Many wedding guest books are mere glamorized, handsomely bound registry books where the names and signatures of the wedding guests are recorded for posterity’s sake. Since there’s nothing else to see but names, you can bet that the book will soon be a dusty fixture in the basement storage bin.
Fortunately, there’s a school of thought that values wedding guest books as some sort of colorful compendiums containing a chronology of events involving your wedding guests. To accomplish that objective, you have to organize a plan that covers the clock-work execution of all the things that you want to feature in your personalized wedding guest book.
- Organize a detailed plan of the things you wish to feature in your guest book.
- Form a team to implement the plan; hold a brainstorming session and finalize the plan as fine-tuned with the suggestions of the members of the guest book team.
- Canvass, purchase and prepare the materials needed for the plan.
- Get ready with the digital camera, video camera and tripod.
- Unique ideas
Try some of the unique ideas below to come up with one of the unique wedding guest books you’re raring to have:
- Loose-leaf pages. The registry pages, where the guests list down their names in print and sign, will be the only pages at the entrance. Make sure all the guests pass through the entrance where the registration is. For big wedding receptions, several entrance points may each have a registry book.
- Snapshots of guests signing the registry book. These snapshots shall be processed on the computer and printed at the designated box at the top of each page. Each guest is reserved one entire page. Even husband-and-wife guests or other couples in a relationship shall be devoted one full page each. With the ease and speed of digital imaging of computers and the versatility of colored printers, there should be no hitches in executing these details.
- Of course, you would also like to know some interesting trivia from your guests. You can pre-print some leading questions on their special page for them to answer like, let’s say:
- Where you first met with the guest and the circumstances surrounding the encounter;
- Their impressions of the wedding;
- Their wishes for the newly weds; or
- Other trivia they would like to write about.
The guest loose leaf special page shall be delivered to the guest’s table to be filled up. It could be done before the food is served or during the program. The members of the committee assigned to handle all these activities should be alert all the time to make sure that no guest shall exit without filling up his or her special page.
All the loose leaf pages shall be assembled in the order of the sequence of arrival of the guests in the registry book, which will serve as the table of contents of the personalized guest book. A special cover shall be specially designed and printed for special bookbinding.
Wedding guest books, like the above model, can also be transformed into a truly memorable compendium of the wedding with the following features:
- Poignant pictures of the wedding can be printed on the cover and backcover;
- A pictorial of the wedding from start to finish can be included;
- A brief history of the love affair of the couple; and
- The members of the family of the bride and the groom.
It is therefore best to have the entire wedding guest book organized and edited before it is brought for special bookbinding.
Finally, as a gesture of appreciation, a scanned copy of the guest’s page shall be sent to each guest with the “thank you” card.
For smaller wedding receptions, a book-bound wedding guest book may be used instead. Organize the book in alphabetical order with tabs to alert the guest where to write down his or her wishes for the newly weds. Take the book around and make sure that the guests know how to fill it up.
- Alternative ideas
The following wedding guest book alternatives can be much simpler to execute:
- Video coverage: If you want no hassles but still want a recording of what your guests have in mind, organize the video coverage to include a section composed of mini-interviews of guests. This is one creative way of capturing all the raw emotions of the guests.
- A recording guest book: There are highly technical guest books where the guest simply pushes a button and can start recording his or her best wishes to the newly weds. These are rarely available but you can try looking for these on the web.
- Wish cards in individual envelopes to be filled up by each guest and pasted on the pages of wedding guest books. Instead of cards, you can think of other special stationery bearing the couple’s pictures, or other items to write on.
If you’re raring to be different, you can have your own special way with wedding guest book alternatives that you conceive together with your groom.
You can always resurrect the joys and glory of your wedding day from the pages of your personalized wedding guest book decades after that red-letter day. But if you’re not about to go into all that frenzy to customize your guest book, then you can always go back to the “pen and book” plain look of ready-made wedding guest books.