Guest books are essentially crowdsourced wedding keepsakes—and they’re popular. As a wedding guest, you probably want to write something more creative than the standard “Congratulations on your special day!” However, if you don’t want to be predictable and pre-written, you’ll need to work on crafting a heartfelt, personal note. Here’s exactly how to write a meaningful and memorable wedding guest book message.
Break it down.
While every guest book entry is different (and there are no set rules for writing one), many of them are made up of similar elements: a congratulations, a thank you for being invited to the wedding, and a well wish for the couple’s newlywed life. The congratulations and thanks are pretty straight-forward. It’s the third part that may trip you up.
- Well wishes can range from short and sweet to more personal and sentimental. A few examples include:
- Wishing you a long and happy marriage.
- Best wishes for a fun-filled future together!
- As you grow and change, I hope your love and commitment remain unwavering.
- Seeing you two together helped show me what true love really is. Best wishes for a future filled with happiness!
Though none of these are deeply personal or particularly unique, they can serve as a great starting point if you have writer’s block (or if you’re attending the wedding of someone you don’t know all that well).
Photo Credit // Lisa Kay Creative Photography
Let your personality shine.
Historically, guest book entries are often formal and somewhat rehearsed, like some of the examples listed above. While it’s not an absolute necessity to let your personality come out in your note, if you have the room for it, then go for it.
Those with a humorous streak may choose to write something like “don’t mess this one up” or “can’t wait to toss rice at you!” If you’re more of a sentimental type, consider reflecting on past memories and think of what may trigger tears of happiness. These types of notes not only feel better to write but will immediately make the couple think of you as they read them.
Keep the couple in mind.
If you’re a comedian at heart, but the couple getting married is reserved or religious, then something like “thanks for the free booze” may be a little off-putting for them to read. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the couple is known for having a wild side, then something too formal may seem bland or predictable.
You want your personality and writing style to come through while not letting yourself forget about the purpose of the assignment altogether: demonstrating your heartfelt congratulations to the newlyweds. Always remember that many people are likely going to read what you write, which leads to our next point…
Consider the type of guest book.
Couples are getting more and more creative, which means guest books aren’t always just books anymore. Are your friends world travelers who are repurposing an old globe? Then a short, sweet note or signature might do. Do they have a full photo album to fill with polaroids and thoughtful messages from their guests? Then a longer personal memo may be more fitting.
You want to be especially careful (and respectful) with funnier entries if the guest book is something that’s going to be on display in their home, like a quilt or canvas print. It’s always good to have fun with it, as long as you keep certain parameters in mind.
Photo Credit // Kivus & Camera
Think about the message you want to convey.
Do you want the couple to cry? Laugh? Think about the time they first met? These are all things to consider when writing your message. Some guests even choose to leave a small piece of wisdom for the couple to keep in mind. If you think this is something they’d appreciate, then a simple piece of advice may have a significant impact.
Still having trouble? Time to brainstorm.
So how do you come up with something uniquely personal? Here are some useful starting points to brainstorm what you want to say:
- Think back to the first time you met your friend (or their significant other) and reflect on what has changed since then.
- What’s your favorite poem? Religious verse? Book passage? Think of ways to include a piece of that.
- What advice did you most appreciate in your relationship?
- How has each individual made each other better? Make note of that.
- What is something sweet about the couple that they might not notice, but you do?
- Think back to an embarrassing memory that will make them laugh, then tie it back to their relationship (or a witty piece of advice).
- Ask a married couple you respect for their most prized piece of marriage advice.
Whether you choose to keep it simple or more involved, as long as you consider the couple, your relationship with them, and the wedding guest book format, your guest book entry will be well received and appreciated.