Achievement Unlocked: Guest “Book”

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

With so many options out there for creative guest books, it’s easy to fall into option overload and not be able to decide. This is where having a theme or over-riding idea can really help narrow the options to the ones that really drive that home.

In our case, I was looking for something easy to sign and collect that suited our vineyard theme. It’s not exactly a big leap to corks, now is it?

Recycled Corks, image via

Recycled Corks, image via

Depending on the size of your wedding, your drinking habits (and those of your friends and family), and how much time you’ve got it’s not unreasonable to collect all the corks yourself. Of course, as the wine industry goes to synthetic corks and screw-top bottles for various reasons, that might get a little tougher, so lucky for us that plenty of places sell both used and unused corks.

Now, having crafted with corks before, it might be easier for folks to sign fresh corks as opposed to used ones that might be brittle or uneven in shape. We’ve got quite a collection already going but there’s also a homebrew shop just down the road that sells fresh corks by the bag-full for not very much cash. That’s good no matter how you slice it.

Corks on their own will roll around if not corralled, so the next decision was how to hold them–both before and after signing.

For before a bowl or vase with a large opening works best, allowing for people to easily reach in and grab one without too much fuss. Several years ago I was gifted a lovely Block Tulip Garden crystal vase that I think will fit the bill nicely.

image via

image via

Once signed, the corks will go into this wire cork cage shaped like a wine bottle. Mr. Road Trip actually gifted me (us) this for our first engaged Christmas so it’s been sitting patiently in its box for over a year, now, waiting for it’s day in the spotlight.  Add a couple of fine-point permanent markers (possibly painted or beribboned to dress it up a bit) and a sign and you’ve got our guest book.

We could just leave the corks in their cage and set the whole kit and kaboodle on the mantle or some place and let it collect dust. Or we could use the signed corks to build a frame around one of our wedding photos in a shadowbox. In other words, I’ll have my wine-themed, semi-unique guest book and my displayable photo mat all at one go!

How did you solve your guest book dilemma?

Searching for Inspiration: the Guest Book

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

The guest book is one of those bits of wedding decor that actually has an honest-to-goodness purpose–it even gets int’s own table, putting it right up there with the cake in level of importance.

Darice Guest Book set, image via

Darice Guest Book set, image via

And, yet, after the wedding the guest book generally gets shoved into a box or onto a shelf, seldom to be looked at again.

Hardly seems fair, right?

Which is why I always thought, even when I wasn’t considering another marriage as a possibility, that having guests sign a photo mat that could then be hung in the home with a picture from the day made much more sense in the grand scheme of things.

Darice Signature Mat, image via

Darice Signature Mat, image via

And those crafty wedding vendors have even come up with a silver version with an engraving pens, just so you don’t have to worry about the mat clashing with whatever decor you have in your home.


Engraved Photo Mat by Cathy's Concepts

Engraved Photo Mat by Cathy’s Concepts (image via Amazon)

Then again. I’m not sure the signatures would be easily seen once hung on the wall, they might look more like scratches.

At any rate, I figured a signature mat was the way we’d go and considered the matter closed.

Until I found wedding blogs and saw all of the creative ways brides and grooms were collecting these mementos of their guests!

Thumbprint Wedding Tree, image via Thumbprint Guest Books

Thumbprint Wedding Tree, image via Thumbprint Guest Books

The thumbprint posters are absolutely adorable and I could have easily drawn one suited to us (a bunch of grapes, perhaps?) but I have a hunch that many of our friends would balk at the idea of leaving their thumbprint anywhere not legally mandated. We have some suspicious friends.

Envelope-filled guest album via Style Me Pretty Photography: Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography

Envelope-filled guest album via Style Me Pretty
Photography: Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography

Going back to the more traditional guest book, this book of envelopes is very nice–like storybooks with little extras, those envelopes just beg to be opened and the nice and funny notes inside read.

Wedding Guestbook pages from The Guestbook Store

Wedding Guestbook pages from The Guestbook Store

As a scrapbooker, of course I liked this idea of the the fill-in-the-blanks guest book with places for pictures, etc. Of course, these sorts of pages expect guests to spend a certain amount of time filling them out, and I’d rather folks have time to mingle than have their heads down over a page. Those that would even bother, that is.

"where is my birthday" Guest Book Calendar

From Flickr user vjoyking, a “where is my birthday” guest book calendar

And this guest book calendar is inspired! Having each guest sign on their birthday is not only unique but useful, too! You’ll never have an excuse for forgetting Aunt Martha’s birthday again. Of course, a perpetual calendar would also work well for this, it doesn’t have to be tied to a single year.

Guest Bench by Knocked Off Photo by Scott V.

Guest Bench by Knocked Off
Photo by Scott V.

Revisiting the more out-of-the box solutions, this guest bench is a lovely keepsake for a home, which brings up the idea that pretty much anything a person can sign is fair game for a guest “book” stand-in.

So what would we, wine lovers having a vineyard-themed wedding, choose to use as our signature item of choice?

All in good time… (meaning next update, of course!)