Wedding Etiquette Forum

Guest book dilemma

I already have my guest "book" idea.... we're doing a thumbprint tree, as well as having pieces of card stock out that people can write their thoughts and well wishes on...multi colored pens...stickers if they (mainly the kids) want to decorate them.   These will all go into a scrapbook, along with the photo strips from the photo booth.

Here's the glitch....my grandmother just sent me a guest book.   It's not anything that I would actually use in our rustic theme (looks like faux white alligator skin, and has flashy silver writing).  I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I also don't want the guests to have "one more thing" to sign.  She did tell me in the note that the didn't know if I'd already picked out something, and wasn't sure if I'd be able to use it....but she saw it on sale, and decided to grab it.

Looking for opinions on how you all might handle this matter.  Thank you.
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Re: Guest book dilemma

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It almost sounds as if she may have given you a graceful "out".  

    I would thank her for her thoughtfulness, and then be honest with her.  Tell her that as much as you appreciate the sentiment, you do, in fact, have a guest book.  If you were to try and make use of it to spare her feelings, it might actually cause more embarrassment.  If she were to see your original guest book, and then hers alongside, she might feel foolish.  It would make matters worse if guests passed over hers and only regarded the one you set out.

    It sounds as if she took a chance and realized it might not be necessary.  This is definitely one for the "It's the thought that counts" book. 
    doeydo
  • mbross3mbross3 member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2014
    I have to agree with @HisGirlFriday13 --the thumbprint idea seems really cute in theory, but it can be A MESS in reality! I went to a wedding on Jan. 12 --a very close friend's wedding and I was in the WP-- another bridesmaid was instructed to set up a thumbprint stand with the other "guest book" stuff. It turned into a mess. There was ink everywhere and people eventually just stopped doing it. More than half the women wouldn't touch the ink at all as we were all so dressy and in the end only maybe a quarter of the guests did it at all and then there was immediately a huge line at the bathroom as everyone tried to scrub off their fingers!! I would seriously think about reconsidering this idea. 
    In the end my friend had more than enough well-wishes and nice writings from guests- but not on the thumbprint "tree". 

    If you really feel like you are going to do that way- think about offering something (wet napkins, etc.) at the end of the table for guests to wipe their hands. This at the very least, but honestly maybe just do the cards. 

    eta spelling
    PrettyGirlLost
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think it's perfectly fine to thank her and tell her you already have a guestbook plan. 

    As for the thumbprint thing. I'm not a fan of that either. My fingerprints are too personal of a thing for me. But I would definitely fill out a well-wishes/advice card.
    PrettyGirlLostKittyKaty20
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2014
    Grandma found something she thought you would like and gave you an out.  No worries.

    I often wonder if I'm the only one of flat out refuses to do a thumbprint tree?  It's not like everyone hits up a book, so I don't find it a big deal on my part.  It just one of those things I refuse to participate in doing.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • @lyndausvi -- nope. I won't do them, either. 
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    lyndausvi said:
    Grandma found something she thought you would like and gave you an out.  No worries.

    I often wonder if I'm the only one of flat out refuses to do a thumbprint tree?  It's not like everyone hits up a book, so I don't find it a big deal on my party.  It just one of those things I refuse to participate in doing.
    Nope. You're not the only one.
  • @lyndausvi, I have never seen it, but I wouldn't do it either.  
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Tell her the truth.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    doeydoPrettyGirlLost
  • @KeptInStitches- I like the idea of a stamp a lot! 

    I feel like you could also pre stamp cards, though, and just have the guests write a message and place it on the "tree". 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I would never do a thumbprint for anything (well almost anything), and that includes a wedding.

    I'd guess a lot of people would be uncomfortable with this and pass

  • HaileyDancingbearHaileyDancingbear Arkham Asylum member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    It sounds like she wasn't sure you'd use it anyways, so I don't think there will be any hurt feelings from you not using it (although if you feel bad about not using a gift, you can always use it for something else.  Just because it may say something wedding related on it doesn't mean it HAS to be used for wedding stuff.)  
    As for the thumbprint tree, I am a third vote for putting out stamps if your heart is set on it.  You could have fun with that and find really nifty stamps at a craft store, or Etsy has lots of cute stuff too.  You could also have some hand wipes available so if anyone gets ink on their hands, they don't have to go to the bathroom just to wash it off.  
    image
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited January 2014
    Just be honest and tell her "Thank you so much for the guest book, it was very thoughtful of you.  However, we already have one" or something like that.
    ETA I am going to have a thumbprint tree and the stamp thing sounds like a good idea, as well as having wipes.
    image
  • My cousin is an art teacher and has offered to make me one of these; both she and our other cousin (we're all the same age) had this at their weddings and I love the idea - with the caveat that you MUST provide something to remove the ink. If memory serves, I believe that they each provided babywipes or something similar so the ink came off quickly and easily; that way it's no mess. I have to say, both of them have them framed and hanging in their homes and they're beautiful reminders of all the family and friends who attended; I can't say I've ever seen a guestbook highlighted in the same way, so I'm partial to this idea as well.
  • I would tell her the truth that you already have a guest book.  I don't like the idea of the a fingerprint tree guest book, because the ink gets messy as others have mentioned and it's weird to have my fingerprint out there.

