I Do {How To’s}: Guest Book Alternatives

Mar 14, 2011

The guest book. Traditionally, the guest book was something people literlly just signed their names in as they arrived at a wedding so that the bride and groom knew who attended. The guest book role and concepts and evolved tremendously! There are SO many creative ways to know who was there, for them to write congrats, well wishes or wedding advice.

The guest book is often times one of the first things guest see when arriving at a wedding, it is fun to get creative, personal and interactive. Here are a few of ideas we love!

{Fingerprint Tree}

Thanks to world of wedding blogs, brides have access to people’s creative ideas to use and make their own. We fell in love with the fingerprint tree upon first sight, haven’t you?? This has become pretty popular, but we think it is an idea you can make your own so worth sharing.

Found on two of our favorite blogs,  Green Wedding Shoes & Style Unveiled, the ladies at Style Unveiled even have a fingerprint tree for a free download that can be personalized.


What you need: a tree with plenty of branches, non toxic washable ink pads, pens, baby wipes and a small waste basket

Use three or four color like pictured above for best results. Also, you can ask the guests to print their names small around their prints.

**Tip: this works best with instructions. Print and frame simple instructions so guests understand, make sure to have wipes to clean up and a waste basket for the wipes. We recommend a pad of the same paper for people to practice.


{Engagement Album}

Most couples do an engagement album with their photographer. Many uses of those photos are for Save the Dates, Invitations, Thank You notes, wedding websites and more. A great way to share those photos with you guests and have them in a keepsake is to have your favorite engagement photos printed in an album with room for your guests to sign and write something throughout the album.

Other alternative is photos of the bride and groom over the span of dating, or perhaps photos of their actual engagement.

**Tip: Make sure to have the appropriate pens or markers on hand. Try them out to ensure they work on the paper and do not smear or smudge.


{Wishing Bowl}

Take this opportunity to get well wishes from family and friends. Simply have small wishing bowl {bowl, apothocary jar, vase or any other container}, wish cards and pens.

You can also ask for advice from your married guests, you never know what you might learn! Have one stack of wishing cards, one for advice.


{Polaroid Guest Book}

People love taking pictures. Whether in a photo booth, with their own camera or an instant Polaroid, people love to smile for the camera.

What you need: 2 or 3 Polaroid cameras, a guest book helper, a blank album, pens, tape/photo corners or squares to insert the photos into the album

This works the best when you have a helper to take the photos of the guests as the walk in, then hands the photo to the guests to insert into the album and sign. Its such a great way to capture the memory of your guests on the day of your wedding.


Whether your wedding theme is travel or not, post cards are fun to have in place of a guest book. Postcards from the state or cities your guests are from, or postcards from places you have traveled, wish to travel. Guests can write congratulations, fond memories, advice, encouragement and well wishes.

An added touch is a mailbox or suitcase or personalized box for the written postcards to be placed in.


We hope this inspires you to create a fun guest book for your wedding! If you do anything fun, different or creative, we would love to hear about it to share with our readers.

Photo Credits: Fingerprint Tree Green Wedding Shoes{photo by Sloan Photographers}, Fingerprint Tree Style Unveiled, Polaroid Guest book , Polaroid Camera, Instant Guest Book, Postcards, Found Rentals SuitcaseEtsy Wedding Box



"Thank you for all that you did for us - people are still complimenting our special day! Couldn't have done it without you!" Caroline | 2019 Bride

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