46 Guest Books from Real Weddings
Wedding guest books are fun for both the couple and their celebrants. Invite attendees to leave you well-wishes at your reception, and you're guaranteed to have a keepsake to look back on for years to come. Plus, your guests will get to leave their mark on your event, not to mention put in writing whatever they didn't have a chance to express in person on the big day.
Because you're sure to cherish your nearest and dearest's contributions (even if they're just signatures), you'll want to put them in something just as special. So, before your nuptials, we recommend picking out a vessel that you love and will always enjoy looking at. Note that it doesn't have to literally be bound pages—while guest "books" are a beloved tradition, nowadays, many are anything but traditional! Modern couples have swapped in replacements for their attendees to sign, including postcards, posters, and items like benches, globes, and buoys.
Ahead, a collection of guest books and their contemporary alternatives, all from real weddings. Whether you want something classic or totally creative, these sentiment-holders are bound to stir up great ideas for your own celebration. The following brides and grooms were inspired by their color palettes, hobbies and interests, wedding themes, and so much more. Click through and consider their muses before choosing yours. You'll be glad that you did, no matter if you plan to put your guest book on display or stow it lovingly in a drawer for safe keeping. Happy memory-keeping, soon-to-be spouses!
At this celebration, guests signed the couple's guest book and a copy of their vows.
Instead of filling out a standard guest book, attendees at this celebration completed fun, Mad Libs-inspired sheets.
Meaningful Guest Book
Ornate Guest Book
These pretty blue-green and light-gray books had intricate designs.
As an antique touch, celebrants at this event typed their words on a continuous scroll with a typewriter.
Family Guest Book
For this wedding, the bride used the same guest book that her grandparents used.
Hashtag Guest Book
This couple's guest book was a sign of the times. "A friend literally made a book of hashtags for everyone to write in," the bride shared. "It was hilarious to read them all after."
These two combined their first names (Holly and John) into "Jolly" to describe their celebration. They had "Jolly Wedding" written on a poster designed by Chris Riise, which was also covered in colorful animals to reflect their zoo event. They used the artwork as a guest "book."
Pink Guest Book
This soft, pink guest book went with the rest of the wedding's palette.
Gold-Foil Guest Book
This white guest book was dressed up with the bride and groom's names in gold foil.
Urban Guest Book
At actress Abby Elliott's wedding to her husband, Bill Kennedy, attendees wrote greetings in a book about New York City.
This guest book included photos, and was surrounded by them, too.
White Guest Book
This classic guest book was made of white leather and decorated with gold foil.
Floral Guest Book
A floral design made this guest book stand out.
Monogrammed Guest Book
A monogram makes any guest book more personal, including this elegant one.
A bridesmaid painted this poster using watercolors, and had guests sign it in lieu of a guest book. The design was based off of the couple's medical professions.
Guests at this creative celebration signed the cards found on the inside of library books.
Location-Specific Guest Book
A book about Texas—the couple's wedding location—served as the guest book at this event.
Carved Guest Book
This couple had celebrants sign a bench instead of a book, which they could later put in their home.
Sticker Guest Book
At these nuptials, sticker labels, like those found on Champagne bottles, were provided. Guests toasted the new couple in writing, then stuck their notes inside the accompanying book.
French Guest Book
At this wedding, the guest book was fashioned from a vintage French tome.
Velvet Guest Book
A custom guest book was covered in velvet and embossed with the couple's initials at these nuptials.
Heirloom Guest Book
This bride had a custom guest book made from her paternal grandfather's old highway patrol binder.
Rather than signing a traditional guest book, attendees wrote down well-wishes and messages to the bride and groom on postcards at their camp wedding.
At this New Year's Eve celebration, a "take one, make one" resolution wall spelled out "M+J," the couple's initials. Guests chose a playful prediction (such as, "I resolve to visit Graceland") or added their own.
Instead of a guest book, this chose a more interactive approach, fitting for the seaside setting. A mix of lobster buoys—snatched up from a neighbor who was selling them in their front yard the week before the wedding—were affixed to an old door and dubbed the "Wishing Well." Guests signed the buoys with Sharpies and after the wedding, the newlyweds hung them in their spare bathroom. The fun idea was dreamt up and produced by Jesi Haack of Jesi Haack Design.
Loved ones at this wedding were invited to leave their best wishes for the newlyweds on paper scrolls.
A collection of postcards pictured places special to the bride and groom. In lieu of a guest book, well-wishers wrote their sentiments on the cards. Note by note, the maid of honor later mailed them to the couple throughout their first year of marriage.
At this wedding, guests wrote messages on slips of paper and stuffed them into a piñata, which the newlyweds plan to smash open on their fifth anniversary.
Quaker Guest Book
Attendees signed a framed Quaker wedding certificate in lieu of a guest book as a promise to support the marriage of this couple.
Instead of a guest book, attendees signed vinyl records at this soirée. The completed piece is now on display by the couple's record player at home.
Cards printed with nautical code flags in the event's seaglass palette were on hand for guests' well-wishes at this wedding.
Motif Guest Book
The couple's initials (and wedding motif) adorned the guest book at their nuptial bash.
Instead of signing a guest book at this event, partygoers circled their names in a giant word search made by the bride's brother (also a graphic designer) and mounted on an easel.
This groom came up with the idea of using a wooden oar instead of a traditional guest book for everyone to sign at his wedding. Instructions were set out encouraging people to leave their mark for the couple as they navigate the waters of life together. Woodworker Chris Kitchens not only handcrafted the piece, but drove a couple of hours to the bride's mom's house to deliver it in person so as to avoid any possible damage before the wedding. After the event and before leaving on their four-month honeymoon to Europe, the couple hung the signed oar on their wall using a wooden holster made by Kitchens.
At this destination wedding, friends and family signed a century-old dictionary with colored pencils and flagged encouraging words with rainbow-hued tags, creating a meaningful, long-lasting memento for the happy couple.
This couple set out a life-ring buoy instead of a traditional guest book for attendees to sign as a keepsake of their beach wedding.
Since they love to water ski, it was fitting that these two used a pair of vintage water skis they found antiquing to serve as the guest book at their wedding.