Wedding season has begun and brides and grooms everywhere are adding the final touches to their plans for their spring and summer ceremonies. All of these plans, designs, wedding colors, and seating charts are carefully crafted in hopes of ensuring their day is both memorable and unique.
If you are one of these brides or grooms who have been planning for months upon months, you may be seeing the light towards the end of the tunnel. Although the hectic planning process is nearly finished, it has now become crunch time to make sure you have every single item checked off on your to-do list. Wedding invitations, check. Florist, check. Live band scheduled, check. Wedding guest book…. wedding guest book… uhhh-oh.
Don’t panic – This month’s unique photo book idea will help turn a necessary, but typically ordinary item into a conversation piece! Wedding guest books remain a very important part of the ceremony as they help capture the emotions of your guests on this special day. This month’s photo book idea will help transform the wedding guest book from what once was a forgettable tradition into a must-have timeless wedding accessory.
We have recommended two approaches to tackle these wedding guest books:
1.) A photo book showcasing pictures of the bride and groom, taken from the days, months, and years leading up to the ceremony.
2.) A photo book with pages specially assigned to guests, displaying their photos next to the area that they will sign. (This one takes a bit more time and effort but the guests will love it!)
Wedding Guest Book Containing Photos of the Couple
The first wedding guest book mentioned is simply a photo book with photos of the adoring couple taken from various occasions or events. Brief instructions are below:
1.) Go to Photobin.com to begin creating a photo book. Depending on how many people will be attending the ceremony, you may want to select the largest size 12 x 12 to provide more room for guests to sign.
2.) Next, is the cover: Upload your favorite photo of you and your spouse and it will be enlarged wonderfully for display on the cover. Another idea for the cover is to upload a beautiful photo of the venue your ceremony will be held at. This is a great idea for destination weddings!
3.) Finally, you create the interior pages. We recommend you choose a solid color background, preferably black or white, but you can choose a color that falls in line with your theme if you would like. Just remember to provide pens or markers that will stand out against the selected background color for instance, a silver Sharpie against a black background.
4.) After you select the background colors, you will need to select a layout for each page. PhotoBin provides dozens of layout options for you to choose from. You will find one in particular, a “text only ” page to be the perfect blank page, ideal for signatures. However, what makes this wedding guest book so unique are the photos inside, so you need to include at least one picture per two page spread. How you arrange the pictures is up to you. We’ve included some of our own screen shots within this blog to provide inspiration. Below are some suggestions you may find helpful as well:
- Full page photo on the left page, text only pages on the right
- Smaller photos placed in the center, leaving room for comments around them
- Photos spread out sporadically leaving enough room in between for comments and notes
Wedding Guest Book Containing Photos of the Guests
As mentioned earlier, this book will take a bit more time, but is well worth it.
1.) For this photobook you will essentially follow the same instructions above until you reach the interior. When it’s time to address the interior, you will need to do some planning. Ask yourself these questions:
- How many people are confirmed to attend the wedding?
- Do we want each guest/ group of guests/ family to have their own page or just an area on a page?
- Who holds more priority when it comes to leaving a comment (in other words, does grandma get more space to write, than your former co-workers?)
These questions will help you figure out how to plan where people will be signing, how much space is needed per page, and how many pages you will need. Once you’ve answered the above questions you can begin to gather photos of your guests.
2.) Utilize all of your available resources; use Facebook, email, mom, dad, and friends, to make sure you have one picture of each couple, family, or individual attending the ceremony. Upon obtaining all of the necessary pictures, begin to assign the photos to pages per the specifications you figured out earlier. We have some helpful ideas below:
- Try and get old wedding photos from your parents and grandparents to use as their photo.
- Provide entire pages to large families or, at the least, half pages. This way everyone can sign on the same page.
- Look to Christmas cards to get quality family portraits or pictures of couples.
- Be sure to leave some unassigned pages in the back, in case people attend who weren’t accounted for.
3.) Next, you need to create a page of contents. This will make the process of guests finding their page or “area” much simpler. Put together the page of contents and type it into the very front page, using a “text only” layout.
4.) Lastly, you need to provide an “instruction sheet” so guests are aware of how the guest book works. Be sure to place the instructions on top of the book, or near the book, in clear view. You can write your own instructions, but we’ve included an example to get you started:
Attention guests -
Thank you for sharing this special day with us. As you know we are ecstatic about our nuptials, but we want to hear what YOU have to say about today as well! We encourage you to sign our guest book and leave us a note or words of encouragement. However, our guest book is a bit different. Please read the brief directions below:
- Each family, couple, or individual has their own section to sign near
- Please find your “assigned” area by using the table of content that is located on the first page of the book.
- You will find 2 pens attached to the book, please use these pens to sign.
We are looking forward to reading each and every note!”