I mean it when I say I never thought I’d love wedding photography so much. It always seemed so standard. The bride in a long white(-white-white) dress, the groom in a black tux, everyone staring at the camera half smiling-half enduring the awkwardness of being photographed. But there is so much more to weddings today. They’ve become an expression of a couple’s combined style. Today a wedding can be elegant, nerdy, sophisticated, funny, rustic, vintage, traditional, bilingual, multi-denominational– I’m stopping now before I run out of breath.
The challenge now is breaking the mould of the weddings of yesteryear. How? Be yourself! Be creative! One of the ways I’ve seen couples let their creativity shine is with unique alternatives to the traditional guestbook. Take, for example, the guest “books” below. Not only are these guestbooks unexpected, but each of these couples will be able to remember their wedding day in a way no couple has before. Use these for inspiration as you search for your perfect way to remember who attended your special day.
If you have even a little spirit in you blessing stones could make a great alternative to the traditional wedding guestbook. This couple chose to decorate their property with the love of their family and friends. You could also have your guests sign their name or write a word of meaning on the stone. Whenever you’re feeling nostalgic or just need a little encouragement and love pick up a stone to be transported back to the day your family gathered around you to celebrate one of the happiest moments of your life.
This will appeal to all the musicians out there. Have your guests sign records of your wedding song. You can hang the records in your home as truly unique wall art.
Have a sense of humour? Guest libs will have you laughing for decades to come. You can download templates online or write your own. Your friends will have as much fun filling them out as you will reading them.
Guest bottles might be just what you’re looking for if you’re a wine drinker or DIYer. There are so many things you can do with wine bottles in your home after the wedding. I only have one tip for signing champaign bottles! Use already empty bottles and have people sign them before cocktail hour.
If you’ve ever been described as “an old married couple” a guest puzzle might be for you. Have your friends sign puzzle pieces. Each of your family and friends, after all, is a piece of your puzzle as a couple. Put the pieces together after the wedding, frame it, and hang it in your home to be reminded daily of how your family fits together.
Been all over? Want to go everywhere? Have your guests sign a map or globe. I love this idea for couples who travel together or who have come together from parts of the world. It will make everyone feel a bit closer together.
For couples who like to sit back on a cold day all cuddled in blankets, have your friends sign a quilt. If you’re ever feeling a bit cold it will warm you up instantly. Quilting is also a great DIY project, and might make a great pre-wedding bonding experience for couples with quilters in the family.
If you’ve never wanted to read a dictionary from start to finish you will now! Count on your family and friends to find the most (and least) romantic words to sign their names next to. It will be the most tear-jerking and laughter-inducing dictionary you’ve ever opened.
The Guestbook 2.0
This is a great idea for large weddings. You won’t forget a name or face when you have your guests sign next to their photo. And you’re guaranteed to get some stunningly silly blackmail-worthy photos, should you ever need them in the future.
Maybe a guest tree is more your style. Hang your freshly-signed family tree in your home to be reminded of the people who are most important in your life each time you look at it. This couple had their family and friends dip a finger in coloured ink and leave a finger print. It’s a truly dynamic and eye-catching piece of art with a lot of meaning.
Who doesn’t love opening a good time capsule? Set out jars for your 1, 5, 10, and 20 year anniversaries. Your family and friends will leave you notes and message of encouragement. Read them on your anniversaries to help remind you why you got married and what you might have to look forward to for the years to come.