- card stock
- something to cut shapes with
- decorative pens
- digital camera
When I was planning my wedding, I was sure I wanted a guest book, but I wanted something unique. While the are plenty of gorgeous wedding guest books available, I didn’t want guests to have to stand in line to just sign their name in a boring book. It wouldn’t be fun for me and my husband in the future if we look back at the book and it just has ordinary signatures in it. I wanted more. Photos! Sentiments! Color! And it had to be easy to make, easy to use, and easy on the wallet.
The idea I came up with is a combination photo album / guest book. It was so easy to do and I am in love with the results. It’s easily customizable to any color scheme, too!
Choose your colors and shapes
Of course you’ll want to use colors that match your wedding! Pick one color to use for the pages in your book. Pick another to use for the signature cards. Then pick another color to use as the accent color. My wedding colors were lavender and silver, so I chose lavender paper as the accent color for my album. And because I adore the look of silver writing on black paper, I used black for my signature cards as well as the pages in the book.
For the shape, you can pick any you like, like squares, circles, or even something to match your wedding’s theme (birds? butterflies? leaves?). I chose oval for my shape, to keep the design simple and sleek. I used my beloved Creative Memories oval patterns with the cutting blade set to easily create nested ovals for my shapes.
Cut out the cards and accents
Cut out enough signature cards (mine were black ovals) for all the guests to sign, and be sure to make lots of extras, in case folks make mistakes and want to start over. (Or in case all the kids find out about it and each want to sign one!) Make sure you make the signature cards big enough to actually sign a nice message on.
The accent shapes (mine were lavender ovals) need to be a little larger than the signature cards, so that you can mat the signatures and photos nicely later. You’ll need twice as many accent as you needed of the signature cards, because you’ll eventually be matting the photos with these accent shapes, too.
The guest book table at the reception
Put all the signature cards into a small basket on a table at the reception. Do not mount them ahead of time, and do not include the accent shapes. You just need the signature cards and a few really nice pens (I used metallic silver ink pens) to sign with.
Have a willing friend stay near the table at the start of the reception and give her a digital camera so she can photograph every guest who arrives. After taking the picture, have her ask the guests to sign a signature card, explaining that they will be put into a guest book later.
If you want to give your guests an example of what you’re doing, make a mock-up page with a photo of the bride and groom mounted on the accent paper. Then you can both sign a signature card, thanking your guests for being there. Put the page in a small frame on the table by the signature cards. Your guests will enjoy the gesture as well as seeing the example.
Assembling the book
When all the wedding activity has ended and you’re settling into married life, it’s time to assemble that guest book! Print out all the photos your friend took of the guests, and cut them to the same size and shape as your signature cards. Mount the photos and signature cards on the accent shapes and match them up. Arrange them on your background pages (I used 12″x12″ black card stock).
Now place the pages into a scrapbook and you’ve got a guest book that truly is a lovely keepsake!