Traditional guest books look a lot like blank photo albums or large journals. They are meant to provide a space for guests to offer congratulations, warm wishes, and marriage advice as they celebrate your special day with you. When your guests take the time to do this, a guest book serves as a precious keepsake for any couple. Here’s how many guest book pages you’ll need to provide and how to ensure they get filled by the end of the night. (You can also check out options for a DIY guest book template here.)
The number of pages you need will depend on how big your wedding is, the style of guest book you plan to have, and what strategies you plan to employ to encourage people to write their well-wishing notes.
The size of your wedding is the most significant factor in determining how many guest book pages you need to have. Obviously, if you have more people in attendance, you should have more pages available. Here are our suggested page counts:
In addition to the total guest count, you should also consider how many families or couples will be in attendance. Usually, these groupings will write a single message. The page counts provided, of course, are an estimate and will be impacted by a few other factors. However, these ranges should give you a good starting point, which you can adjust based on the other elements listed below.
The next most important factor influencing your wedding guest book pages is the style of the book you will be using. Let’s take a look at four of the most significant elements that may impact how many pages you need your guest book to have.
Blank or Lined Pages: First, you need to decide if you’d like the book to be filled with blank or lined pages. Blank pages allow guests to write wherever they desire and at all different angles. This could save space by giving guests the opportunity to squeeze their messages into various odd-sized spots. However, it’s more likely that you will need more blank pages, as there are no lines to guide guests and they may write larger notes. Lined pages can help mitigate this problem, as the ruling on the pages prompt guests to stay within the lines.
Page Size: Next, you should consider the size of your book. Typically, the most standard sizes for pre-made books are 8-inch and 10-inch squares. The larger pages allow more families or guests to write on each page. While these are the most common size for books that you can purchase, you can also create your own guest book with custom page sizing, though the same general rule applies.
Binding: The type of binding you select may also influence how many guest book pages you need. If your book has a more permanent binding type, such as case binding or saddle stitch binding, you should err on the side of caution and include a few more pages than you think you need. Once made, you will not be able to adjust the page count. However, if your book has a ring or binder-style binding, you will be able to add or remove pages as needed. In that case, you could start with fewer pages and have your wedding planner or someone at the venue add more if necessary.
Book Alternatives: An increasingly popular choice for many couples is to think outside the book, so to speak, to show off their creativity and personality. Rather than having a traditional book of bound pages, some couples opt for something unique that they will want to keep and display within their home—a photo book full of pictures of the couple, a wooden bench, or a globe. Another idea is to have guests write their message on individual pieces of paper and then place them in a glass jar that the couple can pick through over the years. In this case, you may not need any pages for your wedding guest book alternative. [LINK]
Finally, the number of pages you need in your guest book will depend on whether your guests actually sign it. After all, you will need far fewer pages if no one takes the time to write in your guest book. While you won’t be able to guarantee the quality of their messages, there are a few tried and true ways to encourage more guests to sign your guest book, so you don’t end up with a book full of blank pages.
Prominent Placement: The most prominent location for your guest book is on a table right in the entryway, near the table assignment display or on the way to the restrooms. Giving the book a visible placement will ensure that guests see it and know where to find it when they are ready to sign. However, this method is quite passive and will only capture the signatures of those who naturally feel drawn to sign the book.
Make an Announcement: You can build on your book placement strategy by making an announcement (or two) throughout your reception. If you’re having a cocktail hour, you may want to have the book available for signing and have your wedding planner or a friend announce that it is available and where to find it. You may also want to have your deejay or band make a similar announcement before or after dinner, as the dancing begins, or at another opportune moment where guests may be able to get up from their seats.
Book Tour: The most active strategy to get your guests to sign may be to assign a family member or friend to take the book around to guest tables during dinner or halfway through the reception. This helps eliminate the need for guests to find the book and take the time to go sign it themselves. It may also be more convenient for older guests or those with mobility limitations.
Figuring out how many wedding guest book pages you need to have may be slightly more complicated than you imagined. However, if you consider each of these elements, you will surely find the best fit for you and your guests.