Wedding Wednesdays: Unique Guest Book Alternatives


As much as I love the hand-bound guest books I’ve created over the years (including my own), the tide seems to have changed. A traditional guest book is perfect for some couples, but many brides want more than just something that will sit on a coffee table. Or sit on a coffee table and eventually get moved to drawer.

You might be surprised at the variety of non-traditional guest book options available. And I’m even talking about going beyond the signature photo mat, an idea that I’d say came about in the last 10-15 years but which has become pretty standard and traditional in that time. How about a keepsake guestbook tray that guests sign with an engraving pen? This can also be done with unglazed ceramics, that you can later glaze and fire. These Wish Trees I found over at Here Comes the Guide are stunning! Of course you could always put a new twist on the old guest book tradition and go with a book that combines guests signatures and photos. More and more wedding photographers are offering this as part of their engagement and wedding services these days.

After creating an invitation suite for one of my favorite brides Lucia, she shared with me her plans to create a “Make-a-Wish, Take-a-Wish” bowls for her reception. I loved her idea so much I fashioned my own version for my sister Devon’s wedding last year. The premise is pretty simple. Two jars (bowls, or vases work well too), one for guests to write wishes or bits of advice for the happy couple (Make-a-Wish) and another bowl filled with well-wishes from the bride and groom for their guests to take home (Take-a-Wish). Most of the wishes my sister chose to include were Irish blessings, delightful proverbs from around the world, and even a few affirming mantras. We also included a framed poem, along with instructions on how to use the jars, on the table. Everything was done to match the colors and scheme of the event and guests enjoyed the interactive aspect of this keepsake. Cards can be stored in a variety of ways, in a photo book interspersed with pictures or a lovely box are fun choices. Extra special notes might also be framed and placed in the newlyweds’ home.

I truly enjoyed making these and would love to make more custom “Make-a-Wish, Take-a-Wish” bowls in the future. But, this is also a pretty easy project to DIY and put your own spin on. Have fun and if you do make your own send pictures! I’d love to see them and share them!

6 Responses to "Wedding Wednesdays: Unique Guest Book Alternatives"
  1. I attended a wedding with old vintage postcards as their “guest book”. Everyone got to right on their own, it was a fun idea.

  2. I love the Make/Take-a-wish bowls. That’s a wonderful idea!! I wish I’d thought of something like that when I got married…if only the Internet then had been more like today!

  3. Stephanie: Love that idea! Especially since I have a huge postcard collection. Except mine are almost all “used.” I love the stamps, cancellations, the messages and the memories, as much as the International locales.

    Isha: I’m going to keep the theme of “sharing” in mind as I set about creating new designs. Thank you!

    Carey: “If only the Internet then had been more like today!” You said it sister!! The sad thing is I got married 5 years ago and I still don’t think there was as much stuff out there then as there is today. What did brides do before the internet?

  4. At a friend’s wedding she sent out a 10″x10″ piece of white silk with her invitation that was in a sweet little package with a note that asked each guest (or couple) to bring it to the wedding personalized. Some simply brought back a dyed piece, some stitched a saying, some hand painted a memory that they had all shared, and some just had little buttons and beads attached. Each one had the name of the guest pinned to it and at the wedding that was at a gorgeous country garden, there was a rod set up and the squares were pinned one by one by the guests into a quilt for all to look at. Later, her mother embroidered the names onto the corner of each square and turned them into a beautiful quilt for the couple’s bedroom. Definitely a unique piece and memories that will last forever. Not to mention something useful!

  5. Sounds gorgeous Andrea. And I’m betting it was warm too (that makes it extra appealing to me!). What a cool idea. I had big plans to quilt my sister a blanket made from all her fun, old t-shirts from childhood and high school before she went away to college. Never did get around to it though. Still this guest book alternative sounds so pretty and moving. Thanks for sharing…and I’ll definitely be stopping by your blog in the future too!

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