So while you’re out soaking up your newly married

So while you’re out soaking up your newly married life and taking pictures with your new husband and wedding party, your guests will likely be arriving at your cocktail hour or reception. Traditionally, this is the time when they sign the guestbook as a rite of passage before being allowed to enter the shindig.

The standard guestbook that can be purchased at any craft store or at any online bridal shop is usually a white or ivory book with every page identical to the one before it. You’ve got about 20 lines per page and every guest is asked to write their name address and phone number on a single line.

Side note: Those lines are never long enough.

The book usually comes complete with a coordinating ink pen to be used exclusively for the signing of the book. Because these book and pen sets are usually only used for weddings, they can be overpriced, so be sure to watch out for that.

Old Faithful is nice because when it comes time to write your thank you notes, you have everyone in attendance and their addresses organized in one place. The bad thing is it leaves little room for your guests to really express themselves. Everyone has to fit neatly between the lines and it’s not very fun or expressive.

Engravable Platter

This option can be a little more contemporary. Basically you have a silver platter that comes with a special engraving tool used to write on the platter. The platters come in many different varieties and most people will just make it available somewhere in the reception room, rather than requiring guests to sign it before entering.

The engravable platter is nice because guests are free to write whatever they’d like and you can be certain – they will. There are a few things to take note of though. Make sure you order a platter large enough for all your guests. Because they’re not restricted to a single lines, the length of their prose might get a little out of hand and you want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to contribute.

Also, you’ll be missing out on the organization aspect of the traditional guest book. This means you likely won’t have any addresses or phone numbers that you were hoping for to help complete your thank you cards. Photos by:

Guest Book Frame

Another option I’ve seen a lot of lately is the guest book frame. The bride and groom are the featured attraction in this option. It’s usually a picture from an engagement session set in a nice frame with matting, minus the top glass piece. Guests can come by at their leisure and use the provided marker to sign the mat. The pros and cons of the guest book frame are very similar to those of the engravable platter, with one exception. Your guests have even less room to sign since the picture will take up a good amount of the space.

Keep in mind that any of these options could be spun to fit the look and feel of your wedding.  One good idea might be to put that traditional guestbook at the door for when guests arrive, but put one of the other non-traditional options on a table set up in the room. That way you guarantee that you have an organized list of all your guests with their contact information, but you also have a keepsake piece where guests were given the opportunity to really express themselves.