How to Buy a Wedding Guest Book

Not all guest books are created equal. In fact, the guest book table is often an afterthought, getting thrown together as one of the last minute details of your wedding day preparation. If you’re looking for a long list of signatures, then, that approach is just fine. However, if you want to meaningfully connect with your guests and want to solicit heartfelt memories from them, you may consider a different approach. How to Buy a Wedding Guest Book is designed to help you think about how you can go about the process…

How to Buy a Wedding Guest Book

  1. Consider how you want to use your guest book. What do you want to achieve? Do you really want to collect signatures of your guests? If so…there are millions of age old, cookie cutter guests books on the market. Easy peasy. *But* if you want an heirloom beyond the predictable…it’s going to require some additional thought! {And I’m going to assume that if you are reading this post, you’re the latter.} Do you want guests to give advice, sign tags to place in a book or write personal notes containing memories and well wishes? How will you archive those notes? If you want a guest book that is multi-purpose, more like a scrapbook and photo album, then search accordingly. Once you have an idea of what you want and some options of where to get it, you’ll have a better idea of when you need to order.
  2. Map out a schedule as you consider the timeline for ordering:
    • Give yourself time to research a variety of books or some of the popular ‘alternatives’ to guest books.
    • If you require a guest book to be made, consider the timeline the artisan requires–typically it can take 1-3 months to have a custom order made. {Customization and personalization takes time.} Adjust your schedule accordingly.
  3. Add the guest book to your overall wedding checklist. {You’re a bride…I know you have one.} With so many things to do, schedule and plan, be sure to include this on your list as a reminder of what you need to do and when! {May I suggest having the guest book in your hands a month out from your wedding?} Be sure to add guest book attendant (volunteer) and guest book table to your list as well!
  4. Coordinate your guest book accessories and table with your overall wedding styling. If you are planning a rustic outdoor farm wedding, consider pieces that reflect the environment. Maybe you’ll use brown archival pens to write with, flowers in old mason jars, an antique lamp placed on an old farmhouse table…the possibilities are endless!
  5. When you finalize your photo list for the photographer, you may want to include the guest book table. Many couples overlook this station as they prepare their shot list for photographers.

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding on guest book approach. Regardless, the wedding guest book affords couples a way to relive the meaningful moments that occurred on the wedding day. The sentiments of friends and family deserve to be preserved.

At the Calligraphed Epistle, we are all about preservation…preserving legacy by combining the timeless traditions of hand lettered calligraphy and book binding. I provide the exclusive book framework, the anatomy, so you have a physical space in which to record your memories.  The artistic pages of your book fill up over time; as you live your life, preserve your story and archive your legacy. In the end, you create an heirloom, far beyond the predictable. Your story to be cherished by you and your children.

Everyone treasures a chosen reminiscence. Make your indulgence worth remembering. Indulge in your memories

 Find your album today.

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25 Items to Archive in Your Wedding Guest Book

25 Items to Archive in Your Wedding Guest Book…go! While many wedding day items are temporary (((waves good-bye to the cake, flowers and great food))), there are certain relics you’ll want to keep so you can reminisce over them for years to come. Whether you start a scrapbook or simply place them in a shoebox {the Calligraphed Epistle certainly recommends a wedding guest book/scrapbook}, there are 25+ items a couple should consider taking with them after the big day.

The list is not all inclusive; rather a jumping off point:

Invitation | Save the Date | Blank RSVP | Returned RSVP | Place Cards | Escort Cards | Wedding Monogram | Calligraphy Envelope | Wedding Announcement | Pressed Flowers | Napkin | Tags | Program/Order of Service | Rehearsal Dinner Memorabilia | Personal Notes + Letters | Pictures | Wedding Signage | Other Calligraphy Samples | Readings | Decor Samples & Linen Swatches | Cards | Menu | Table Signs | Seating Chart | Vows | Marriage Certificate | Favor | Bridal Shower Memorabilia | Registry | Guest List | Receipts| Travel Information

Every couple will have their own ‘customized list’ of unique items that want to be saved from their wedding. The point is; however, you don’t have to keep it all! Pick and choose what the most meaningful pieces are and place those in your book–the rest can be let go!

I’m reminded of this quote:

“I have memories – but only a fool stores his past in the future.” – David Gerrold

25 Items to Archive in Your Wedding Guest Book

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The Ultimate Wedding Guest Book Checklist

“Heather, I’m a busy bride and I don’t even have time to think about the wedding guest book or table!” No problem. Here’s my Ultimate Wedding Guest Book Checklist. Quick. Simple. Easy.

