Guest books are a classic wedding tradition so easily updated. Forget the boring lined guest book lacking any inspiration. Encapsulate your guest's kind words and presence in a way you'll actually cherish for years to come.
To help, Be Inspired PR's talented pool of wedding vendors and experts are sharing their favorite creative wedding guest book alternatives. Recommendations include old traditions like Dutch Wish Trees. Plus, modern ideas like video and audio recordings. Or, if you want to keep the guest book look but bring it into the modern age, why not provide Instax cameras so your friends and family can tape in photos throughout the night alongside their sage words of wisdom?
Here are our 10 favorite modern wedding guest book ideas…
1. The Wish Tree
“The Wish Tree is a Dutch wedding custom where guests write their well wishes to the couple on a piece of paper, either shaped like a leaf or made of cardstock and then hang it on the tree. This creates a spectacular wedding centerpiece—especially when placing the tree at the entrance to the reception to WOW guests right when they walk in.” – Jenna Miller, Creative Director, Here Comes The Guide
2. Custom Globes
“Travel lover? Custom globes in your aesthetic are a fun way for guests to wish you well in their chosen country. Maybe you'll even visit some of these places in your lifetime together.” – Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events
3. Video Booths
“Are you looking for an alternative to a traditional guest book and LOVE the cute photo booth trend? Why not take it one step further and create a video booth for guests to record their messages to you? Add a karaoke option for guests who want to serenade you with their best wishes for extra fun! Set it up with props and graphics and a well-stocked karaoke machine. Guests can opt for a song dedicated to you or videotape their best wishes! Highlight clips from your video guest book can even be edited into your full wedding video – especially from your bridal party or close relatives and friends. The final video will be so fun to watch after the wedding or even a decade later!” – Andaleeb from Atelier Azure
4. Voicemail Audiobook
“Guest books can be so fun and creative! Rather than the standard “sign your name” format, involve your guests in a fun and enjoyable interactive activity to create lasting memories! After the Tone is a fun service our couples have been using – it's a voicemail audio guest book. You'll display a vintage landline phone at the reception and guests pick it up and use it to record audio messages for the couple!” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
5. Instant Photo Album
“Instant cameras pay dividends at weddings! First, they give your guests something fun to do.: running around the dancefloor or posing in front of your backdrop with an Instax camera. On top of that endless entertainment, you can make a guest book out of the experience, too! Put out a guest book with cute washi tape and pens. Then, have your guests add their instant photos with a little advice throughout the night.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
6. Custom Puzzles
“Puzzles are another way to create a cherished memory but also a fun activity to do together later. Everyone signs a puzzle piece to a big puzzle with your monogram and wedding date on it! We've also had couples had guests all sign Jenga pieces!” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
7. Coffee Table Books
“Coffee table books are also a creative use for a guest book, can be based on the venue, the city they live in or are getting married in, or something they have in common.” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
8. Advice Cards
“The purpose of a guest book is to preserve a message from attending guests as a keepsake forevermore. But sometimes, on the spot with a wedding happening in the background, guests may have trouble writing heartfelt and personalized messages in the guest book. This is why we love designing guest book advice cards. These can be set up on a table or at each place setting. Guests receive a card with prompts like, “Always __________”, “Never __________”, “Don't forget to__________” and “Wishing you both _________” with an area for each guest to sign their names. Collect these cards later and bind them into a book that will be both fun to read and yet personal. To add a visual touch, you can even attach or include a digital photo or an instant polaroid that each guest takes of themselves at the same table when turning in their cards.” – Andaleeb from Atelier Azure
9. The Wedding Capsule
“Simple and sweet, the wedding capsule is an alternative way to display your wedding guests' words of wisdom in your home. Choose a display box that you'd love to place in your house. We love shopping on Etsy for vintage carved boxes, modern marble boxes or even ceramic lidded jars. At your wedding, ask your guests to write their best advice on pieces of thick paper and drop them into your display box. Then, year after year you can make a tradition out of pulling out advice from your pretty wedding capsule.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
10. When in doubt, utilize your wedding theme or location!
“Instead of having a book that your guests sign, why not play to the theme of your wedding? For example, if you are marrying at a vineyard, have guests sign a custom top of a wine barrel that you can later display in your home! Or, if you're saying “I do” at a beach house or lake house, have guests sign an anchor or sailboat model! The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating custom guest books for your big day!” – Hannah Berglund Photography
These tips were gathered with help from Be Inspired PR, a PR + Social Media Agency for wedding, wellness and lifestyle clients. With over 10+ years of experience, we’re here to take our clients to the next level! Find oodles of stylish wedding inspiration on their Instagram and Pinterest.