After your wedding, you’ll likely want to remember all the guests that came to celebrate with you. The traditional wedding guest book does a good job of keeping track of guests’ names and messages, but after so many years of use, many couples are looking for a more meaningful alternative.
Making your own special guest record is a great way to add some personal flair to your wedding. Here are ten wedding guest book alternatives you and your significant other can make yourselves. And if you’re short on time or craft skills, we’ve even shared examples from Etsy that you can purchase to make it even simpler!
1. Wedding Plates
Foodie couples will love this creative idea — have wedding guests sign plates and hang them on the wall at home or set them out for display. Alternatively, bake the plates in the oven to set the ink, then use them as normal dishes — just treat them carefully and always hand wash.
To make these, purchase a set of nice, white plates of your choosing. Lay them out at your reception with an assortment of dark, permanent markers such as Sharpies. When guests are done signing, bring the plates home. Either bake them in the oven or attach fasteners to the backs so you can use them to decorate your walls.
2. Tree Cross Section
A gorgeous tree cross section makes a perfect alternative guest book for a rustic or natural-themed wedding. After it’s signed, you might hang it on the wall or use it as a special tabletop, depending on the size.
To make this, sand down both sides of a tree cross-section. If desired, use a wood burner to etch the couple’s names or the date of the wedding into the wood. Have guests sign with a permanent marker. Then, lacquer and attach hardware to put it on display.
3. Messages in a Bottle
This option is more private and exciting than the traditional guestbook. The messages in this pretty glass bottle will entertain you on rainy days for years to come.
To make this, pick out a glass bottle or jar that matches the style of your wedding. Cut up paper of your desired color and pattern into slim rectangles, leaving plenty of room for writing. Cut up twine to tie the finished messages. Have guests sign the papers and roll them up before placing them in the jar.
4. A Leather-Bound Book
Instead of a traditional guest book, why not have guests sign a special edition of your favorite novel? Choose a book that’s meaningful to you and your partner, and you’ll think of your wedding every time you open the cover.
To make this, you can bind your favorite paperback in leather following this tutorial and using mostly materials you have around the house. Chromium-tanned leather is the best option due to its softness and color variety.
5. Signed Poster
If you and your partner are film buffs, consider having guests sign a poster from a movie that means something to you. Maybe the poster of the movie you saw on your first date?
To make this, frame your chosen poster and have guests sign the framing mat or the poster itself.
6. Wine Bottle
This creative idea is easy enough for anyone to pull off. Have guests sign a wine bottle for you to crack open on a special anniversary.
To make this, no assembly required. Buy a large bottle of your favorite wine and provide guests with markers. If you’re feeling creative, make a custom label for the bottle, marking the date you’ll open it.
7. Video Guest Book
For the tech savvy, a video guest book is a great way to remember your special day.
To make this, ask your photographer if they are willing to film messages from your guests at some point in the evening. Or set up a corner or room at the reception with a nice backdrop and a camcorder for guests to record their own!
8. Signed Rocks
If you plan on having a garden after you’re married, consider having guests sign small rocks that you can use to decorate or keep in a flower vase.
To make this, gather flat, smooth rocks and wash them. Set the unsigned rocks in a basket. Provide another, clearly marked basket for signed rocks. Leave out permanent markers and ask guests to sign away.
9. Signed Globe
If you’re world travelers, then a globe might be the non-traditional guestbook you’ve been searching for. Have guests sign the globe wherever they like. You could even mark special locations in your relationship before-hand for a personal touch.
To make this, purchase an old globe and use a light wash of chalk paint to lighten the surface and make it easier to sign.
10. Personalized Postcards
For a destination wedding, try collecting guest sentiments through postcards. Though you don’t have to wait for them to show up in the mail, they’ll suit the theme of your wedding and provide plenty of writing space.
To make this, buy a variety of postcards or design and print your own. Lay them out with pens and allow guests to sign them. Either collect them in a basket or provide a cute mailbox for finished postcards.
Related Post: Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year
Keep Memories Alive
You don’t have to use the standard guestbook to keep memories from your wedding. Instead, use these ideas or come up with your own to make a record that fits your style and the theme of your wedding.
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.