In our opinion, every wedding, no matter how large or small, should have a wedding guest book as a permanent record everyone’s good wishes.
In fact, it’s the perfect complement to your wedding pictures; photographs create a pictorial record, while a guest book documents people’s thoughts and feelings.
As the years pass, it’s inevitable that we will lose some of our loved ones. But if you have wedding guest book, the memory of their love remains, captured between its pages, so it’s sure to become a treasured memento of your special day.
Perhaps, however, you’d love a special keepsake, but aren’t exactly enamoured with the idea of a traditional book? Well, the good news is that you can have your (wedding) cake and eat it!
If fussy formality isn’t your thing, fret not, we’ve collated a whole host of alternative wedding guest book ideas that capture the essence of the classic guest book but in a modern and fun format.
Audio Guest Book
This idea is a real showstopper! An audio guest book offers a very different take on a classic guest book by enabling guests to record a spoken message on a vintage or retro phone. Hilarious comments from your work mates, advice from Grandma and even the slightly tipsy good wishes of your chief bridesmaid will all be saved so you can listen to them and reminisce about your wedding day whenever you choose.
How does it work? The happy couple record a voicemail message which guests hear before leaving their own message. The phones simply require plugging into a standard 13amp socket, and some even work on batteries. Several UK companies offer a rental service which includes phone hire and message retrieval, with messages saved onto a USB stick or even a vinyl record for you to listen to in the future.
Phones range from vintage to retro and are available in an array of different colours to suit your wedding theme. Hire one, and it’s sure to be a real talking point among your guests!
Jenga Guest Book
Want to build some memories? Ask your guest to write their messages on Jenga blocks. Every time you play Jenga with family and friends, you’ll be reminded of your wedding day. And while a plain Jenga set will serve the purpose, sets with personalisation are available to buy on Etsy.com.
Put out a selection of postcards and pens for guests to write their messages on.
Add a post box and consider buying a special box to store them in afterwards.
Your guests will love this vintage idea for leaving a message on your wedding day. Why not ask them to type their messages and sign their name by hand? All you need is a vintage typewriter and a ream of good quality paper – A5 may work better than A4 as you’ll be able to store the messages in small rolls. You could rent a typewriter, but it’s probably more economical to purchase one from a charity shop or Ebay. Don’t forget to check the ribbon though as it will probably need replacing.
An idea for literature lovers. Instead of the traditional guest book, acquire a copy of your favourite novel and have guests write on the flyleaves and/or pages in gold ink.
Wooden heart tree
An alternative to the traditional guest book, this idea comprises a 3D wooden tree complete with blank hearts. Guests sign their name on one side of the heart and write a short message on the other; completed hearts are then hung on the tree. Quite aside from its function as a ‘guest book’, the tree will be a great decorative item for your reception venue. You can either source a wooden tree and hearts separately, or purchase a tree and heart set.
Have some wedding advice cards printed in a writing frame format ready for guest to fill in the blanks. For example: name of guest, how they know you, some advice, three wishes and perhaps a prediction as to what you’ll be doing in 5 years’ time.
Purchase a personalised tree print from Etsy.com, provide some ink pads and ask guests to add their fingerprints in place of leaves. Guest could also sign their name and a short message alongside their fingerprint. Size wise, an A4 print will probably be sufficient for up to 50 guests, while an A3 print will cover about 90.
Blank wooden jigsaws which can be personalised with your names and wedding date are widely available online. Some even come with a small wooden sign requesting that guests sign a piece of the jigsaw. It’s a good idea to complete the jigsaw beforehand to avoid guests signing the wrong side of the puzzle.
Polaroid guest book
Get the best of both worlds with a picture and a message! Provide a couple of instant cameras and ask guests to stick their picture in your album complete with a message or even a doodle.
What you’ll need:
- Guest book / photograph album
- A couple of instant print cameras (some contain a mini memory card so you can print the photos again)
- Extra photo paper
- Guest book
- Double-sided sticky tape (some instant cameras print adhesive backed photos, so this may not be necessary)
- Sign asking guests to participate.
- Stick to simple instant print cameras. Although this idea can be set up with a blue tooth photo printer and guests’ phones, there’s a risk that not everyone will understand how to use it, plus this usually requires downloading an app.
- Designate someone (teenagers are ideal!) as your photobook manager. This person can ensure cameras are charged, load photo paper and generally encourage guests to add their pictures.
- Get your designated person to go round tables taking pictures of guests for them to stick in your album and annotate. This will give more reticent guests a gentle push.
- Place a decorated photo of yourselves in the album to encourage guests to write/draw on their pictures too.
If you’re a music lover, ask guests to sign a vinyl record of your favourite song.
Have guests write their messages on a large photo mount to which you can add a wedding photograph afterwards, or you might like to ask them to annotate your seating plan.
That’s a wrap
We hope you’ve found something here that’s piqued your interest. Do bear in mind though that some of these ideas, such as the wooden heart tree, will have limited space for messages.
If you want a little more room for guests to inscribe your ‘book’ we suggest choosing something like postcards or a Polaroid album. But whatever type of ‘book’ you choose, we’re sure you’ll create some wonderful and unique memories of your wedding day that you’ll look back on fondly in years to come.
If you’re based in Ireland and you’re interested in booking a wedding entertainer or service provider, check out the PartyWizz platform. We’re proud to be partnering with the best wedding entertainers and wedding service providers.