True or false: the guest book is an important detail of your reception. True! You will treasure a guest book (or guest book alternative) after the wedding to remember who shared in your special day. (Read more about why you need one). With so many fun + unique new guest book alternatives, today’s guest book is anything but boring… and today we’re making sure your guest book goes off without a hitch! Find out about seven guest book mistakes to avoid to ensure guests stop by your guest book (or alternative), sign in, and leave a memorable note for you to enjoy for years to come. We’ll also give you some tips on where to find delightful handmade wedding guest books, guest book alternatives, and guest book supplies for your wedding. PLUS, we’re offering a FREE printable guest book sign for you to print. Enjoy!
P.S. Isn’t this guest book gorgeous? We love it! By Starboard Press.
Guest Book Mistakes to Avoid
Guest Book Mistakes #1: The Hidden Book
Guests can’t sign it if they can’t find it! Make sure your guest book is placed on its own table with a clearly labeled sign. (Pssst… We’re offering a FREE printable sign at the bottom of this post!) It is also helpful to place the guest book near your reception entrance to ensure guests find it right away. Draw attention to your table with decor, like a pretty garland in your wedding’s color palette.
These garlands are perfect options!
Guest Book Mistakes #2: The Not-Enough-Pens (or Wrong Pens!) Situation
Whether you have a guest book or guest book alternative, make sure there are PLENTY of pens and that they are the proper style pen for your particular guest book. For instance, if guests are signing on a traditional guest book, make sure the pen won’t bleed through onto the next page. (Try these.) You’ll also want enough pens so they don’t run out of ink quickly. And, you’ll want a pen that works on your style book (like these for dark paper or these for writing on wood). Test your selected pen before the big day.
Guest Book Mistakes #3: The Confusing Guest Book Alternative
If you’re using a unique guest book alternative – like a guest book sketch, the one-word challenge, or monogram, for instance – make sure you provide instructions for guests on how to sign it (and where) to eliminate confusion for guests. If you have a clear-cut direction, guests will be more likely to sign.
This heart drop box style alternative tells guests to sign a heart and drop it into the box. Cute idea! By WeddingByEli.
Here is a beautiful pine tree guest book: to help, include a sign that tells guests, “Please sign our guest book on any tree branch of your choice”. By GladPaper.
… and this unique guest book illustration! Cute alternative, isn’t it? By IllustrateTheDate.
Who doesn’t love a monogram to hang up at home after the wedding? Especially when it is signed by guests!
Guest Book Mistakes #4: The Low-Light Location
Make sure your guest book is located in a well-lit location in a high-traffic area, like near the entrance (or the bar). If needed, add your own mason jar lanterns to place on the table. Buy mason jars (we love ’em in blue!), place a battery-operated tea light inside each one, and place on your guest book table.
Guest Book Mistakes #5: The Non-Stocked Station
Keep your guest book area organized + well-stocked! This is especially for guest book alternatives, which require additional supplies. If you’re using a guest book thumbprint tree, for instance (as shown below), make sure it is placed on an easel. Also, ensure there are plenty of thumbprint ink pads and wipes (+ small trash can or basket to dispose of) for guests to use to remove the ink.
Well-Wishes + Cards Well Stocked
If you’re putting cards out for guests to sign their well-wishes or provide wedding advice, make sure you have more than enough (add extras in case of guest book mistakes!) As a rule of thumb, offer enough wedding guest book cards at one per guest — plus 10 extra, just in case.
This wishing well is an adorable idea! By LoveandLuxeHandmade.
And these advice cards are another cute alternative! By HoorayDays.
And these by SuperSweetParty:
Guest Book Mistakes #6: The Never-Reading-Again Situation
Make sure your guest book is enjoyed for years to come- not stashed away in a box collecting dust.
If guests are signing a traditional guest book, place it on a bookshelf in your home that is easily seen so you can flip through it at any time. If you’re interested in a guest book alternative that does double-duty as home decor, check out this unique framed 3D guest book alternative by WeddingUkraine.
Now you have no excuse! Your guest “book” will be enjoyed for years to come. :)
Guest Book Mistakes #7: The Leave-Without-Signing Situation
Don’t have guests accidentally forget to sign it! To prevent this from happening, make it fun + easy for guests! One of my favorite guest book ideas is to use mad lib cards placed at each guest’s seat. Guests fill in the blanks – with nouns, verbs, or pronouns – to complete a sweet, light-hearted, and often hilarious story for the couple. Cards are then placed in a designated box. Since each card is already placed at guests’ seats, they’ll be more likely to fill ’em out and place in the designated box before dancing even begins!
You can get these sweet guest book mad libs from WeddingsByJamie:
Or these unique fill-in-the-blank guest book cards by CricketPrinting. I love these! The prompts really make it easy for guests to fill out, rather than just “advice”. Great idea!
It has dark gray text, which can be printed onto any color card stock you choose… but we recommend white or ivory so it is clearly visible.
How to Download
To download, click on the image below (or click here) and select, “Download… direct download“. Save to your computer. (File is a PDF, which can be opened in Adobe.) Open file. Print.
Personal use only.
And there you have it: seven guest book mistakes to avoid! If you’d add any to the list, share below… or ask any questions you have about guest books + I’ll be happy to answer ’em for you! Also, if you’re new to the blog, make sure you subscribe here! And welcome! :)