    Anniversary

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well, I'm on the "don't like thumbprint guest book but Grandma gave you an out" bandwagon.

    In addition to not wanting ink on my hands when I'm dressed up, the ink could also get spilled or into food served at the reception due to people's not cleaning it off.  This is an idea that I would nix.

    As for Grandma's guest book, I'd tell her gently: "Grandma, thanks so much for thinking of me, but I do already have a guest book.  I really wish I'd known you were thinking of doing this before I got mine.  It was really nice of you to put this together."
    PrettyGirlLostHisGirlFriday13
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    @lyndausvi -- nope. I won't do them, either. 
    Me neither.  I find them to be too messy.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    HisGirlFriday13
  • I actually love the thumbprint tree and would happily participate if there were wipes or similar provided. However a good alternative would be to get a print that has the small thumbprint size ovals already on it, and your guests can then sign or initial those. It gives you a very similar effect without the potential messiness.

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

  • indianaalumindianaalum member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    If you really wanting a neat reminder. We did a picture fram where guests used a special "engraving" pen to sign the frame so it still look nice They are really cool looking I think.

    I think it was called I do engraveables..or something like that
  • I wouldn't do a thumbprint tree- no one wants to put their thumbs in ink- ever, let alone at a wedding. 
    Use your grandma's guest book at the rehearsal dinner

    ugh there is nothing I hate more than a guestbook


  • I wouldn't do a thumbprint tree- no one wants to put their thumbs in ink- ever, let alone at a wedding. 
    Use your grandma's guest book at the rehearsal dinner

    ugh there is nothing I hate more than a guestbook


    To the bolded, that's a blanket statement and not true. A few of us have stated that we'd be okay with leaving our thumbprint.

    Second, if you hate guest books so much why are you suggesting she have 2 at 2 different events???

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

    KittyKaty20RebeccaB88
  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2014
    My FBIL and FSIL did a thumbprint tree, and almost everyone actually did it. However, I will note that they had it on a large table so multiple people could get to it, and provided baby wipes and hand sanitizer so the ink could be removed immediately.

    However, I would definitely recommend doing either notes or a tree. I was happy to do thumbprints for the tree, and I was happy to write a note to my good friend. (She did puzzle pieces that people signed or put notes on.)  But I would have been less happy if expected to do both. That would take a while and the table would be crowded.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    eyeroll
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2014
    Another party pooper here - I would not participate in a thumbprint tree - if I did I would smear my thumbprint so it wasn't accurate. Today's society is just evolving too quick for me to share personal identifying info like that IMHO.

    This is my "guestbook" that I made with a firework for each guest to sign. I prefer this style to the thumbprint tree and have see them with leaves that you can sign on the tree instead.

    image
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    PrettyGirlLostJen4948
  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I wouldn't do a thumbprint tree- no one wants to put their thumbs in ink- ever, let alone at a wedding. 
    Use your grandma's guest book at the rehearsal dinner

    ugh there is nothing I hate more than a guestbook


    Except for programs, right?
    HisGirlFriday13cupcait927
  • Bubblegum5586Bubblegum5586 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2014
    I did a thumbprint tree and of my 140 guests I only didn't get 4 prints. I provided wipes on the table and it was a big table where multiple people could participate at once (and far from food to avoid contamination). I LOVE the work of art is has turned into!

    I also participated in a thumbprint tree and it also had wipes so NBD. I feel fully capable of cleaning my thumb off and not ruining my attire.

    I would note that maybe not the best idea if there will be a lot of children!

    Also as a PP said - maybe just the tree or just the cards. It is a lot to do both when there might be a line already.
    image


    Anniversary
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Another party pooper here - I would not participate in a thumbprint tree - if I did I would smear my thumbprint so it wasn't accurate. Today's society is just evolving too quick for me to share personal identifying info like that IMHO.

    This is my "guestbook" that I made with a firework for each guest to sign. I prefer this style to the thumbprint tree and have see them with leaves that you can sign on the tree instead.

    image
    This is beautiful!
    photokitty
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm with you guys who don't like the fingerprints...I may be a bitch but I skipped it at my own sister's wedding hahah 

                                                                     

    image

  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Thanks @jen4948 ! It looks even better now with the group photo of everyone at our wedding :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

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