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  • Writer's pictureDown the Aisle YYC

Are Guest Books Dated?

Updated: Dec 23, 2019

This one really depends on who you ask. Personally, yes, yes we think they are. The modern day wedding already comes with a pretty steep price tag and the guest book can be an extra cost eating at your budget that doesn't really add a lot of value to your wedding day. And let's be honest, your guests don't love it either - feels like the price of admission to get into the reception.

But it is traditional. And we want to remember who was at our wedding when we are 80.

Agreed. The Guest Book has its role as a timestamp to capture those special people who celebrated your nuptials with you - but let's get creative with this, and explore a few ways to modernize this tradition.

An Advice Tree

Easy to put together, fun for guests and aesthetically, it can look really beautiful. I am biased as we did this at our wedding and still have it in our house today. We put out a handful of 'leaves' (aka brown card stock tags from Michael's) and a few prompts on our guests' tables asking for their best advice on:

  • Date Nights to keep marriage fun (because you should always be dating your spouse right)

  • Gifts for the important anniversaries

  • Words of Wisdom for a long and healthy life together

It worked out great. Having the tags on the tables created a bit of an ice breaker for our guests and gave them something to do while they waited for our Grand Entrance, plus nearly everyone wrote down a piece of advice that was unique and well thought out ... not the redundant 'congratulations' statement that is repeated over and over and over again ... like what you see in an office retirement card.

We have ours in a glass vase like a flower arrangement and still read them five years later. The sweet ones give us the warm and fuzzies while the more racier ones ... clearly written after our guests found the open bar... are absolutely hilarious.

Pictures Pictures Pictures

A picture can say a 1000 words.

Except when you accost your guests at the door. Again this feels a bit awkward and makes for a traffic jam at the front while what we really want is to seat our guests efficiently so dinner can start on time ( A Types can I get a hell ya).

Better yet. Set up a photobooth. You can have props or maybe just a beautiful backdrop with your names and the wedding date. Guaranteed your guests will check this out when they are good and ready to have their picture taken and then it is one for them and one for you. When we are working a wedding we offer to look after the guest photos as part of the Coordinator Service Pack and then upload them all to an instagram account with a unique hash tag. Voila no scrap-booking, no Polaroid costs and a digital guestbook for you to reference for years to come.

DIY photobooths are awesome and can be on theme with your wedding. This is a specialty of ours and for more info please check out our Services Portfolio.

A Break Box

A wedding is a happy occasion. This we know. And the focus on that day is to celebrate all the love and excitement that lays ahead for the happy couple. But the truth is, a wedding day is a symbol of commitment. A marriage will have its ups and downs and it is on the down days that we need the support and love from our families and friends more than anything.

So a break box. Exactly as it sounds. Instead of well wishes and ideas for great Date Nights its advice for the couple to have when they have that first big fight + a bottle of wine from the wedding. and then we nail it shut for them to 'break in case of emergency'.

And what is inside? How about ways to say "I'm Sorry', or advice on how to compromise. Lessons in Love. Beautiful Quotes. That kind of thing. My husband and I were at a wedding with a Break Box and we couldn't think of anything profound to say so instead we borrowed the Polaroid from the photobooth and took a candid shot of the happy couple. We dropped it into the box with the simple caption 'always fight for this happiness'.

A signature is great, a happy wish even better but having friends 'there' when you need them is truly meaningful.

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