Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

What is the purpose of a guest book?

Is there any downside to not having a guest book? As a wedding guest, I've always been slightly annoyed waiting in line to write my name and address in the guest book, when bride and groom (obviously) already have my information.  As a bride, I'm wondering if I should just skip this tradition and let my guests just walk in and sit down.

Any thoughts on the benefits of a guest book?

Re: What is the purpose of a guest book?

  • We are not having one. We are doing a messge in a bottle where we are asking people to write down advice for a happy marriage (beach theme wedding) and also have one of those photo frame mats that people can sign.  I feel like I would never actually look at my guest book other than immediately after the wedding. If it's a frame, I might see it hanging in my house somewhere.  
  • We didn't have a guest book or any alternatives. No one missed it.  If you don't want one or see a purpose in it, save the money!
    June 16, 2012
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  • We didn't have one. I am not sure that they have a purpose.
  • I like it, but I'm also extremely sentimental.  Then again, we did a document that is now framed and hanging in our home (modeled after the Quaker wedding tradition of all guests signing as witnesses to the wedding) instead of a book.  But there's no reason you have to have a guest book.

    Slightly off topic, I've never seen people put their address in a guest book.
  • I also don't see much point in a traditional guestbook.  I don't think my parents have ever looked at their guestbook and they have been married for 30 years.  We are having guests sign their names to a mat that we will frame around a wedding pic later on.  $10 at Michael's, done.
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  • I was married the first time for 18 years and never looked atmy guestbook after the day. I think it's easliy done without, but like a lot of the alternative options. We're doing a photo of Vegas that I took a while back that has an empty skyline and having people sign on the sky part of the photo with a silver Sharpie. I think we'll enjoy looking at that a lot more than a book.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We had a guest book at our wedding. Everyone signed their names in it - that's it. So I've never looked at it. I probably threw it a way a long, long time ago. I don't really see a point in it.
                       
  • We had a guest book and I love it.  Everyone took a picture of themselves in front of a backdrop (kind of like a photo booth but no props) and then put it into the book and signed a message around it.  We have a photo of every single person who was at our wedding and a nice message from them all!  Most people signed more than just their names.

  • I like the alternatives. We're doing a journal where people can sign messages, quotes, etc. More than just their names. We'll read them on our flight to our HM. Maybe we won't ever look at it again, but like PP, I'm pretty sentimental so when I go through boxes every few years, I'll probably find it again and re-read throught the whole thing. If its not your thing, I'd don't think it'll be a huge deal.
  • We are doing a non-traditional. We are having people sign and write messages on postcards. I will put these in a photo album. Maybe we will look at them in 10 years or never. But, it will be nice to see after the wedding.
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  • I think traditionally it was a record of everyone who showed up to the wedding, so one could send thank you notes.  And perhaps a way of gathering contact info for relatives.

    Nowadays, with modern communication being so advanced, the traditional form is more or less obsolete. 

    We chose to do something a little different. and ordered custom notebooks from Etsy.  We put table numbers on them, along with a question in an elegant font on the front.  The questions were along the lines of "Where do you see us in five years?"  "What is your favorite memory of us?"  "What is the best marriage advice you've ever received?" etc. 

    It was a way to combine a guest book, memory book, and table numbers all in one.  We'll be pulling these books out on our anniversaries for years to reminisce, rather than letting some unwanted book collect dust on a shelf.
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  • I'm an organizer, planner, & pretty traditional.  I have looked through the guest book a few times over our 18 years of marraige, but I'm probably one of the few who has.  I wanted to know who was there & how many people there were.  There are signatures in that book of special people who have since passed away, including my paternal grandmother, whom I was very close to before her illness & death. 

    I like the coffeetable books of the couple's engagement photos that people sign, but then the organizer in me would have to go through each page & count each name....
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_what-is-the-purpose-of-a-guest-book?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:cef80996-4184-4570-b0ce-99b07d64ca90Post:92ae85cd-85db-4349-82ae-f40497a07456">Re: What is the purpose of a guest book?</a>:
    [QUOTE]We had a guest book and I love it.  Everyone took a picture of themselves in front of a backdrop (kind of like a photo booth but no props) and then put it into the book and signed a message around it.  We have a photo of every single person who was at our wedding and a nice message from them all!  Most people signed more than just their names.
    Posted by naomikb[/QUOTE]

    <div>I really like this idea - did you have the photos developed on site or later and insert them? I like the idea of guests writing something down. I went to a wedding where everyone had to draw a picture and put it in this folder - but it did create a line back up. Another one, people wrote a message to the bride and groom and put it in a box for the couple to open up one message on each anniversary. I think that's awesome. Another couple had just a book with beautiful pictures - they had a nature-themed wedding and picked an Audubon book - people wrote notes in the margin of the book and they have it as a beautiful book they love and a reminder of their wedding. You can do almost anything - or nothing at all. I wouldn't waste my time with the old tradtional guest book where people just sign a name. </div>
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