Modern Alternatives to the Traditional Guest Book

A list of unique ideas to modernize the tradition at your wedding.

Put a modern spin on tradition with a unique alternative to a tried-and-true guest book.

Photo: Wollwerth Imagery

One of the hottest wedding trends of 2016 so far? Putting a modern spin on traditions that are starting to go – or have since been – out of style. With the popularization of social media and other image-sharing sites, providing a guest book for your friends and family to sign has become somewhat redundant and unnecessary.

However, with today’s innovative brides – and the power of the very same online medium that originally made the custom irrelevant – new and unique ideas for alternative guest books have been coming out of the woodwork. After some extensive research, here are our favorite concepts for modern-day guest books:

-  Date Night Inspiration. Instead of having friends and family wish you well, ask them to help you out with future date nights! You can provide a little jar and scraps of paper, or get a little more creative and ask them to write out their suggestions on Jenga blocks, board game instructions, a giant beach ball, or some other object associated with fun and games!

-  Holiday Décor. Make your future holiday celebrations a little brighter by providing guests with small, themed trinkets to inscribe their sentiments upon! These can be tree ornaments, table decorations, plastic Easter eggs, etc.

-  Poster Board Well-Wishes. Take it back to elementary school and put out a large poster board with space for short notes from attendees. The board can include a picture of the couple, a favorite quote, or simple instructions for revelers who wish to scribble out a lovely message.

-  Photo Booth/Polaroid Collages. A picture is worth a thousand words, so use the photo booth fad to your advantage! Guests can keep a strip of film from their session, but they also must paste one into a collage booklet for you and your beloved’s future enjoyment. Funny faces and sweet notes are encouraged!

-  A Work of Art. If you don’t mind something a little messier, set up some basic paints, brushes, and a large canvas to have friends and relatives paint one big masterpiece for your home. Bohemian brides and grooms might especially enjoy this collaborative effort!

-  Location Postcards. For couples who are hosting their nuptials in a particularly special or unique place, purchase some postcards from the area and provide those as your guest book. After your wedding, you can make the cards into a book, collage, or a framed display to be admired for years to come!

-  Social Media Savvy. In lieu of any physical wishes, you can ask that everyone post their pictures from the evening with a caption that includes your wedding hashtag and a quick note to the newlyweds in order to save paper products and share your day with the world.

-  Match That Sentiment. If you’re having a smaller wedding, you can take a page out of the “children’s menu” handbook and create a “word match” game on a large poster board: print guests’ names running down the left side and leave blank spaces running down the right. As people arrive, they can write a short note to the couple in descending order, then draw a line from the message to their name. Reading may get tricky, but that also makes it fun to guess!

-  Signing Special Items. Find something that represents something meaningful to you and your sweetheart – a canoe paddle for adventurous pairs, a chef’s hat for the culinary-inclined couple, wine bottles with blank labels for the vino connoisseurs, etc. – and have revelers sign their names on the item for a fun memento.