When my sister got married many years ago, she was given a beautiful guest book as a gift and put it out on the gift table during the reception, without taking to much notice of what was inside.
The next day, we opened it up and realise that the pages were lined and had two columns – name and contact details.
Because of this, guests had followed those instructions and just written their name and address or phone number, using up only two pages in the whole book.
My sister found this quite disappointing, but alas there is nothing we can do about it now. Since then, I have taken an interest in different types of guest books and how they are used.
While that particular guest book was a bit of a waste, that doesn’t mean they all are. Many have completely blank pages allowing guests to get creative with the size, shape, angle and amount they write.
Knowing that many people struggle for inspiration, guest books with some prompts can be very useful. I am particularly fond this one.
For my own wedding, I didn’t bother with a guest book. My husband and I had decided to use a wishing well, and since all of my guests place cash into a card with a lovely message, I felt I didn’t need to ask them to write another message.
After a year or so, I finally got around to creating a photo album from the day, and decided to cut up the cards and include those messages with the photos in a scrapbook photo album.
This may be a bit old fashioned now, but I love having my photos and messages together in one place.
Another way to get the same effect is to use a photo booth where they provide an album and ask all the guests to stick a copy of their photos in the book and write a message next to it.
These days weddings are becoming as unique as the couples getting married, and everyone is trying find a way to make their event stand out and show off a little bit of their own personality.
The themes are getting bolder and more unusual. This includes the humble little guest book. Try matching your guest book to your theme. Remember that it doesn’t even have to be a book.
Many of my clients have opted to ask guests to write their message on individual cards and display them in unique ways, like this autumn themed wedding for the lovely Mr and Mrs Harris.
Things to consider when choosing your guest book style –
1. How do you want it displayed?
Will it be a book on a shelf that you pull out an read every so often? will the messages be matched with photos to keep the memories fresh? Do you want it displayed in your home, on a wall or shelf?
2. What is your theme?
Do you want the book to stand out and support the theme, or is it just a pretty book on the gift table?
3. How much do you want to pay for it?
Can you buy one from a shop or will you design it yourself? Can you make it yourself or do you need to hire someone to do it for you?
If you are stuck for ideas, or don’t know where to find the style of guest book you want, ask you wedding planner. With experience in weddings with a variety of themes and budgets, they will be able to gift you tips and suggestions, and source products from all over the world to make sure you get the perfect style for you.