Not Your Grandma’s Wedding Guest Book

Written by in Inspire

Old New Borrowed Blue: Spring Weddings 2012

{Editor’s Note:  Abbey Fowler is the proprietor of 6.25 Paper in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2008 Abbey left her job as Art Director at a publishing company and started Syd Design to concentrate on custom wedding stationery. After three years of growth, Abbey re-branded as 6.25 Paper (her wedding anniversary is June 25th) and moved into a small retail space in downtown Grand Rapids. This popular column offers great wedding ideas in paper that are beautiful, unique and environmentally friendly.}


A guestbook is one of the most sustainable paper pieces you can make and hold. It is an item that should be touched and shared by all guests, making it a tangible artifact to cherish. Follow Abbey’s step-by-step process  to make one for your wedding  — or as a gift for someone you adore.

I suggest to clients that they make the guestbook more than simply an autograph book. With some thought and planning, it can be something wholly unique, and so much more than one of those store-bought varieties.  I have come up with a few samples here to demonstrate my meaning and intent.

Cover with Wood Letters

For example, cut up small pieces of paper and ask your guests to write a special wish for the bride and groom, then tape the slips inside book right next to their signature. Here, I use the beautiful Japanese Washi Tape — something I also used to decorate the front of the book (tip:  make the tape long, then trim the edge).  The letters shown here are simply made:  I just spray-painted some wood letters I found at my favorite craft store. Remember, not every guest will write a note. Many couples will write a note together. You only need about 60% to 75% of those cards cut ahead of time.

Notes with Tape

My next example also features little pieces of paper, but these slip into small envelopes which guests are invited to write comments and wishes on. Double-sided tape is used to adhere the envelopes to the guest book pages. This cover was easy too: I simply found and printed a little saying on a nice thick paper and laid it on top. Rather than binding which could damage the pages or crush some of the offerings, just use a pretty bow and then find a beautiful box to set the guest book sheets inside!


A Guest Book of Memories, Not Autographs!

There is nothing more disappointing than an empty guest book. Here are some tips to make your guest book inviting and easy to interact with so that your guest book will be filled with some of the most treasured artifacts and thoughts from your wedding day.

• Provide Direction — Don’t assume your guests will see the guest book, or know what to do with it. Your sign can use some gentle humor or pleading to encourage them to set aside their shyness and put their love and creativity to work to honor you on your wedding day.

• Oops! Use pencils instead of pens. How often have you changed your mind in mid-thought? I constantly make mistakes when writing things down. You don’t want to put a big scratch out through your accidental misspelling of the groom’s name. How embarrassing! Pencils with erasers let them correct mistakes with (hardly) a trace.

• Outward Bound — Keep the binding simple. This makes it easy take apart all the pages, so multiple guests can easily write notes at the same time rather than stand in line loosing their courage to express themselves with eloquence and sincerity. One easy bindery technique is a hole punch in one corner and a binding ring… or simply tie a pretty bow around it and find a beautiful box to store it in later.

• Engage Your Neighborhood Stationer —There are a lot of small business owners like me who live to help folks like you find elegant and affordable paper solutions. Find a stationer convenient to you and ask for their help and ideas!


Featured Papers
CRANE’S LETTRA®  Ecru 220 lb. Cover
Used on the cover and back of both examples
ENVIRONMENT® PC 100 Natural 80lb. Cover
Used for the little cards to write on
CLASSIC CREST® Smooth 80 lb. Cover
used for the pages of the sample with the kraft envelopes

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    […] Not your Grandma’s Wedding Guest Book […]

  2. 04
    Ariella said:

    My fiance is going to make a tree in a shadow box for our guest book. We’re going to have all of our guests write their names and messages on paper leaves to put on the tree and hang in our living room.

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    tbg design said:

    Another nice thing that I have done is have a beautiful box and gorgeous paper for them to write a note and put it in the box. Imagine the possibilities for a decorated box. Engraved wooden ones can be had for a song at