The simple answer is…no. When it comes to pesky traditions that whisper into our ear things like “you have to do this because everyone has always done this” or “won’t our guests be expecting this”, we like to encourage our clients to quiet those thoughts and listen to their hearts. The wedding world is radically changing these days and more and more traditions are going out the window. That is not to say that it’s any less cool to opt for a guest book, but it is to say that you do not NEED a guest book. Still undecided? Let’s dig a little deeper…
Traditional Guest Book
A traditional guest book looks kind of like a blank sketchbook. You lay it out on your welcome table with some pens (please for the love of avocados, don’t forget a pen cup) and your guests are supposed to sign the book on their way into the event. They lay a present down, pick up a pen and write a nice little sentiment to the bride and groom, after which they sign their name. Now, if every guest actually did this, perhaps looking back at their sweet sentiments down the road would be enjoyable. The fact of the matter is, most guests jot down their name as if this book were a medical office sign-in sheet and move on. Many don’t even sign it at all. I can’t tell you how many times I have picked up a welcome table and seen that only the first few pages of a guest book had some signatures, followed by 98 blank pages.
An Object Instead Of A Book
Recently, there has been an influx of creative guest book alternatives popping up. Is there some sort of object or theme that is special to you as a couple? Are you both musicians? Do you have a guitar laying around that all of your guests can sign? Would you even want a signed guitar? Not sure but it’s an option, I can tell you that. Do you love game nights? Maybe people sign Jenga pieces. Travel bugs? Maybe you set out a globe. Substitute literally any object that has meaning to you, as a couple.
Other couples have opted to get a printout of the night sky from the night they met or from the night that they got engaged. Some pretty metallic paint markers can be used to adorn this option. The printout can be framed post-wedding if you’re into that sorta thing.
A Wishing Well Okay, it’s not an actual well, but there is a concept on the rise that has guests writing tiny little wishes/sentiments onto small pieces of wood shaped like hearts (or something similar) and dropping them into a shadow box. You can also have them dropped into a box with a hinge and a slit at the top. You can put out a sign asking guests to write something specific. Perhaps marital advice? A Photo Album What’s more fun than a bunch of scribbles from your guests? A bunch of photos of your guests, with some scribbles next to those photos. Instapix cameras are a fun option for a welcome table set up. You can use a traditional guest book and layout some pretty pens (again, I beg you for a pen cup). Also, be sure to include a way for guests to adhere these photos to the book. Glue dots and photo corners are a safe bet. Feeling sassy? Throw some fun stickers out there. Also be sure to include extra film, for when the first batch runs out. Depending on your guest count, it might also be a good idea to have out two Instapix cameras. If you have a coordinator, someone should watch this table and be on hand to help any guest change film, keep the table neat and offer to take pictures of people. If you don’t have a coordinator, ask the maid of honor or another bridesmaid to watch the table. A similar photo album can also be done using photobooth print outs, if you are hiring a photo booth for your wedding, check to see their photo album options.