Lindy Cooke Celebrant wedding flowers, exchanging rings, ceremonies

Guest books ~ 12 simple ideas

Traditional or contemporary – there’s something for everyone.

Apart from traditional guest books, there are lots of different ways you can record the names of your wedding guests. Here are 12 ideas to kick off the thinking process:

1.  Puzzle

Contact a laser cutting company and arrange for them to laser cut a puzzle, allowing one piece per guest. Leave a blank piece of the puzzle at each place setting and a supply of felt pens on each reception table. An A5 acrylic stand or photo frame on each table can serve as a table number and provide instructions for your guests so they know to write their well wishes to you on their piece of the puzzle. After your wedding, your puzzle can be assembled, then framed and hung on a wall in your home. (Note: Make sure you allocate someone to collect the pieces of the puzzle before everyone gets up to dance.)

2.  A-frame Cards

Print  your seating cards on tent (A-frame) cards. On the inside top half of each card, print or have someone who writes beautifully write “A Note to the Newlyweds”. Guests can help themselves to a supply of pens left on each reception table and write their name along with their best wishes or advice for your future life together. The cards can then become part of your wedding album or memory box after your big day.

3.  Fingerprint Tree

Attach a large image of a tree onto an easel and place one or more coloured ink pads and pens nearby. Guests press their thumb onto the ink pad and then press their thumb print onto the end of a branch to represent leaves. They then write their name next to their thumb print. Afterwards, you can have your print framed as a permanent record of the friends and family who were with you on your wedding day. This idea works equally well with an image of a getaway car with lots of strings flying from it. Guests press their thumb print onto the end of the strings to give the impression that there are balloons flying high. (Note: Make sure to supply some baby wipes so guests can clean the ink off their thumbs afterwards).

4.  Fingerprint Hearts

An alternative to (3) above is for the bride and groom only to press their thumb prints onto paper, one pointing to the left and the other overlapping it and pointing to the right, making a heart shape. Arrange for this image to be enlarged and framed (store the glass safely for later) ready for your guests to write their name and perhaps a message around the hearts.

5.  Framed Map of the World or Vintage Globe

Set up a framed map of the world or vintage globe at the entrance to your reception with a supply of felt pens. Guests write their name on the map and perhaps leave you a message in a significant location e.g. “Paris, the city of love”, or circle a city that they love and write their name next to it.

6.  Pretty Envelopes & Notes

Attach pretty little coloured and patterned envelopes into an elegant display book with the flap top side up. Fill each envelope with a co-ordinating notecard so guests can write their messages for your future life together. You could also offer craft supplies such as stickers and coloured pens so that each card can be personalised.

7.  Pebbles or Wine Bottle Corks

Place a supply of smooth flat pebbles or wine bottle corks in a glass or ceramic bowl at the entrance to your reception and leave a supply of felt pens for your guests to use when writing their messages to you on them. These then become a coffee table item in your home or you could make a piece of art using the corks (perhaps arranged into a heart shape) to frame and hang on the wall.

8.  Polaroids

If  your wedding is more of a vintage theme, place one or two Polaroid cameras with spare film at the entrance to your reception so that your guests can take some candid shots as they arrive. The photos can be hung on lengths of string across a board using tiny pegs so that each one dries completely before being displayed later in a vintage scrapbook.

9.  Vintage Postcards

Provide vintage postcards to your guests and ask them to write a message to you both on the back. Display after your big day in your wedding album or memory box.

10.  Vintage Typewriter

Supply a vintage typewriter and some hand-made writing paper. Guests can type their wishes for your future happiness and leave them in a basket provided for this purpose. These special notes will provide a beautiful record of the family and friends who shared in your special day.

11.  Wedding Wish Tree

Paint an attractive tree branch, with smaller branches coming off it, in a colour to match your theme. Plant this firmly into a decorated pot of sand and display at your reception. Supply pretty cards with ribbon looped at the top so that your guests can write their well wishes to you and hang them from the individual branches. Leave instructions (see below) for your guests in a photo frame which you place nearby.

“As we begin this journey as brand new Mr & Mrs, we would surely appreciate from you your advice and maybe some well wishes. Share with us your wisdom about marriage, love and life; the secret to being a great husband or top-notch first-rate wife. And please don’t forget, it would be such a shame, to hang up your wish without signing your name. Thank you for sharing our special day with us.”

Afterwards, you can store your cards in your wedding album or memory box and you can even use your tree at Christmas time and hang pretty ornaments on it.

12.  Craftwood Letters

Display three oversized craftwood letters denoting you and your partner’s first initials plus an ampersand (&) which is placed between the letters. Ask your guests to sign one of these at your reception. They can then become part of your home decor after your wedding.

003 – 13/04/2014

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