The wedding guest book is an age-old tradition that many couples cherish as a special memento from their nuptial wedding day celebrations. The book’s purpose is to give your guests a place to leave notes filled with their well-wishes and plenty of advice for the newlyweds.
However, this detail of your big day offers another opportunity to show off your unique personality as a couple. For this reason, an increasingly popular trend with couples is to plan a wedding guest book alternative. These creative ideas are often more interactive for your guests and can be easily displayed as decor in your home, rather than relegated to a shelf.
An alternative wedding guest book can be an even better idea for a destination wedding, allowing you to commemorate your special day’s location. With that in mind, we’ve put together 11 of our favorite destination wedding guest book ideas to help you start your planning:
Having a destination wedding means you’ll probably have to travel back to your home city with your guest book. So, keeping your guest book as an actual book might be the most convenient and sensible thing. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to a traditional design for your guest book. You can update the classic book idea with these fun twists:
1. Laser Engraved Get your guest book custom made with a wood cover that’s laser engraved with maps of your choice. This could be the outline of your home location with a dashed line to the shape of your destination state or country with hearts marking each city. Alternatively, you could have the cover engraved with the skyline of the city you’re getting married in or a beach horizon if you’re opting for a tropical destination wedding. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.
2. Passport Theme For an international destination wedding, you might want to theme your guest book after a passport booklet. You can stick to the standard look of a passport cover or customize it to your satisfaction. Then, have the interior guest book pages designed to mimic those you’d find in an actual passport. To elevate the theme, have a few custom stamps designed for your wedding guest book that your guests can use when writing their messages. Make sure you leave out a few different colors of ink to give it a more authentic look.
3. Destination Coffee Table Book Another fun twist on a classic guest book is to use a coffee table book from your destination full of photos that will always remind you of this particular location. Then, have your guests pick their favorite photo and write a note on that page. You’ll love keeping the book displayed in your home as decor and anyone who picks it up will be pleasantly surprised by all the heartfelt messages inside.
4. Pressed Local Flowers Work with a local florist or pick some local blooms and greenery yourself to make this unique guest book. After gathering all the different florals, leave them in a book next to your guest book. As your guests fill up the book, have them attach their favorite flowers next to their messages. When the night is over, close the book and bind it up tight to make sure the flowers get pressed. Keep the book closed until your first anniversary when you can crack it open and read all the beautiful messages from your friends and family while being transported back to the beauty of your destination location.
5. Guest Photos Capture your guests on film or get a photo booth to commemorate your special day and location. Have guests take photos of themselves and then add them to the book with their message or advice. Your guests will have so much fun putting this together for you, and you’ll love looking back at the joy and love that surrounded you on your big day. Make this idea even more exciting by leaving out props, maybe even some related to your destination, for your guests to use during their photoshoot.
If a standard guest book isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of alternative guest book ideas for destination weddings. These ideas shake up the tradition, but are still easy to transport back home after your celebration.
6. Postcards for the Newlyweds Postcards are a fun DIY wedding guest book idea. Provide your guests with a blank postcard from your destination and have them write their messages on the back. At the end of the night, you can either gather these yourself and take them home or have them collected for you and then mailed to you throughout your first year of marriage.
7. Jars or Bottles
Rather than having your guests fill a book, ask them to write their messages on blank pieces of paper and then drop them into a glass jar. This fun spin on a guest book will be something you love to display in your home. Similarly, you can have several jars or bottles on the table, each labeled with a different anniversary year (like one, five, 10, and 15). Then, instruct your guests to write their advice or a message for you to read on that anniversary. You’ll love getting new messages and guidance from your guests on these momentous occasions over the years. To make this one easier to transport, simply empty the jar or bottles you use at your destination and get new ones once you return home.
8. Framed Destination Map Have a customized art print or illustration of a map of your destination on display at your reception and allow guests to sign the space around it. There are many fun and creative designs you can have created for this idea. Some of our favorites include a watercolor of your tropical island destination or overlapping states on a canvas, but the possibilities are endless. For easy transportation, simply leave the frame behind and get a new one at home.
9. Use a Globe An especially fun idea for a destination wedding is to have your guests sign a globe. Whether you choose to use a traditional globe or one you’ve had painted and personalized with a monogram, your guests will love signing this distinctive guest book, and it will look great on display in your home. Though this one may be difficult to transport, we think it’s well worth the hassle.
10. Date Night Idea Jar For this simple idea, have your guests write their favorite date night ideas down on pieces of paper and drop them into a jar. This will make a cute display in your home and will come in handy when you find yourself going for yet another date night dinner. Plus, this one is easy to transport home from your destination.
11. Get It on Video Upgrade photo booth guest books and have your guests take videos instead. Leave out a few small video cameras, and ask your guests to record messages for the newlyweds. We guarantee you’ll get some hilarious footage of your guests along with meaningful messages. Plus, this digital guest book will be super easy to transport back home.
While these are some of our favorite destination wedding guest book ideas, there are so many more that you could use for your celebration. As you plan the guest book for your destination wedding, you’ll want to consider the ease of transport back to your home and fun ways to incorporate your special location. However, as long as you love your guest book, nothing else matters.