A guest book table does not necessarily require hundreds of hours to plan out. It can be done quite simply, actually. Here are my top suggestions to achieving an easy peasy guest book table:

  • Unique Guest Book: Choose a book that is interesting, that represents the two of you as a couple; one that piques interest.
  • Guest Book Station Attendant: An easy way to encourage more people to sign is to have someone (or more) volunteering to work at the table. Who can say ‘no’ to that cute niece?
  • Great Location: Put the guest book table in a location where everyone can see it or has to walk by it. If people can see it, they are going to be more inclined to sign it!
  • Clear Instructions: Tell your guests what they need to do. In simple language. If there are 6 steps to signing a guest book, how likely is anyone going to be to do it? Keep it simple…
  • Lead by Example: ‘Show’ your guests how/what to do at the station. If you are having guests fingerprint papers, have some already completed! If you are having guests take pictures of themselves, have some on display, as finished examples to follow!
  • Guest Book Table: Choose a table that has plenty of room. If you have a wedding with 300 guests, don’t make a guest table that only allows one guest to write at a time! If there is plenty of room to write and it is comfortable, they are going to be more inclined to take it seriously!
    • Linens/Tablecloth: Cover the table using linens that coordinate with your overall theme/aesthetic.
    • Old Pictures/Engagement Photos: Use pictures of your parents, grandparents on their wedding day; make use of that engagement photo session you had (way back) and display some of those pictures.
    • Include a jar/vase of your wedding flowers on the table.
    • Signage: Create signage that tells your guests what the space is for!
    • Pens disappear! Stock the space with plenty of pens! {archival are the best}
    • Chair(s): If you are asking guests to write long notes of remembrance, then provide comfortable chairs! Who wants to write out several paragraphs of memories while bending over a table? Make it as comfortable as can be for your guests…
    • Lighting: Don’t make your guests write in the dark! Include candles or even put some old lamps on the table (or ones that fit with your wedding aesthetic)! It’s a great way to lighten traditionally dark spaces (especially if you are in a dark reception hall).
    • Plenty of Supplies: If you are using a non-traditional guest book, be sure to have plenty of supplies on hand so that you don’t run out!

Happy planning!

Calligraphed Epistle Ultimate Wedding Guest Book Checklist

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14 Reasons a Calligraphed Epistle Guest Book is an Investment for a Lifetime

Why choose Calligraphed Epistle Wedding Guest Books?

The *top* 14 reasons my albums may be perfect for you…go!

  1. Albums come ready to fill. I’ve done the design work, you fill in the memories!
  2. Plenty of room to archive all of your important memories. My albums are robust giving you plenty of space to include everything you want now and for the future…
  3. You are in the driver’s seat…you control what you want to archive. No two couples are ever going to want to save the same thing. While it is true that the books come ‘ready to fill’, the albums still remain open ended in how they can be used.
  4. The albums are a repository for your wedding day and beyond. The wedding day is really only the beginning…
  5. Creates a return ticket back to the past. Anytime you want to revisit, pull your book out and turn the pages of time–your life preserved, your story archived.
  6. An heirloom beyond the predictable. These albums are one of a kind pieces of art. They are not an afterthought and they are most certainly not your mother’s guest book.
  7. A place to preserve your story.
  8. A place to archive your legacy.
  9. A book that no one else can have. My books are completely unique–each one different. Each is built page by page, embellishment by embellishment, and could never be replicated. Complete uniquity.
  10. An album designed to withstand the barrage of time. The books are hand sewn, constructed using traditional book binding techniques. There are no ‘modernized’ steps taken in their construction. Stitch by stitch, each page is sewn into the spine, just like books used to be made.
  11. A tangible artifact to reminisce over.
  12. A keepsake to pass on…
  13. Customization. Almost all of my business consists of customization requests–pick and choose the details that you want and I’ll create the book accordingly! Or, maybe you want a book for your children…an anniversary…a graduation? The possibilities are truly endless.
  14. Personalization. Every book can be personalized with unique touches. Maybe you want your guest book to include a calligraphed inscription? Or…you ordered an album for your 1st anniversary and you want dates included and a letter inscribed? Whatever you want inscribed, you can have!

Live life. Preserve your story. Archive your legacy.

