Wedding Ideas

Wedding Guest Book 101 (& Canadian Market Guide)

Posted At : November 30, 2010 11:08 PM   |  Posted By : Bridal Network   |  Views: 39,481
Articles on these Topics: Wedding 101,Ceremony & Reception,Your Guests
Articles about these Services: Wedding Supplies & Favours

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source: Hortense B. Hewitt Co

Guest-Book History

Wedding guest books came about as a format for a newlywed couple to
  1. remember who attended their wedding,
  2. organize thank-you notes and
  3. start a formal address book.


.. wedding guest books are mainly used as a memory keepsake of the wedding day and all that attended. Unfortunately, the traditional book of signatures often gets stored away for all eternity without anyone giving a second thought to it after the wedding day.

Your Available Options in Canada:

Since having a keepsake of your guests' well wishes is obviously a wonderful memento of your wedding, let's look at wedding guest book options readily available today that will both house your wedding day memories and will not just be used as a post wedding storage item.

Traditional Styling Options

The easiest and most traditional form of wedding guest book is just that, a signature book. Simply choose an a-la-carte signature book in a theme that matches your wedding and place it at the ceremony or at the reception.


In both cases, make sure your have a friend or family member as a designated "book attendant" on hand to ensure that everyone attending signs it.

Since the traditional guest book is the usual form of wedding guest book available, you have a multitude of style options to choose from. Anything from seasonal styles to "camo" print is readily available in Canada.
Check them out!..

Elegant, Damask theme (check out this wedding)
source: InspirAsian Creations (online, Vancouver)

Winter wedding?
source: The Wedding Superstore (Weddingstar, online, Whitby, ON)

Spring/Summer wedding?
source: The Dream Boutique (Weddingstar, online, Vancouver)

Beach/Destination wedding?
source: Gorgeous Celebration essentials (online, Vancouver)

Camouflage wedding guest book!

Outdoor wedding? The groom likes hunting??
source: In Casa Gifts | Favours, Bomboniers & Decor (online, Burlington, ON)

Asian wedding theme?
source: Elegant Wedding Impressions | Supplies & Favours (online)

Traditional styling..
source: "Print Canada" Store (online, Hamilton)

Clean, modern styling..
source: WeddingSTAR (online, ships from AB)

Classic styling / contemporary finish
source: InspirAsian Creations (online, Vancouver)

Unusual & Unique Ideas

A fabulous twist on the traditional guest book is to have an instant camera available next to the book. Have the guests take a snapshot of themselves arriving at your wedding. They can proceed to write their sentiments in the book while the photo is processing. Once the picture is ready, your "designated signature book attendant" can slip it into the slot next to the guest's signature. The end result is both a wedding album and wedding guest book.

Guest-book/photo-album (have a polaroid camera handy!)
source: Elegant Wedding Impressions | Supplies & Favours (online)

You can even purchase the album in a kit along with the camera...


Modern Twists

Photobooths and videobooths are all the rage right now and with good reason. They add extra entertainment to your wedding and they are a great way to capture the moment in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Great Idea

(from a real wedding) A modern twist to the wedding guest book tradition is to have your guests affix their photobooth pics onto a poster and have them write their wishes next to their photos. The end result can be framed and displayed in your home.

A recent addition to the wedding guest book world is the wedding guest page: One guest page is placed next to each table setting. During the reception, the guests can take their time to fill in their personal guest page. The pages are later collected and stored in your wedding album.

source: The Guest Book Store


A wedding guest book is really meant to be a lasting memento of the day and those that attended. With this thought in mind, create a guest book that really serves as a keepsake.


Have your engagement photo mounted on a large white matte and have each guest sign the matte with a permanent marker. The photo along with the signed matte makes for fabulous wall art that doubles as a wedding keepsake.

source: WeddingSTAR (online, ships from AB)

source: Elegant Wedding Impressions | Supplies & Favours (online)

In keeping with the keepsake theme, another fabulous idea is to have a ceramic platter with a ceramic marker on hand for guests to sign. The platter can later be baked to seal the signatures in the platter forever.

source: Elegant Wedding Impressions | Supplies & Favours (online)

Silver (or metal alloy) platters can be used instead of ceramic. Simply purchase an engraving pen for your guests to use instead of a black felt. Silver is durable and will, in the long run, fare better than ceramic with no possibility of accidental breakage.

source: I Do Engravables

As signature box is also a great way to save your guests' well wishes in a useful keepsake box. Use the box after the wedding to store your invitation, and other valuable wedding day memories.

from: Heartsakes | Truly Custom Keepsake Gifts (online, ON)

The keepsake idea can be just about anything, from a vase to an expensive bottle of wine, adorned, of course, with your guests' signatures.

source: Elegant Wedding Impressions | Supplies & Favours (online)


Buy a very good bottle of wine that ages well and have a gold or silver pen handy for your guests to use when signing it. This bottle can be displayed in your home until an anniversary in the future when you decide to open and enjoy the wine that has aged as well as your marriage! You could even have several bottles available to sign, each with a designated anniversary imprinted on it, like 10 years, 20 years, 30 years etc. Open each one on the specified anniversary. How romantic!


More Keepsake Ideas

DIY Guest Books

photo: Theresa Glenn Photography

Creating your own wedding guest book is one way to allow the tradition to evolve by adding your own very personal touch.

Guest Cards & Containers

A simple and effective format for creating your own wedding guest book is to have a container on hand with small pieces of paper available next to it for guests to write on. Use decorative paper cut in small rectangles, about 3" X 4" big. Your guests will write their wish on the paper and place it into the container. After the wedding, you could collect all the pieces of paper and create a collage that can be framed and displayed or you could use the wishes as part of your wedding scrap book or album.

Types of containers that can be used for your guests to deposit their wishes into are bountiful. Let your imagination go here and choose something that suits your wedding theme, the season, or your personality. Have fun with it and let your creative juices flow! Here are some examples:


  • Really, any kind of money-box will do..
  • An antique birdcage with some simple decorations.
  • A decorative box adorned in your wedding theme colours.
  • A watering tin for a summer or outdoor wedding.
  • A glass cube (coloured or plain) for a modern wedding.
  • A ceramic cookie jar

from: WeddingSTAR (online, ships from AB)

Wish Tree

A wish tree is another easy DIY option. This fabulous Dutch custom is really fun to create. Simply, assemble a small bare branched tree on a table at the reception's entrance. Have lots of small pieces of card stock on hand along with a pen. Make sure each piece of paper is hole punched at the top with a ribbon tied through the hole. Your guests would each sign one card and tie it onto a branch. The end result is a stunning tree full of "leaves".



Instead of square or rectangular pieces of card stock, use paper that is shaped like leaves for a more authentic look.

In each case, make sure you have a sign over the container that clearly tells guests that this is the guest book. You can make a sign that reads "Guest Book" or "Make a Wish for the Happy Couple". Make sure your sign is adorned with some satin ribbon to make it stand out.

Let's face it. The wedding guest book tradition with guests standing in line to write something in a little book that will be stored away forever seems extremely outdated but a wedding tradition is just that, a tradition. Finding fun, interesting ways to keep it going is just another way to keep wedding planning fresh and exciting!

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