Monday, July 16, 2012

Be Our Guest(book)

Ladies (and gentlemen?), I'm not gonna lie- at the past two weddings I've attended, I...don't think I signed the guestbook.  I don't remember SEEING a guestbook, so maybe there weren't any, and that wasn't a mistake on my part.  But it's more likely that the guestbook was, in fact, there, and I just missed it or otherwise forgot to sign.  Apparently a lack of guestbook signing is not uncommon in weddings nowadays- as documented over on Weddingbee by Mrs. Unicycle in her post "You Can Lead a Horse to Water...(but you can't make it sign your guestbook)".

So it's gotten me thinking:

Do we really need a guestbook?

This looks like a job for a Pro-Con List!

Having a Guest List
-it's another way to use our beautiful engagement pictures, aside from posting them on Facebook and using them to decorate our website
-it will keep a nice record of everyone who attended
-it will be a nice keepsake of well-wishes from everyone who attended
-it's tradition

-it's ANOTHER project that has yet to be started
-if no one actually signs it, it's kind of a waste of money
-how many people actually write anything heartfelt in a guestbook?  most people scribble their names and get on with the dancing
-having one opens the door for giggling, drunken boys to write inappropriate things that will last a lifetime
-"it's tradition" is not a good reason to do anything you don't otherwise feel strongly about

Hmm.  Well, let's operate under the assumption that we're going to have one.  If we do, there are two possible options I'm looking at.  (Yes, I know there are a million different guestbook options out there, but I'm only attracted to two of them.)

A Good Old-Fashioned Scrapbook (with removable note cards for signing)
image via Scrapbooking Pleasures
 -Scrapbooking is really fun!  This could be a chance to get creative- I haven't done a scrapbook since my senior book I put together for high school graduation
-Filling the book with blank note cards scattered throughout could solve one of the reasons nobody signs guestbooks- they have to wait in line for the book!  We could have blank cards stacked on tables, along with pens, and then a collection box for them, and I can go back after the honeymoon and stick the signed cards in the empty spots.
-This could be an inexpensive option- all we'd need to buy is the scrapbooking materials and then prints of our photos

-This is a rather labor intensive option
-People STILL might not sign the cards, and that means a lot of gaps/empty cards
-Define "inexpensive".  When I put together my senior book, I spent most of my time and Bojangles paycheck at The Scrapbook Store buying pretty knick knacks for the pages because IT'S SO PRETTY.  It might end up costing just as much as option 2 (and obviously the cheapest option is forgoing a guestbook entirely...)

A Printed Photobook (with matte pages)
image via Picaboo
-Much less work!
-Should people forget/otherwise neglect to sign it, we could design the book such that empty spaces don't look quite so awkward
-Basic photobooks are offered from tons of companies for not-very-expensive

-...ok but there's still SOME work involved- you have to design the page layouts, which means more decisions...
-Again with the "define inexpensive" route- the nicer ones come with a pretty hefty price tag

So, readers, I need your help!  Should we go with:

-The scrapbook option
-The photobook option
-Neither.  Who has physical photo albums anymore?  Besides, as noted above, nobody will sign it.

Do you use pro-con lists to make big (or not-so-big) decisions?  Do you ever sign the guestbook at weddings you attend?  Did you use a more creative option for your guestbook?  Do you still have the guestbook from your wedding, or did it turn out to be not quite the keepsake you had hoped?

Much love,
The Geeks


  1. I honestly can't remember the last time I was at a wedding with a guest book. I know I didn't have one at my wedding. BUT, I love the photobook idea because, as you pointed out, photobooks are awesome and it doesn't much matter if people sign them or not - it's still a great keepsake of your favorite pictures.

    I'm enjoying your blog, Amanda. Good stuff!!

    Angie F.

    1. I'm definitely leaning towards the photobook option purely because it's the simplest...if we do anything at all. Y'all will have to wait and see!

      So glad you like the blog!!!

  2. Amanda, I didn't have a guestbook, I just had one of my FAVE engagement photos of us framed with an autograph frame, that way everyone could sign wherever all around the photo. We still have it up to this day in our living room and it's a great reminder of our friends and family. Another funny tip--if you don't put favors in a VERY obvious place, people won't take them! LOL I know this by experience.

  3. Oh and your blog is great fun to read:-)

    1. Autograph frames are a great option, but at the moment, we're planning on a rather huge wedding (200??! what?) and a ton of signatures could look...squished.

      And I've heard about people not taking favors! Well have to make sure ours are prominent :)

      So glad you enjoy reading!!

  4. So, I came up with what I thought was *THE MOST AMAZING IDEA EVER* for our guestbook - I got a really cute journal from the bookstore (it was like $15) that said on the front something like "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we takebut by the moments that take our breath away." I then made a cute sign asking people to each take a page and write a suggestion for an adventure that my hubby and I should have - skydiving, picnicking, whatever. Then we'd try to do as many of these as we could, and any of the adventures we did, I'd paste photos into the guestbook, and it would become a photo album over time.

    So, after the wedding, we're cleaning up, and I was *SUPER EXCITED* to see what suggestions people left in the guestbook. I flipped it open, and like, people had just signed the first page with their names, and that was it. I was kinda confused, and like, wtf? what happened to everyone's sense of fun? It was then that I realized that the sign with instructions had never gotten set up by whoever did the guestbook table setup - it was still tucked into the middle of the guestbook. *facepalm* So much for that brilliant idea.

    I don't think you actually need a guestbook - the weddings I have been to have had them in some shape or form, but really, I don't think it's something your guests are going to miss. If it's something you'll have fun with, do it. But if not, I'd say focus on some of the other stuff you either *have* to have, or the stuff that you don't have to have, but really want to have and will have fun with.

    1. OH. MY. GOSH. Thank you so much for that story. See, I really don't think a guestbook is a must-have...I'll make sure the mister reads this comment and we'll talk about it again.