Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Follow the Bride: Help Me Design Our Guest Book

At the last wedding I went to, I forgot to sign the guest book. At the wedding before that, I wrote something silly, like, “Love and happiness. XOXO.” While I make a living as an editor, spending my days nitpicking other people’s words, I can never find the right ones when I’m asked to scribe a sentimental message of my own. I can't think quick enough and usually muddle it up once I realize there’s no Backspace key.

I’ve got till next year to work on a great guest book greeting, but all of this has got me thinking about how I’d like my guests to mark their presence at my wedding. My friend Erin had a great idea: She placed five empty wine bottles labeled with the numbers 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50, and asked guests to write her and her husband a note in each for them to read on the corresponding anniversary. At the beginning of this month, she opened her first bottle and said how nice it was to remember their wedding day with messages from their friends and family and how excited she is to open the next one, even if she has to wait four years.

I have some ideas for our guest book, but can’t decide which I like the best. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Photo booth: While these are not new to the wedding scene, I thought it would be fun to give guests a small chalkboard to write a message on before they snapped a picture of themselves. I could then use all of the images to create a photo album. But a photo booth may not fit into the budget. How can I easily do this on my own?

Typewriter: I read about this gem in Martha Stewart Weddings. She instructs brides to place a long scroll of paper into a vintage machine and ask guests to punch in a quick note. Since I’m going with a vintage theme, this could really work. Plus, I love the way this display looks. (I’m all about reusing the flowers from cocktail hour and this would be a great table to move a small arrangement to.)

Engagement photo album: I’m really against decorating my wedding with a million pictures of Keith and I. Guests will be looking at us all day long so I don’t really see a need. But as we get older and have children, I think we’re more likely to look back on a photo album.

Champagne bottle:. I’ve seen really huge bottles of champagne that guests could sign with a thick gold marker. But I’m not sure how long I can keep something that delicious looking displayed on a shelf. And we’ll definitely need some help if we ever decide to pop the cork.

Help me readers! Which do you like the best? Tell me about your own guest book ideas. Please share your ideas below in my virtual guest book (aka comments)!


Adger Rothwell said...

I absolutely LOVE the typewriter idea!

Anonymous said...

I loooove the wine bottles and the typewriter. Do they each write it on their own paper? Or all on one. It might get frustrating to have to reload paper into the whole day. It could slow things down. Hmmm... I like the photos too. You could easily set up an area with a pretty backdrop and have a photographer do it. If your photographer isn't bringing extra people, find someone you know who will do it cheaply for an hour or two. Very cute idea!!!

Anonymous said...

I think that a problem you may find with the typewriter is that reading typed words and messages is less sentimental than a handwritten note. So it may not be as powerful looking back on it as the pictures or chalk board idea. Instead of a photobooth, you can just rent a couple Polaroid cameras and have people take the pictures and put them in a nice basket. You might even have family members with old polaroid cameras.

Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

Love the champagne bottle!

Unknown said...

Fun ideas! We're making a guest book from our engagement photos. We have such fab photos from our e-session that I really wanted to use them in some way without, as you mentioned, peppering the wedding with photos of us. Pick the idea that is best for you!!!

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for a way to do a photobooth without a photobooth. Love the chalk board. We have a very "enthusiastic" friend and we've asked her to do the honours with a £65 polaroid camera off Amazon.

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