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Published July 25 2012

Areavoices: Simple ideas for a unique wedding ‘book’

It seems that no matter how non-traditional a wedding celebration claims to be, the guest book remains a solid tradition. However, it has grown to be much more than the standard sign-your-name-on-the-line style.

Here are some outside-the-book options:

Hanging monogram

My husband and I opted for an 18-inch wooden letter that now hangs above our headboard. Guests signed their names with a super-fine Sharpie pen, and we sprayed a layer of matte sealer over the top.

Polaroid book

Assign a person (a faux-tographer?) or have guests take pictures of each other with a Polaroid camera, place their photo on a page in a scrapbook, and write a message.

Photo book

This is an update of the traditional sign-on-the-line version. Make a photobook of the happy couple from your favorite picture processing service (like Snapfish, Shutterfly, or Mixbook). Here’s a tip: sign up on all three for email coupons and deals and wait for a 40 to 50 percent deal. They happen often enough that if you have a few months to go, wait it out. Make sure you leave LOTS of blank space for guests to sign. Remember that that some guests will write more and some will write less. Also, do your research on archival pens, and you may want to include a sign that requests guests wait a moment in between signings so you don’t get any smudges on the glossy paper.

Thumbprint tree

This is the latest rage. Guests “leaf” their fingerprint on a blank tree image – on canvas, on wood, on anything! Leave some baby wipes on the table for guests to clean their hands.

You can download a free starter tree to print from styleunveiled.com/wedding-fingerprint-tree


This would go absolutely perfect with my favorite Ellen Degeneres quote: “You know when you’re doing a jigsaw puzzle and the piece looks like it should fit exactly, but it doesn’t? … You really should find the right piece.”

The spendy route: a custom-cut, wood puzzle. The DIY/Thrifty route: make your own picture puzzle and have each guest sign a piece. You could mod podge the pieces later, then hang it in a frame.

Or you could purchase a generic puzzle and paint over the picture with a plain background, monogram and your wedding date, then have the guests sign the pieces on the front or back.

A wishing tree

Guests hang their handwritten well-wishes on a branch. I love this for prettiness’ sake, but not so much for the “What do we do with this now?” that surely happens after the decorations come down. However, you can certainly place the little cards in a scrapbook or photo album.

Wishing well

Along the same lines as the tree – but perfect if your wedding is outdoors. Simply have the guests place the “wishes” in a pretty jar. Later, you can scrapbook or put them in an album, or maybe simply a pretty box to look at through the years.


Guests can write messages on the blocks of a Jenga game, which would make a fun anniversary game with your new spouse.


You could have a pre-made quilt and have your guests sign it. Or use fabric squares and pens and have the quilt put together later.

Guest book prompts

What if you want your guests to write more than just their name? You should post a sign with some writing prompts (although maybe this is the English teacher in me?). Here are some ideas for prompts (some borrowed from heaskedisaidyes.blogspot.com):

E What’s the best marriage advice you’ve ever gotten?

E What’s your favorite memory of us?

E What should we name our kids?

E What is a great date night idea?

E What’s the most romantic place we should visit?

E What should we do during our first year of marriage?

E Where do you see us in 25 years?

E When did you know we were meant for each other?

E What was your favorite moment at the ceremony?

E What is your favorite dinner recipe?

The possibilities of course, are endless!