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February 02, 2024
In this blog post I'm sharing insider know-how and secret strategies for making sure your loved ones actually write in your Wedding Guest Book! Read on for a couple of things you can do to prepare before your wedding day, one or two simple things to do on the day, plus a few suggestions for beating the post-honeymoon come down, too.
Pens - more pens than you could ever imagine. Because they will disappear! Biros will do just fine, and you can often find jolly ones that co-ordinate with your wedding theme colours at well known craft shops.
Loose sheets for guests to write on. You will be suprised at how incredibly hesitant your guests can be about writing directly into a book. They may suffer from blank page syndrome. Or they may be unecessarily ashamed of their penmanship (after all, how much handwriting does anyone do these days?) or they're simply struggling to put into words the overwhelming happiness they feel for you.
By providing loose sheets, you're making it easier for your guests. They know they can always toss their first attempt in the bin and start again! Make sure the sheets are smaller than the pages of your book. So, if your book is A4 landscape (the same size as a sheet of normal printer paper), use A5 landscape loose sheets (half a sheet). You could use ordinary cartridge paper, handmade paper for extra tactility or mix it up with coloured papers.
Writing prompts - a short list of simple prompts will also inspire guests to make a confident contribution. You could place a printed message in a picture frame, or display the prompts on an artist's easel, as we did. How about:
We will treasure anything you write, draw or doodle in our book. Please take up as much space as you'd like. If you're struggling for ideas, how about...
How did we meet?
If you could make one wish for us, what would it be?
What's one piece of advice you could give us?
Be a cheater. Okay, this is a little sneaky, but it works. You know we talked about guests' hesitancy to write in your book? There's also the strange, often observed tendency to write something self-effacingly miniscule in a corner and take up as little space as possible. Well, get someone to write a message ahead of time ACROSS A WHOLE PAGE. This is the page you will leave open on the day. Clever, huh?
'Leave page blank for photograph' - if you're planning to use your book as a memory book - aka scrapbook - with photos, stationery samples, pressed flowers, honeymoon postcards, etc, this tip is for you. Print or write out a few dozen sheets with the words 'leave page blank for photograph'. And again, make sure these sheets are smaller than your book's page size. Use re-positionable glue dots to fix them to various pages throughout the entire book. This encourages guests to write on more than the first few pages of the book.
Yes, dedicate an entire table to your guest book. You want your guests to take their time and not feel overlooked (i.e. judged), so make sure there are two chairs there, too. Drape the table in a beautiful cloth, place the book in the centre of the table, open at the page you've sneakily already had someone write in. On either side of the book (in front of each chair), cluster together a pen pot, the loose sheets, and the writing prompts. Finally, place a floral decoration and a framed photograph of you two on the table, to draw people's attention.
Before everyone gets a little tipsy or eats too much to move, draw your guests' attention to the Guest Book table. Emphasise how thrilled you will be to be able to treasure their words for many years to come, and how important every single one of them is to you. Reassure them that heartfelt is good, brief is fine, and that there are no prizes for the best contribution.
Make a couple of dates (remember those?) with your loved one, schedule them into your calendars. Because you'll be surprised at how quickly normal life takes over once you're out of your wedding bliss bubble.
First, choose which photos you want to have printed whether they're from your professional photographer and / or you're asking friends and family for theirs. Don't leave it 'til another day - order those prints now. Then gather up your favourite cards, stationery samples, pressed flowers etc. Keep them all safe until the photos arrive and you can have your next date.
On your second scrapbook date, collect up some glue dots, photo corners, washi tape, spray mount, pritt stick - whatever you want - and get sticking in! There's no right or wrong way, just enjoy the process.
For some, a Guest Book / Memory Book is absolutely on their 'wedmin' list of things to sort out from the moment the engagement is announced. But for others the Guest Book might be an afterthought after you've already burned through a fair bit of your budget. But let me tell you that even the lovely book you bought in a high-end luxury retail store is NOT going to thrill you in years to come. Because it is mass-produced by a machine, it will look like everyone else's, it will probably become tatty and it will be out of fashion - and that wouldn't be a kind reflection of your marriage, would it?
For a book you can enjoy leafing through forevermore, a book you'll want to come back to time and time again, choose hand crafted. Choose something made with archival, high quality materials in a timeless style. A book made by a professional craftsperson. Even better if it's a bespoke personalised book - something unique, made just for you. A real investment piece. Scroll down to view my collection of Wedding Guest Books and Memory Books, all of which can be peronsalised, as seen in Bride magazine.
I hope you've found my top 5 tips for making a memorable Wedding Guest Book helpful. They should ensure that your investment piece is worthy of all the love you felt on your wedding day and all the adventures you're having together during your marriage. If you've got any tips you'd like to share, or a question, why not write a comment below?
With all good wishes for your wedding day and beyond,
contact form | firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 7748 759371
Main, first, second & fourth images are copyright Society Thirteen Brand Photography, 2023
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