Inspiration Friday: Alternative Wedding Guest Book Ideas

Most people these days have a guest book at their wedding, it’s a way of your guests writing you a short note that you can look back on in years to come, a memento from your day. The guest book from my own wedding is the only thing my Husband has actually looked at since we got married, he has refused point blank to watch the wedding DVD, and he wouldn’t even look at our wedding photos on our 1st wedding anniversary! So it goes to show that the Guest book can be an important addition to the day itself and the memories afterwards.

However along with many long standing wedding traditions, the normal guest book that guests just sign and pass round the room are dying a death. Couples are now looking for new and more interesting ways to get their guests to leave a memento.
I often get asked by my couples to give them ideas, so I have put together a few ideas to inspire you.

The Typewriter
Here your guests get the chance to type out messages on preselected cards or letter paper, which can then be stored in which ever way you choose. The Typewriting table can be a real feature at the wedding and at least you know you are going to be able to read your guests handwriting.

alternative wedding guest book ideas image from bluelilyevents.blogspot.com

alternative wedding guest book ideas image from www.fineandfunkyevents.com


The Jigsaw
There are quite a few companies out there now that will make you wooden jigsaw puzzles that your guests can sign. Each guest has one piece of the puzzle to sign each and it’s your job as the couple to then put the whole thing together.

Alternative guest book ideas image from www.bellapuzzles.com/

Place names
Why not try and double up your guests place names with your guest book idea, by getting them to write a message on the reverse of their place name? you get to keep each place name in a lovely memory box.

Alternative guest book ideas idea and photo from www.abespokedesign.co.uk

Guest Book Boxes
Perfect for the organised bride. Here your guests get to write you a message on a pre designed card, and then file them in the box provided. The box can be decorated with your own theme as in the one below (old Hollywood glamour with written quotes from classic Hollywood movies on the cards)  or made to look beautiful with decorative filing and storage systems.

Alternative guest book ideas design from http://inkyeverafter.com Alternative guest book ideas image from www.brendasweddingblog.com

Wish Notes
Guests are invited to the make a wish table, where they write a wish on a small piece of paper put it into an envelop which is then popped into a glass container. These wishes can then be opened at the couples own convenience and stored away in the glass jar, or in a memory box. It may be a nice idea to open a wish a day, or store them all up until the first wedding anniversary and open then all then.

Alternative guest book ideas image found on hitched forum

Mounting boards, plates and vases (or anything else that can be signed)
One of the more traditional and quite widelyused guest book ideas is the signed mounting board. Often couples will have a pre wedding shoot before the wedding and the photographer will add in a signing board for the couple using a picture from the shoot (this can then be replaced after the wedding with a wedding photo) guests are invited to sign around the picture.
Another idea is for a personalised plate to be signed or even a vase.

Alternative guest book ideas image from www.billchandphotography.com Alternative guest book ideas image from www.ezresearch.com Alternative guest book ideas image from www.weddingbycolor.com

The Guest Book table
Why not make a real feature of the guest book and tie it in with the theme of your wedding. The picture below shows an example of how a couple have made the guest book into a whole area at their wedding, providing different sorts of paper and pens along with props and old family wedding photos.

Alternative guest book ideas image from www.slatersparke.com/blog

Wish Trees
Wish trees are becoming more and more popular, many of my brides are having these (I’m even making a few of them myself) they can be as simple or as decorative as you wish. the idea is for your guests to write a message (wish) on a small piece of card or paper and then tie it to a decorative tree with pretty ribbon. You then keep the wishes and store them in a memory box.

Alternative guest book ideas available to buy at www.paperbirddesign.co.uk Alternative guest book ideas image from signaturek.wordpress.com

The Suitcase
Perfect for vintage weddings, or travel themed wedding. Guests are given a postcard to write on and then left to pop it in the suitcase. Looks great for any wedding and make a real feature out of the guest book.

Alternative guest book ideas image from www.ruffledblog.com Alternative guest book ideas image from the hithced forum

Yes that’s right pebbles. These pebbles are written on by the guests and then kept for years by the couple. They can be stored in a glass vase, or immersed in water.

Alternative guest book ideas image from www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Alternative guest book ideas image from www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com

Photographers Picture Book (with added questions for the guests)
Many photographers will offer a guest book in with the price of the engagement shoot. This guest book can be filled with the pictures from the pre wedding shoot, left with spaces for the guests to write in, always a lovely keep sake. One idea that goes one step further is from mckinley rodgers photography where the book offers questions for the guests to answer about the couple ‘We love the idea of having questions (which can be totally personalised) for the guests to answer, as some people can be stuck for what to write.’

Alternative guest book ideas www.mckinley-rodgers.com Alternative guest book ideas www.mckinley-rodgers.com

Fingerprint Tree
Kind of a take on the wish tree but this time each guest makes their mark with their finger print, which they then sign. You can get as artistic as you want.

