Top 10 Wedding Trends of 2011: Creative and Functional Guest Books

On August 28, 2010

It’s Day 2 and all about the guest book!  Yes, the guest book aka the butt of endless wedding jokes.  When guests and couples alike are openly making fun of how boring and generic the guest book is, you know it’s time to do away with tradition.

Once upon a time guest books were these big, ugly leather books where guests would write their names and mailing addresses (because you sent them an invitation and obviously do not have their mailing address).  Don’t forget that oversized, white pen with the small bird attached to the top!  I wholeheartedly believe in guest books, but I also believe that they should serve a purpose.  As a matter of fact, every aspect of a wedding should serve a purpose.  Creative and functional guest book options are endless.  It truly depends on the couple, their personalities and tastes, but here are a few options to help you think outside the box.

This is still one of my favorites!  Below are two guest books showcased at the Harpers’ wedding reception.  Through the planning process, I learned about the bride’s love of all things fashion and magazines!  I decided to use their engagement photos to build personalized coffee table books to be placed in their new home.  With their last name being Harper, of course, we chose Harper’s Bazaar.  We customized headlines about them tying the knot and even teased about exclusive wedding and honeymoon details being inside.

Upon arrival to the cocktail reception, my team took pictures of all guests using Polaroid cameras.  Those picture were affixed to the inside of the guest book where they wrote a special note for the Harpers’ (see above).  People absolutely loved it!  Posing, choosing a specific location at the venue where they wanted their picture taken!  Everyone was excited and invested in the guest book experience!  The only jokes being made that day were of each other for their crazy poses!  The bride contacted me recently saying that a lot of her friends and co-workers have asked how she created her guest book because they would like to do the same!

{Above} This guest book is a perfect example of incorporating a couple’s uniqueness and individuality into the celebration.  The bride and groom dated about 7-8 years prior to getting married.  I learned during the planning process that after dating for so long, they felt like they had almost exhausted all of their date night options.  They definitely did not want things to become stale, especially in the early stages of marriage.  What they did have were sources that they simply had not tapped into…family members and friends who had been married for many, many years!  I decided to enlist the help of those loved ones!  A beautiful card using their theme graphic (top photo) was created, asking guests to write down their date night suggestions for the bride and groom.  Those suggestions were written on the backs of cards that were designed using the month and day of actual Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from the 2010 and 2011 calendars (bottom photo).  After the wedding, a date night calendar was made.  However, instead of showing the month and all of its days, the calendar had one month and one date on top with the date suggestion on the bottom.  So every time they flipped the calendar, there would be a new date suggestion for the bride and groom to carry out.  Guests had so much fun thinking up ideas that the bride and groom were able to build a calendar with enough dates to keep things fresh for at least the first year and a half of marriage!

Sheila Garvey Photography

The above is a variation of the Harper’s Bazaar guest book.  This couple rented a photo booth for their reception.  Two reels of photos were printed – guests kept one for themselves and placed the other inside of the guest book.  There they wrote fun or insightful messages for the happy couple next to their own picture reel!

These are just ideas that worked for some couples.  What has meaning to you?  What will serve a purpose or be able to function in your home after your wedding day is over?  What will you want to browse through 25 years from now?  Get creative and design a unique guest book that will excite and entertain!

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