"Instead of a boring, white sign-in book sitting by the door where guests can scribble their names, you can do something entirely different for your wedding"..
If you are trying to save a buck (or a few hundred) on your wedding reception costs, one of the best ways to cut costs is to take things into your own hands. Decorations, centerpieces, favors and a variety of other elements of your wedding reception can be created yourself in order to save money.
Today, let's talk about the wedding guest book. Instead of a boring, white sign-in book sitting by the door where guests can scribble their names, you can do something entirely different for your wedding.
Guests can sign a large porcelain platter with paint markers. This is a fun idea if you are having a relatively small wedding reception. Look for porcelain paint markers at your local craft store. After the reception, you just bake the platter in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. The ink will become permanent and the platter will be dishwasher safe. You can use it as an actual eating platter or hang it on the wall in your home as a keepsake. Several wedding suppliers and craft shops make platters especially designed for this, such as the one shown here, from PerfectWedding.com
A signature frame is another fantastic alternative for those who want something a little more than your traditional guest book. You can make your own guest book photo frame by mounting an engagement picture in the center of a large frame. Many companies also make these frames just for the occasion. The one pictured here is available at Overstock and holds up to 250 signatures.
Place a Polaroid camera on the center of each reception table with a card that instructs each guest to take a picture of themselves. Also leave a stack of pens so that they can sign the bottom of the pictures. At the end of the reception, you can collect all of the photos and make your own picture guest book album. You can also set up a mock photo booth where guests can take their pictures or video.
For couples who are also sports enthusiasts. Pick the official jersey of your favourite team, have one printed with your name on it on the back, let the guests sign it. Who knows, the good vibes will probably boost your team next year too :-)
How crafty are you? For something a bit quirky, how about a quilt? You have probably seen those companies that make wedding guest book quilts. You hang the quilt on the wall at your reception and allow guests to sign it with fabric markers. Instead of buying a quilt, you can actually DIY with a little sewing ability. Buy quilt squares (or cut fabric remnants into squares). Place a stack of squares (one for each guest) onto your guest book table with fabric pens. Each guest can write a brief note to the couple and sign the square.
After your wedding, you just need to sew the squares into rows, then sew the rows together to form the front of the quilt. To make the actual quilt, lay the quilt front onto the floor with the face side down. Add a layer of batting or fiber fill on top of it, then add a sheet (or fabric of the same size) on top of that. Sew all around the four edges, leaving a small opening. Use that opening to turn the quilt right side out, then hand-stitch the opening closed. You then need to create the quilted effect. You can use your sewing machine to sew wavy or straight lines the length of the material to finish the quilt.
If you don't want to go to all the trouble of making your own quilt, some websites offer wedding photo quilts that are prepared for signatures, such as this one from The You Nique Boutique.
These are just some of the many ways that you can break tradition with a DIY wedding guest book. Be creative and find something innovative and fun that suits your personality and style.
Story by Kori Ellis