Thursday, July 17, 2008

Family Photo Guest Book

I knew from the get-go I didn’t want to have a regular guest book. To be honest, I don’t exactly understand the purpose of a guest book. A place for guests to write their addresses? But we already know them, because that’s where we sent their invitations! I told Mama that I didn’t even want to have a guest book, but she (and the Mister) argued that people actually LIKE to sign these books. It feels wedding-y. Apparently. So I began thinking of another option that would be more than a poofy, padded satin, out-of-order address book/dust collector. (Not that there's anything wrong with that -- it's just not my thing.)

I love the idea of platters that guests can sign with special pens. You bake the platters in the oven, and the ink sets, so that you can use the platter in your daily life. (I’m all about using art and sentiment in everyday life.) They have these platter sets at
pottery barn, but you can make your own for a lot less moolah by buying the platter(s) and markers separately. I think this concept would work best for a small-ish wedding. As it seems we may have more than 300 guests, they would either have to write very small, or we’d have to have tons of platters for people to sign.

That’s when I started to hear about
blurb books. They’re commercial, bookstore quality books that you can create and have printed in less than seven days, starting at just $13. You can choose between different sizes of books, determine the number of pages you’d like to include, and decide whether you want a softcover, hardcover with dust jacket, or an image-wrap hardcover book. The possibilities are endless!

I love the trend of including photographs of family members at their weddings. Usually they’re put in fancy (read: expensive) frames near the gift table at the reception. But I wanted a way to include these photo memories in a way that (1) guests would be more likely to see them, and (2) I could admire them after the wedding. My vision of our wedding didn’t include life-sized posters of these photos, and my vision of our post-wedding abode didn’t include twenty or thirty wedding photos in mismatched (expensive!) frames covering every available surface. But the guestbook! What about that?

So, I’ve begun collecting amazing wedding photos from my dear family to include in the guestbook. Here are the criteria for the pictures: (1) family members, (2) at their wedding, (3) if they’re still happily married. (While I’m the product of happily divorced parents who have happily remarried other people, it’s the current, happy marriages that I hope will inspire the Mister and me in our own relationship.) I’ve not yet decided what information I will encourage guests to put in the book, but addresses are out, and a request for a more personal note is in. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, here are just a few of the wedding photos that will grace the pages of our nontraditional guest book:


Meg said...

I really like this idea! I'm a big fan of the blurb book. Also those pictures are awesome! We're doing pictures in frames, but I'm not sure how many of them we will have. They also won't be expensive frames. We have a few family wedding pictures framed in our house already, since we're big on old family pictures, so we'll be happy to have a few more.

PS - I assume your criteria is actually that they have to be still happily married, or um, dead? ;)

Louise said...

Something else to consider: Polaroids. A friend had an usher designated to take polaroids of people as they arrived at the ceremony. The book was already created so the polaroids were simply placed in the book in order as they were taken.

At the reception, if people wanted they could go write a personal note in the book by their picture. If they didn't want to, they didn't have to - there was a posed picture of them in the book already.

It was fun, inexpensive, and a lasting memory.