Wedding styling inspiration: alternative guest book ideas

We didn’t have a guest book at our wedding. At the time I didn’t really see the point of a book with 100 messages all saying “Congratulations! Hope you’ll be very happy!” I’ve kept all our cards, containing words of that kind.

I’d been at plenty of weddings where a book was thrust in front of me and I’d had to sit thinking up something witty and warm to write, when I’m afraid what I wanted to do was eat, drink and chat with my table mates.

But I wish I’d thought more about it like some of these couples did. With a little more direction and imagination, you could end up with a unique keepsake and one that is fun for your guests to contribute to.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Make it fun!

How about your friends and family creating a mural? Could be a masterpiece or a disaster, depending on the their artistic talent, but this is a really fun idea and could be a godsend for keeping children entertained.

I bet you’ve never even considered ‘guest book Jenga.’ Missing out.

Combine your guest book with your photobooth for some fun shots of your favourite people.

Wishing wall

Like a mural, this wishing wall would be a real focal point and actually become a key part of the décor. If you don’t have room, think about a wish tree.

Bunting and washing lines

Such a cute idea. I even read of one wedding where guests were encouraged to ‘air their dirty laundry’ ~ share their favourite stories of the bride and groom on clothing-shaped pieces of paper which were pegged up.

Give them something really pretty to hang up by using this vintage handkerchief printable from Eat Drink Chic.

Fabric for a keepsake

These brides asked guests to write on pieces of fabric, which will be made into keepsake quilts. Sweet!

Fit in with your theme

For a seaside or destination wedding, for example, get your guests to write their messages on pebbles, send a ‘message in a bottle’ or make their mark on a map. Old typewriters have become really popular for vintage-style weddings.

How to collect your messages?

Again, keep your theme in mind, but why not have guests write good wishes on postcards and deliver them to you in a vintage post box or suitcase, wicker basket, writing desk, chest of drawers ~ or even have them pegged to a bicycle wheel! You might want to have notes framed afterwards.

Pre-printed cards

It’s often easier to write if you’re given a prompt. These pre-printed cards can tease out the information you might want your guests to share ~ perhaps how they met you, or their memories of you as a couple. Something like this would be easy to DIY; alternatively speak to your stationer or look at Etsy.

Address card boxes

This makes for a cute and compact way of keeping your messages. Guests fill in a card which is filed alphabetically.


There’s no reason not to have a traditional book if you want one, but why not make it more interesting to look back on by including candid Polaroid shots of your guests, decorating good luck notes with stamps or washi tape or displaying them in colourful envelopes.

The best of the rest

Have guests create a tree of thumbprints or write messages in leaves; autograph your monograms; or use this free printable ‘Love always’ poster.

Credit where it’s due: 1 Tiffany Arment Photography via Green Wedding Shoes; 2 Jessica Roper via Oh Lovely Day; 3 We Love Laugh Kiss via Love and Lavender; 4 Emily Blake Photography via Green Wedding Shoes; 5 Steven Brooks Photography; 6 Michelle Van Tine Photography via Style Me Pretty; 7 Eat Drink Chic; 8 Joielala Photographie via Ruffled; 9 Hazelnut Photography via Project Wedding; 10 One Wed; 11 The Papery Nook at Etsy; 12 Max Wanger via 100 Layer Cake; 13 Blue Lily Events; 14 Brooke Boling Photography via Green Wedding Shoes; 15 Clayton Austin via Green Wedding Shoes; 16 Hino B Photography via Hannihaus; 17 Dazzling Expressions at Etsy; 18 Celadon Home at Etsy; 19 EE Photography via Green Wedding Shoes; 20 My August Press via Emmaline Bride; 21 Cut The Cake Designs at Etsy; 22 Nessa K Photography via Ruffled; 23 Punam Bean Photography via Reverie; 24-27 Martha Stewart; 28 Christina Carroll Photography via Style Me Pretty

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