Wedding planning guest book decorating and placement ideas
Evolve your wedding guest books with these decorating and placement tips and ideas.
Guest books of old are kind of morose, dull objects. Traditionally clad in white leather or vinyl covers, their appearance was as dull as their purpose. They simply sat in strategic locations–usually at the entrance to the wedding reception–and collected names and sometimes addresses of wedding attendees.
Did brides and groom traditionally get out their guest books after their weddings–simply to peruse the lists? Not likely. And do happily married couples dig out these books on their 20th anniversaries to reminisce? Probably not. Yet the tradition of having a guest book at a wedding reception has remained. Are there ways to spiece up this ages old tradition? Yes. In fact there are even ways to make it kind of fun.
Start with creating your own version of a guest book. Rather than purchasing the dull old fashioned kind, start with a scrapbook binder. Fill with ample pages, but rather than designating a single line for a family’s name and address–designate a half page–or at least enough room for a short paragraph.
Decorate the cover of this book with things that apply to the bride and group. A collage of photos of fun events, the happy couple of babies or small children–or extended family and friends is a fun way to create a unique cover. Using photos–or photocopies of photos–create a collage on the book cover using mod podge to create a decoupage effect. The bride may wish to create this book herself. If she’s strapped for time–as so many brides are–it would be a great project for her bridal party or close knit group of family or friends to undertake. Ask several weeks in advance for donations of fun photos. Call Mom and Dad, old friends, and relatives–they’re always willing to help. Be sure to include a few recent shots as well.
Now what about the issue of that lone, boring book simply sitting on an ornate stand with a tacky plastic Mother of Pearl pen? It’s time to spice up this tradition! Designate someone to actively solicit the book. It needs to make the rounds to all of the tables in the reception area. But the secret here is in collecting more than simple (boring) names and addresses.
Resort to that cache of friends and family members once again. Ask them to all come up with a few fun trivia questions about the bride and groom. Print the questions on computer paper and snip into small strips. Collect the papers in a decorative jar or bowl. As the book is circulated, ask guests to draw slip from the jar. Ask them to use this idea or trivia question to spark a memory. The memory can be happy, funny, or mildly embarrassing–just so long as it’s not insulting! Ask the guests to write–in addition to their standard name and address information–a few lines about specific memories. This will help create a book that is far more valuable to the bride and groom.
Certainly not many families will come up with enough ideas to fill a jar with enough separate slips of paper for 300 guests. Recycle the slips! They are only meant to spark a memory. A certain statement or question may spark an entirely different response from Aunt Ethel than it did from the bride’s former college roommate.
The idea is to make the guest book fun and memorable–for the bride and groom as well as the guests. The efforts to pull off this revised method of guest book presentation requires simply some effort and creativity. It will undoubtedly become a labor of love for those making the book–and a cherished keepsake for the bride and groom.