Alternative guest book ideas image from www.mareeyah.com/blog Alternative guest book ideas image from www.lucydylanweddings.com

The washing line
This is one of favourite ideas and one that a lovely bride of mine used last year. The idea is to either take pictures of your guests and pin them up for all to see (later to be stuck into a guest book) or get them to write messages on coloured paper or card which is then pegged up for all to see. Both options create a lovely focal point as the messages or pictures start building up throughout the day.

Alternative guest book ideas from one of my own weddings (photo credit lisa devlin photography) Alternative guest book ideas image from www.bluelilyevents.blogspot.com Alternative guest book ideas image from www.thenaturalweddingcompany.wordpress.com

So there you go, I hope you like my selection. Do leave a comment to tell me which is your favorite, or if you have used or are planning to use any of these ideas in your own wedding.
Kelly xxx

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    Zoe Sadler

    I love them all, so many quirky and fun guest book ideas to chose from. I do like the vintage suitcases and the typewriters are fab! Thanks also for featuring my own little guest box creation. Much inky love. x

    Amy Georgina

    I’m so glad you posted this, all the options, in one place. I like so many of the ideas, but I’m thinking of going with the typewriter perhaps combined with the washing line, then to be bound in a book after the wedding.

    Dirk van der Werff

    Great inspirational ideas .. I’ve seen and photographed most of them over the last few years, but haven’t seen a typewriter at my weddings yet – maybe this year, maybe even at an Alice in Wonderland themed wedding I’m photographing this year in Northumberland.

    I shall share this page with my brides-to-be on Facebook ….. my thanks for YOUR inspiration


    Does anyone know where I can hire either a polaroid camera or a vintage typewriter from? I have been looking for ages and thought this might raise some ideas!!!


    oh gosh I LOVE LOVE LOVE the jigsaw (and transportable to Ibiza too!)

    Thanks Kelly – great post!


    hey Pickle, I have a polaroid camera that I hire out, just not had a cahnce to put it on the website yet….it comes with full on photo booth and props, or you can just hire it on it’s own xxx

    Sarah Spangle

    I love the wishing tree! We were going to use that idea for our wedding but opted for vintage/British seaside postcards (as my husband collects them). Although Instead of a suitcase we made a British postbox for people to ‘post’ them into. I’ve also seen replica ones for sale.


    I’ve been struggling for an alternative guest book idea for months and I think I’ve just found the one! I love the sealed wish note idea – and then keeping them sealed until our first anniversary!


    In our Venue at El Chiringuito we have a huge Blackboard and loads of Chalk..the guests can all write wishes to the bride and groom on it and then when its finished the photorapher takes a picture.. its lovely XX

    Margaret Hitchman

    I love the Wishing Tree Idea and will adopt it for Cupcake Camp Bournemouth on 2nd of April so folk can leave a prayer, a wish or a comment and we can remember their loved ones as it’s raising funds for MacMillan Cancer Support. I really want to make a difference so this idea for the Wishing Tree has touched my heart x Thank you so much for sharing it – I’m inspired!


    Wow what an amazing responce, so glad you all like the ideas, it was lots fo fun researching and finding them all for you. Glad to be of help. xxx


    Thanks so much for featuring one of my jigsaw puzzle guest books. I think this is one of the most comprehensive summaries of guest book options I’ve seen this year. You had some I hadn’t even seen yet. Well done!

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    For those looking for a puzzle guest book just run a search for “unique wedding guestbook puzzle”. They can be mounted in a fram on your wall, and can be passed down to future generations.

    Beckie shenton

    What a page! Ive been looking for a wishing tree for our wedding but they are all to small compared to my post box and SSOOOOO expensive! I love the wish note idea, they can ever be posted into our replica royal mail post box! Brilliant!!

    Thank you so much, I have been looking for a solution


    These are lovely kitsch ideas and very unique.

    However the reason I prefer a video guest book is for the longevity of it.

    You can see and hear special and more detailed personal messages off all of the special people in your life and keep those messages on dvd for ever. Imagine a few years down the line when elder relatives have passed and getting the chance to view their message again or even on a less sentimental note getting to look at the fashion of the day and recall the stories and past times you had forgotten about.

    This is where I got the inspiration to create Me-Tv with my fiancé – whilst considering our own Wedding (which is yet to come next year).

    Happy New Year and all the best success for 2012 x


    p.s a free standing touch screen video guestbook is very different from the ‘wedding dvd’ it is funny and entertaining and husbands all around will be laughing at the finished product! :-)


    I love the idea of wish note & wish tree.. It is unique & cute. I even not think of this idea. It is absolutely brilliant idea of having guest book.


    Deana Noland

    At first I liked the stones then the puzzle now I cant make up my mind. Thank you for all the great ideas.


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