FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Guest Books

Best wishes from the people you love all bound into a beautiful wedding guest book.
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
The Knot Contributor
  • Jessica contributes wedding planning, wedding etiquette and relationship content to The Knot.
  • She also covers lifestyle and wellness topics for print and digital publications such Refinery29, Bustle, Well + Good, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, The Cut and more.
  • Jessica has a journalism degree from Cal State University, Northridge and is certified as a life and success coach.
Updated Sep 24, 2021

In addition to all the magical memories and dreamy wedding photos, there are a few keepsakes you can hang onto from your wedding day that can help you relive the special day after your honeymoon and for years to come. You can have your wedding invitations or flowers from your decor framed; You can preserve your wedding attire and pass it down to future generations; You can use one of your centerpieces from your reception as decor in your home. Another classic wedding keepsake worth considering? A wedding guest book. A fun and memorable touch, wedding guest books are a great way to personalize your big day while investing in something you can cherish and revisit on anniversaries. Essentially, a wedding guest book is a time capsule of all the love and romance present during your celebration.

Still not sure if you should have a wedding guest book at your wedding? To help you decide, we're answering some of the most pressing wedding guest book questions.

What is a Wedding Guest Book?

In the most literal and traditional form, a wedding guest book is a bound book that friends, family members and other wedding guests can sign their names in and write well-wishes or words of wisdom for the newlyweds. It serves as a tangible keepsake of your wedding day and a log of the people that were there to celebrate with you and your new spouse.

What Kind of Unique Wedding Guest Book Should I Get?

Modern wedding guest books come in all sorts of shapes and styles. If you want to go the classic and traditional guest book route, you can't go wrong with a simple hardcover book with blank pages and perhaps an accent on the cover, such as a gold foil motif or a monogram of your initials. If you want something a bit more non-traditional but still beautiful, a wooden guest book or scrapbook would be a nice touch.

You can customize your wedding guest book with your names, wedding date and other wedding details (like a lyric from your first dance song). Couples can also use various sites and services to create a personalized wedding guest book or photo guest book that includes engagement photos or other pictures that tell the story of their relationship.

On the other hand, wedding guests books can also be interactive and a true representation of a couple's personality, quirks and all. Couples can have guests take Polaroid or photo booth photos and put them in the book, invite guests to sign their favorite Harry Potter tome or even lay out a sketchbook and encourage guests to get artsy with drawings instead of signatures.

When browsing through wedding guest book ideas, keep your wedding decor and colors in mind. You want a design that will fit seamlessly with all the other visuals that are part of your wedding day. That said, also consider how you'll be saving and showcasing the memento in your home. For instance, if you want your wedding guest book to eventually live on your coffee table, ensure the design you choose also complements your home's decor.

If a traditional wedding guest book is not your vibe, there are tons of other fun, creative wedding guest book alternatives out there, such as canvas photos, fabric pieces that are later sewn into a quilt, puzzle pieces, messages in a bottle, Jenga sets, wine corks and more.

How Many Pages Should a Wedding Guest Book Have?

There's no right or wrong answer here—it really depends on the size of your wedding. Do your best to estimate how much space will be needed for each guest to sign, write a personalized message and perhaps paste in an instant photo. If you're planning a large wedding, consider having multiple wedding guest books spread out on a table. Doing so will make it easier for multiple people to sign the book at once so guests don't have to wait in line when they'd really rather be hitting the dance floor.

Where Should the Wedding Guest Book Be Located?

Typically, a wedding guest book is located near the entrance of the wedding reception to have guests sign it upon their arrival. However, depending on the layout of your venue this may or may not make sense. If stationing the wedding guest book near the entrance isn't ideal, pick a different spot that has enough space for people to comfortably hang around and sign without feeling rushed or cramped. You should also ensure your book is in a space that's easily visible—if you tuck it away in a corner of the venue, your loved ones might miss it and not end up signing before the night is over.

To encourage and remind guests to sign the guest book, try dressing up the table with wedding decorations so that it stands out and is visually appealing. Adorn it with a fancy table cloth, a decorative sign, picture frames, fresh flowers, greenery or balloons. You can even designate a wedding guest book "influencer" who can hang out at the table and remind guests to sign the book when they pass by or even go table to table during the reception.

Should I Have a Wedding Guest Book at My Wedding?

It's up to you! A wedding guest book isn't essential but it is a really nice keepsake you can hang onto long after the wedding day. The best part: Wedding guest books are typically pretty affordable. Prices start at around $20 to $30 and some wedding guest books even come with a matching pen set and pen holder for an added touch. If you want to maximize your wedding budget, you can even make a DIY wedding guest book. Pro tip: Pinterest has endless wedding guest book inspiration.

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