1. A wedding guest book has almost no purpose anymore. Yes, you want to record who spends the big day celebrating with you, eating your food, and drinking your drink. However, when was the last time you went over to your best friend’s or parent’s house and asked to see their guest book? Never. The one possible function of the guest book is to have an accurate, maybe, account of your guests. But is it an accurate account? And do you need the guest book to help you with thank you notes? No, that’s what the presents and appropriate tags are for. So now that we are all bored by the idea of spending $50 for a boring, but probably pretty, lined wedding notebook, here are some better things to try that you may actually display for a couple of years before you store everything never to be seen again.
2. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can go to Michael’s or www.michaels.com and buy a frame matte any size you want. And you’ll probably need a large one so that everyone can sign the frame matte which you can then take to frame a wedding photograph of your choice for your home. This is a very popular alternative that I have seen done many different ways. Some couples go ahead and set up the matt with an engagement photo on an art stand without the glass plate for people to sign as they come in. That way it looks functional. However, it might be tricky to set up that way and will probably ruin your photograph you include. So you could definitely use your would be guest book table to set up the matte with instructions tucked in the middle where you will insert your wedding picture later.
3. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can use a coffee table book. This is a limitless possibility idea. I’m going to use a huge coffee table book of Nashville from www.borders.com as both my soon to be husband and I are Nashville natives. And let people sign with a nice no smear sharpie. However, I got the idea from a suggestion to use a travel book for a destination wedding. But you really could use any coffee table book that describes your guys’ personality. For example, do you guys have a favorite sports team? Maybe he proposed in a very memorable place or an exotic location, and you want to highlight that. Perhaps you want to let everyone know where you guys are honeymooning. Just visit your local bookstore; Barnes and Noble is a great alternative to Borders. And then you have a beautiful coffee table book to display in your new home with daily reminders of the special day you two shared and everyone who shared it with you.
4. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can create a photography box. In all my photographer interviewing, one thing became apparent, shadow boxes are here to stay. For those of you who don’t know what a shadow box, it’s a fancy 4×6 box to hold extra photos from your wedding. The reason it is so popular is because normally the come equipped to display one photo at a time and is interchangeable. While I have no clue how to recreate that any cheaper than your photographers, it did give me an idea for an alternative to a wedding guest book. You could have your guest sign contact paper, and then decorate a shoe box or other box in which you keep your extra photos.
5. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can hire a videographer for a more technical crowd. Just get video footage of everyone wishing you and your fiancÃ?Â© congratulations. Or snag your own camcorder and ask one of your buddies to get “confessions” from everyone. Granted, you probably won’t watch it too much more often than you’d look through a guest book, but the goofy commentary from your drunk friends will be much more amusing. Be careful to avoid your parents’ sappy well wishes until you have a box of Kleenexes near by, however.
6. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can be an ultra demanding bride and request in your invitations that everybody bring a photo of their own for you to include in a visual presentation of everyone that came. This is also great for those who can’t attend but would like to send a little memento for you along with the gift you so carefully registered for. It can be especially fun when your guests start digging up really old wedding photos or even request baby photos. Then just request your guests drop the photos off at a table you have set up with a photo album you have already selected. You’ll either want to get a scrapbook album or request a certain size photo. This is high maintenance for guests, but it can be a lot of fun for them to start reminiscing about their own weddings and big life events.
7. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can hit a scrap booking jackpot if you’re into that. This will involve another trip to Michael’s or Jo Anne’s. Just stock up on all the scrap booking paper you like, and they’ll have lots of choices. You’ll even be able to find lots of wedding themed paper. Cut them into smaller squares, if you bought the full page sizes, and leave them at your greeting table along with lots of markers, crayons, etc, maybe even some little do jiggies and some heavy duty glue that is also dummy proof as you are at a wedding, and you probably don’t want your guests getting messy. And then you have some pre-made mementos to include in your wedding scrapbook. If you leave the pieces smaller, then you can spread them out throughout your book and not be left with several boring pages to flip through. However, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you scrap bookers that.
8. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can splurge on that print poster you were wanting and have everyone sign that! Of course, it would need to be a poster with lots of signing space and that you wouldn’t mind people signing. But if you’ve been eyeing a dead space on your wall, and you’ve just been waiting to find something to fill it, this is your chance to hit your movie stores, art stores, and online ads. Again, if your honey has a favorite sports team, give in this once, buy a poster for him under the condition you get to let your guests sign it. Then display it proudly. Or if you already have a print that you like, pull it down and see if all your guests could fit their names and a short message on it. If so, you’re set. Again, this is a way to let your personalities shine through.
9. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can really splurge on a photo booth! Yes, really extreme, but also a very hip, young crowd idea that could replace your need for a guest book. I’m not sure about exact prices but type in photo booth rentals in www.google.com, and a slew of results pop up like http://www.classicphotobooth.net/. And then leave a fish bowl and a pair of scissors out near the booth for your guests to leave you with their choice of photo, and they get to keep some photos of themselves too. If you like the idea but cringe at the idea of the cost, you can create a booth atmosphere with some drapes and an out of the way area and a digital camera or for the instant result of a photo booth try the old fashioned Polaroid.
10. Don’t buy a wedding guest book, because you can go magnet crazy. My friends never have enough magnets. So what better way to welcome you into your new life than to write a short message on pre-selected magnet and then be set for life. You can even use them on any magnetic note boards you have around the house. You can custom make magnets too in any shape or design you want. Just make sure you can write on them. If you’re having troubles, contact your local screen printers’ company, and they’ll be able to advise you on your quest.