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Wedding Guest Books & Pens

Whether a wedding is casual or formal, there is some form of a guest book that is either an actual book or an alternative like a vintage frame. This is usually set up somewhere near the entrance surrounded by old childhood photos or wedding flowers. Wedding guest books are another place for family and friends to express their love and wish good luck to the happy couple.

What is a wedding guest book?

As guests enter either the wedding or the reception, they can sign a guest book so that the bride and groom have a complete list of everyone who came to celebrate with them. For a 200-guest wedding, the standard guest book is roughly 20 pages. Couples usually select a book design relating to the wedding's larger theme or to the theme of marriage or love, like interlocking hearts or rings.

What kind of pens should you get for wedding books?

Some guest books come in a kit complete with a few matching pens. For wedding guest books sold separately, couples can choose a specialty wedding pen or a standard rollerball or fountain pen. Getting a pen that has its own base helps prevent it from getting lost or rolling off the guest book table. At more casual weddings, multicolored gel pens or vintage feather pens are often used. For alternative guest book styles, some couples provide permanent markers for their guests to sign wood or canvas surfaces.

What are some alternatives to a traditional wedding guest book?

Guest books often get packed away in storage after the wedding, and some couples prefer a different style of guest book that they can display in their home. This takes more preparation but results in a picture or canvas with the names and well wishes of their friends and family. This way, couples see this version of their guest book on a daily basis. Some examples are as follows:

  • Fingerprint trees - Each guest uses an ink pad to put their fingerprint on a canvas picture of a tree to create the effect of leaves on the tree. Other couples use the same tree but ask guests to write their names and a message.
  • Engagement photo - Some couples ask guests to sign around a photo of the couple either in the background or on a frame.
  • Drop-top guest book - Everyone who comes to the wedding writes their name on a heart-shaped token and then drops this token into the top of a frame so the name shows through the glass.
  • Last initial - Another alternative guest book idea is to have everyone at the wedding write a message on a giant wooden letter that is the couple's last initial.
What are ideas for guest books on wedding reception tables?

Sometimes the bride and groom want more in-depth messages from the people at their wedding, so they will have several books spread among the tables. Each one of these books contains questions about advice or a special memory for the couple. Guests can spend more time with this type of guest book throughout the wedding reception to give marriage tips and wish the couple good luck.

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