Your wedding is a day unlike any other. It’s the one day when all the special people in your life come together and celebrate love. And not just any love—you and your partner’s love.
It’s a rare occasion that you get to bring all the important people in your life together, so you must document it. A traditional guest book can do this, but looking back at signatures on a piece of paper may not effectively bring back your wedding memories.
If you’re looking for a more creative way to document this special day, here are some DIY wedding guest book alternatives that will be sure to capture all the love and happiness you and your guests will be feeling.
A picture speaks a thousand words—and that’s certainly more than you can fit in the average wedding guest book. While professional photos are typical at most formal weddings, encouraging your guests to do a little photography of their own will add a more personal touch and double as a fun activity during the reception.
Incorporate photographs into your unique wedding guest book by having loved ones write their congratulations alongside a photograph or two (or three, or four, depending on how you go about this).
If you need some ideas for a creative way to incorporate pictures into your guest book, consider these two approaches.
This comes at a higher price point, but it provides instant results. Place a polaroid camera on each table at the reception. The cameras can be accompanied by a cute note explaining that guests are welcome to take photos and write messages on the back of them.
Leave a few markers for guests to write with and let the memories create themselves. A polaroid camera prints out physical photos within minutes and allows guests to sign their names on the blank side, along with any other words of love and support for the happy couple. At the end of the reception, have guests leave their photos on the tables.
Once you’ve gathered all the polaroids, you can compile them and create your own DIY wedding guest book. Use a photo album with double-sided pages to keep the photos and messages visible as you flip through them.
Added Bonus: Once guests leave their photos on the tables, you can have fun running around and collecting them all. This will feel like a wedding Easter egg hunt and give you and your new spouse something fun to do as the wedding wraps up.
Throw it back with some 2004 family vacation vibes by incorporating disposable cameras into your reception. This is a cheaper alternative to polaroid cameras and guests will be able to snap a ton of shots without wasting expensive rolls of film.
The disposable camera photo guest book is executed similarly to the polaroid method. Leave note cards and writing utensils at each table alongside the cameras. Encourage guests to write they are well wishes in addition to taking as many photos as they want.
Once you have physical copies of the photographs, pair them with the cards left on the table and place them all together in a scrapbook. Piecing together everyone’s photos and messages will take some time, but it’s going to be a blast for any DIY enthusiast.
Added Bonus: The exciting part of using disposable cameras is awaiting the results. When you get the photos developed in the following weeks, you’ll find yourself reliving the happy memories all over again.
For the creative couple, trying a more artistic approach to the traditional wedding guest book may be the way to go. Incorporating art into your guest book will leave you with a collection of memories that also double as stylish home decor. So hop in the car, take a trip down to the craft store, and try out any one of these imaginative DIY guest book ideas.
How would your wedding day feel without all your loved ones by your side? A wedding is a bit like a puzzle, and the guests are the pieces. Bring this idea to life by turning your wedding guest book into a DIY puzzle.
Accomplish this in four easy steps:
When the wedding is over, collect all your pieces and work on building the puzzle once again. This makes for a sweet activity you can do as newlyweds, and as you try to determine where each piece goes, it gives you the chance to examine each message carefully.
Added Bonus: You’ll have to differentiate which side is the front of the puzzle, so guests know where to write their message. DIY lovers will enjoy this part because you’ll get to do some extra decorating. Paint the side guests should write on with your color of choice, and feel free to incorporate any other creative choices that come to mind.
Ok, maybe expecting guests to know their way around a needle and thread is a bit much—even for a DIY expert—but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate a little sewing action into your special day.
If textiles are more your cup of tea, try swapping the guest book out for a guest quilt. Sew the actual quilt together before the big day. During the reception, have guests sign the quilt with fabric markers.
Take your newly decorated quilt home when the wedding is over and lay it over the back of the couch, the end of the bed, or any other cozy place you want to display your memories. The quilt will be a comforting reminder of your wedding days for years to come.
Added Bonus: The best part about quilting is all the colors and patterns you can incorporate. If you’re someone who can’t go home with just one purchase from the fabric store, this is the DIY wedding guest book for you.
As any experienced DIY-er knows, a shadow box is a picture frame with a spacious interior that allows you to display a wide variety of items inside it.
In terms of a DIY wedding guest book, shadow boxes can be used to create an artful display out of your loved ones' heartfelt messages. Have guests write on unique objects that you’d like to hang on the wall. Some ideas for what to place in the shadow box may include:
Or, go beyond this list and choose something specific to your wedding’s theme. To get this DIY wedding guest book started, set up a station at the reception for guests to grab a trinket to write their message on. Leave the shadow box open at the top, so guests can drop their item in.
Added Bonus: If you’re looking to display your artful guest book at home, this is the easiest choice. As soon as the wedding is over, the frame is full and ready to be hung—no extra steps necessary.
What better way to capture the memory of your big day than by getting everything on film? If you want to give your guests a truly personal way to show their love, a video guest book is going to do just that. This one may sound a little tricky, but if you have the right equipment, it’s a great option.
If you have a quality camera, a video guest book will be a piece of cake. Ask around to see if someone on your guest list would be interested in taking charge of the video guest book, and have them go around the reception filming everyone’s well wishes.
Editing this together doesn’t have to be difficult, either. Use simple software, such as iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker, to easily splice these fun little snippets together. These programs provide a ton of premade templates that you can work with, so you don’t have to be a professional filmmaker to get the job done.
Added Bonus: You and your spouse will have a lot of fun in the editing room with this one. Going through all the funny, silly, and heartfelt videos will have you reliving the memories of your special day all over again.
If you want to simplify this idea, have your guests utilize the technology they know best: their phones.
Everyone has a smartphone these days. Take advantage of the selfie phenomenon by having your loved ones film their short videos using their phone’s front camera. An easy way to compile all of these messages is by having guests send them directly to you or your spouse. Make this easy on guests by placing a notecard on each table at the reception with a phone number, email address, or QR code to send their videos to.
Added Bonus: Guests will have a lot of fun with this one. Filming their video takes the pressure off the need to be formal. If you want to see your loved ones being their most natural selves, this is the way to go.
Go beyond the flimsy guest book pages. Store your memories in a unique way that will catch your eye for years to come. The happiness your wedding brings doesn’t have to end once the big day is over.
By opting for a more creative take on the traditional wedding guest book, both you and your loved ones will have more fun and create stronger memories—and you may even go home with a beautiful piece of artwork.