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!