popular everywhere. When I had my wedding in Singapore, for example, my family and friends gave us cash in envelopes and left little notes on them. Some Chinese weddings practice both signatures on cash-filled envelopes and guest books at the same time.
But signing the guest book can be the perfect icebreaker when guests walk into a reception where they don’t know everyone. You know that middle school cafeteria feeling of “Who do I talk to, where do I sit, what do I do”? Walking into a reception can be like that for people. A guest book can give people a simple activity to start with. Get a drink, sign the guest book, relax a little.
Of course since everything is digitized these days, it’s nice to bring home something tangible from your wedding (especially since you’re not going to see your professional photos for a while!). And while I know none of us want to think of it, it’s worth remembering that your wedding is a shining moment in time, where you have a lot of people you love around you. As time ticks on, you’ll lose loved ones to illness and death, and it can be incredibly meaningful to have a tangible way to remember them on that day, whether it’s a signature, a piece of advice, or a little instant photo.
Guest Books, Y/N
Which obviously means we want to know your opinions. Guest books? Yay or nay?
Let’s Get Shopping
While there are plenty of guest book alternatives (and that’s another story for another day), today we’re rounding up the best classic and photo wedding guest books that you can buy right this second. Because for some wedding projects, you want to purchase wisely and leave the glue gun in the closet. And that, we’re pretty sure, is what the Internet is for.
wedding guest books You Can Buy Right Now
If you love taking photos and have amassed obnoxiously adorable ones of you as a couple (or have a really cute engagement photo session that you want to show off) a custom photo book like Artifact Uprising’s Artifact Uprising’s might do the trick. All you need are photos of you as a couple, and let your guests do the rest! (starting at $139)
This contemporary design of a Quaker Marriage Certificate has hand-painted elements, and will look beautiful on your wall at home for, well, the rest of your lives. ($155)
A Heart Box Frame made with your own photo makes it look like you had intricately DIYed your guest book without actually lifting a finger. Fill it with photos of you as a couple and have your guests sign on the empty hearts. (starting at $270)
When velvet wedding guest books hit the scene it felt like everything was right in the world. And you can never go wrong with classic velvet in rich jewel tones and muted metallics. ($58.00)
The Gold Saffian Wedding Guest Book looks expensive without a crazy price tag. ($29.95)
Want to match all the lush florals you’re having at your reception? This Floral Guest Book would be perfect for a summer wedding! ($14.99)
You can rarely go wrong with Kate Spade stationery, and this one with gold polka dots is super cute. ($95)
We’re suckers for anything that’s a gorgeous shade of cyan and this Robin’s Egg Blue Goatskin Leather guest book leans toward the more traditional, with lined pages and gilt edges. It comes in multiple other shades, and you can get it personalized too. ($95)
Let’s face it—we’re more likely to keep something that has our faces on it. Get a custom Portrait on Canvas for your guests to sign! (starting at $120)
A Blush Pink Guest Book fits your Instagram aesthetic, because that’s obviously very important. (No judgment from us!) (starting at $48)
Have your guests sign this Rustic Quaker Marriage Certificate at your reception and hang it up after the wedding is over. (starting at $48)
Are you over marble? Because we’re not. This guest book is gold, gilded, and gorgeous. ($36.00)
It can be hard to find an Instax photo album that feels formal and expensive (not like something you’d find in a dorm room), but this one does the trick and feels worth the price. (starting at $168.55)
Did we say we like velvet? We do. And these handmade versions allow for some customization as well. (starting at $51.43)
A blush cover, rose gold foiling, and your names right on the cover. Does it get any better than that? Oh right, it does, because the price is also perfect. (starting at $53.00)
If your taste leans toward the floral we’ve got you covered with this pretty flowered guest book to hold your memories. (starting at $53.00)
Remember the exact place where you got married (or your favorite spot) with this coordinates lay-flat bound book. (starting at $66.00)
Romantic pink? Gold foil? Perfection. It may be on trend, but millennial pink will keep the love of your guests alive for years to come (and remind you of the color we all loved the year you got hitched). (starting at $54.90)
Lavish events call for equally timeless mementos. Marble print is a great way to translate that for years to follow. (starting at $48.00)
A modern twist on the classic guest book, hang this alternative art on your wall and enjoy it year-around. You buy this one in PDF and print it on your own, making it a super affordable alternative. ($29.95)
Traditional and simple, this gray guest book gray guest book is perfect for the couple that likes to keep it simple and tasteful. ($34.50)
This soft pink instant photo book looks classic on the outside, but can hold all of your instant photos on the inside. (starting at $71.95)
Take a trip back through your mountain wedding without having to hit the trails. (starting at $85.00)
What about you guys? Did you have a guest book? If you did have one, are you glad you have it as a momento, or is it just one more piece of clutter? Would you advise folks getting married to have wedding guest books, or not?