Guest book smarts


I harbor hardly any regrets about my wedding last April, and the few grievances I have are so minor I rarely bring them up for fear of irritating couples with more serious complaints. But there is one thing worth sharing with you brides-to-be, so you can hopefully avoid the same scenario: Our guest book is signed by about a third of our guests. (Of course, we didn't realize this until we opened it up on the airplane back to NYC the following day, to swap suitcases before jetting out on our honeymoon.)

We had chosen a beautiful coffee table book about New York, replete with historical sketches, and the people who wrote in it selected meaningful pages to pen their messages—just as we'd hoped. I only wish more people had seen it at the reception.

We strategically (or so we thought) placed it on a table outside the restroom, but we didn't have an attendant (I kept picturing that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda is thoroughly peeved at being given this mindless task). I suppose we could have passed it around the tables at dinner, but I was afraid it would get food or drink stains on it. So it just sat there and apparently went unnoticed by a number of our friends and family.

Do you have a plan for making sure your guest book gets signed? Or are you opting for a clever alternative to the traditional ledger in the hopes of attracting attention? If so, share your ideas here. As for me, while I can't go back and have ours signed by all those in attendance that day, I've come up with a pretty good solution (well, more like substitution): I plan to put it out at our 25-year anniversary party and invite guests to add to the existing entries. —Elaine Stuart, senior associate features/travel editor, Modern Bride



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Hi Elaine,

If you don't have an attendant, the best way to make sure your guest book gets completed is to incorporate it within your day.

We had an Adesso Instant Photo Guest Book (and loved it so much I decided to sell them in the UK). My husband and I were the first couple to complete our guest book, at the end of our ceremony, in front of all our guests.

Our officiant explained to our guests what we were doing and asked them to complete the guest book themselves throughout the remainder of the day. She also explained where the guest book would be stationed.

At the end of our wedding meal, the best man reminded the assembled guests that the guest book was there to be completed.

That was enough for us and we finished off with a beautiful photo guest book which you can view here: - although we had a smallish wedding. I think the novelty of having instant photo's definitely helped as the guests just loved watching the instant photo's develop.

I hope that helps - but if anyone has any further guest book related questions there's lots more information on my website:


Posted 09/20/2009 10:31:43AM
by Helen
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