I am often surprised at the creativity of my clients! Today, while walking the grounds of a museum where she’ll marry in March, my client introduced me to yet another idea which will act as her alternative to a guest book . Many of my clients and acquaintances feel similar – guest books are now becoming antiquated . Creative "guest projects" are now preferred.
In the spirit of alternatives and trends, below you will find a list of the most interesting guest book alternatives that I have "found", heard of, and recommended.
Just a hint: If you have invited two groups to your wedding…one group for the ceremony + reception, and one group for ceremony-only, you may wish to consider using a traditional guest book to register attendance for your ceremony, then use the alternatives below for the reception (where guests will have more creative time to spend).
1. [This idea is from today’s client meeting… ] The Guest Tree
(Note: After researching this idea is also sometimes called a "Wishing Tree")
This idea combines the idea of a guest book and a "best wishes" guest area. (A best wishes guest area may be defined as an area set aside for guests to write personal thoughts for the couple. Today, many brides still use photo mats for guests thoughts and signatures.)
- A Guest Tree is a potted, "indoor" tree that will feature paper "ornaments" which contain guest’s best wishes to the couple. As it was explained to me, there is a table with strips of paper (not to be folded) and pens and ornament hooks. Once the guest has completed their thought to the couple it is hung by an ornament hook onto the tree. (Keep in mind that you will want to punch holes into the ends of the strips of paper so that your guests will not have to fumble and rip their paper.) The tree that my client is using is a manzanita tree, pre-decorated with blue Christmas lights. However, there are many other tree varieties that would be appropriate.
Hint: You may wish to place a card containing directions for the less-creative-minded guests. (Being told how to complete the project is often times helpful.)
2. The Wedding Canvas – A work of wedding art
- Recently, at my sister’s wedding, we used a large blank canvas for guests to "make their mark". Permanent markers, paints, scissors, and interesting pictures were placed on a table next to the canvas which was held on an easel (my sister’s request). An 8" x 10" rectangle section in the center of the canvas was marked and designated as a spot for a future photo to be placed, and the guests were helpful about not writing or marking in that area. A variation of this idea would may be to use watercolors (paints and paintbrushes), or just colorful permanent pens. (It all depends on what you want the guests to "do".)
3. The Wedding Vase
If you are the type to place flowers in your home, consider purchasing a vase for your guests to sign. (Again, you may wish to leave a card printed with helpful directions to the guests.) If you are going to choose a dark vase, use a light paint pen , and vice versa.
4. The Wedding Quilt (Important: This requires sewing)
Have you ever seen patchwork quilts? Well, the premise of a patchwork quilt is to take squares of fabric and sew the edges together to make a quilt. Imagine then squares of fabric cut for guests to write well wishes or thoughts for the couple on with a permanent fabric pen ! You would want to have a table set-up with fabric squares, directions to the guests, permanent guest pens, and a "finished" box or bin where guests could put their finished squares. You could go shopping for your favorite fashionable quilting squares, or you could just purchase a generic set online.
A bit of Caution
Giving gifts to the couple that are used in daily life, such as aprons or plates, makes for a sad day when the markings wear-off when being laundered or washed. Although aprons and plates are cute ideas you may be happier with an item that isn’t used as often or as regularly.
Happy guest project-ing!
Alisha Forrester Scott, Owner
La Ruche. event design studio.
You can reach AFS by e-mailing: [email protected]