Guest books are a mainstay of wedding culture. From luxurious destination weddings to the most casual of DIY backyard weddings, guest books are a staple keepsake for brides, grooms and marriers who have guests join them for their big day. Often, guest books can be overlooked as a perfunctory detail, something that will likely live on a dusty shelf despite its sentimental value.
The dismissal of guest books is a symptom of their impersonality: the tradition can be tracked to Victorian era weddings, at which guest books were mainly a way of cataloging the who’s who of society. The custom of having only guests’ names written in a guest book has carried throughout the decades, but many modern marriers are ditching bound guest books in favor of meaningful and creative ways for guests to sign their names and well wishes. We rounded up our favorite guest book ideas for LGBTQ+ weddings to help kickstart your inspiration!
Audio guest book
Phone or voicemail guest books are gaining popularity thanks to TikTok and the emergence of companies that provide a specialized rotary phone for guests to leave voice notes for the newlyweds to enjoy on a vinyl record. This is the perfect choice for vintage wedding aesthetics or audiophiles. If you have a phone guest book at your wedding, consider asking your videographer if they would be able to include some of the messages in your wedding video for the ultimate keepsake.
Picture frame guest book
If you have a favorite engagement photo or an illustration of your wedding venue, a picture frame guest book is a sweet way to commemorate your wedding. You’ve likely seen keepsakes like this for graduations or even other weddings, and that’s because they are a smart option for something meaningful that can also be enjoyed as a work of art. Looking for a way to amp up the personalization of your picture frame guest book? Consider asking your engagement photographer or invitation designer to create a customized image to serve as the focal point.
Dictionary guest book
If you’d like to keep the “book” aspect of a guest book, a dictionary is the way to go. Have your guests find a word that they associate with you and your new spouse(s), and request that they sign next to that word. This is a fun activity for your attendants, and you get the pleasure of reading the book once your wedding is over.
Record guest book
For all the music lovers and romantics out there, think about having your wedding attendants sign a vinyl record. You can select your first dance song or have a custom record made with personalized artwork on it, and you can easily frame and hang the completed vinyl in a room where you can appreciate it daily.
Polaroid guest book
Polaroid picture guest books have become popular in the last few years, and for good reason! They’re a quick and enjoyable way for your guests to capture their looks and leave messages of love for the newlyweds. While some marriers choose to keep their Polaroid guest books in album form, there are endless ways to utilize your guests’ photos; consider saving them in a custom memorabilia box or framing them as a photo collage to keep them on display.
Postcard guest book
For travel lovers or fans of writing letters, how about a postcard guest book? Whether you collect blank postcards through your travels or buy them in bulk for this specific occasion, your guests will enjoy the activity of selecting the perfect card and the option to write as much (or as little) as they want. Depending on your wedding aesthetic, keep the finished cards in a vintage suitcase or custom letterbox, so they don’t get mixed up with any other wedding cards you may receive.
Featured image by Hannah Pickle