Why choose Calligraphed Epistle Wedding Guest Books?

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Memorialize Your Wedding Day

Memorialize your wedding day with intention.
The Calligraphed Epistle Believes that Important life events, like weddings, the birth of children and anniversaries deserve to be memorialized in special ways. Calligraphed Epistle creations are far more than the predictable; they house the memories, pictures and keepsakes from your wedding day and life. They are created in the spirit of paying homage to vintage treasures and an alternative to the generic cookie cutter guest book.
Millions of stories. Tell yours.

The inevitability of today’s modern bride is that she is overpowered by the amount of decisions that need to be made, combined with the pressure of having *the perfect wedding*.  Whether the event will be for 50 or 500 guests, choosing the venue, menu, attire, and taking care of the seemingly endless amount of miniscule details can easily leave you feeling trapped, overwhelmed and exhausted.  Brides can completely lose sight of why they decided to get married in the first place. Brides are frequently left asking two important questions…

What will I remember from my wedding?  How will I preserve those memories?

I am all about preservation…preserving legacy by combining the timeless traditions of hand lettered calligraphy and book binding. I provide the exclusive book framework, the anatomy, so you have a physical space in which to record your memories.  The artistic pages of your book fill up over time; as you live your life, preserve your story and archive your legacy. In the end, you create an heirloom, far beyond the predictable. Your story to be cherished by you and your children.

Everyone treasures a chosen reminiscence. Make your indulgence worth remembering. Indulge in your memories

Wedding Guest Book and Bouquet on Bench

Find your heirloom album today.

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Anatomy of a Wedding Guest Book

Have you considered the anatomy of a wedding guest book? If not, you should. Not all albums are created equally.

Recently I wrote a post about How to Use your Wedding Guest Book in Unique Ways. I talked about some of the other ways to use the guest book as a repository for all of your wedding day memorabilia. This post will go into more detail about what types of things could be included in a guest book album and how to use them to archive your wedding day. All of your memories…in one place. Think about the freedom in that!

Introduction Section: This is a section designed to be an ‘opening’ chapter of the book. Simple, embellished pages give you a place to store some of your most important relics. There are envelope pockets, calligraphed inscriptions and picture pages to make use of. Click on the image below so you can view the specific details that can be found in introductory sections of a guest book:

Inside a Wedding Guest Book Graphic

Guest Book Section: This is a section designed to be the guestbook chapter of the album. Simple, lightly stamped and stained pages give your guests plenty of adequate space to compose heartfelt messages to a couple. You can choose from deckled edges, hand stamping, staining and gold leaf embellishment. Click on the image below so you can view the specific details that can be found in the guest book section of an album:

Inside a Wedding Guest Book Graphic

Scrapbook Section: This is a section designed to be the third chapter of the book. Heavily embellished pages give you a place to store your most important artifacts. There are envelope pockets, slip in pages, chalkboard pages, embellished tags, calligraphed inscriptions and picture pages to make use of. Click on the image below so you can view the specific details that can be found in the scrapbook section of an album:

Inside a Wedding Guest Book Graphic

Guest Books made easy. I provide the exclusive book framework, the anatomy, so you have a physical space in which to record your memories.  The artistic pages of your book fill up over time; as you live your life, preserve your story and archive your legacy. In the end, you create an heirloom, far beyond the predictable. Your story to be cherished by you and your children.

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Wedding Guest Book: Faith Hope Love Album

This ‘Faith, Hope and Love’ wedding guestbook is unique in that they feature excerpts from the 1 Corinthians 13 bible verses, often referred to as the ‘Love Chapter’. Your guest book becomes a tangible artifact to reminisce over as well as a keepsake to pass on to future generations.

Wedding Guest Book: Faith Love and Hope Album

Christians who enter the sacrament of marriage are making a commitment to Christ, as well as to each other. In a Christian wedding, Christ is the focal point, rather than the bride. And, yet, couples still struggle with how they want to reflect their commitment and at the same time, highlight their own singular personalities.

Check out the video below that visually highlights some of the features from this very special wedding album:

Here are some of the reasons a Calligraphed Epistle album stands out:

  1. The album is akin to holding an antique. It is a ‘real’ living, breathing relic that documents your wedding day.
  2. The book is archival; created with acid free products designed to withstand the ravages of time.
  3. The albums are delivered to you ‘designed’ and ready to fill. I’ve done the labor, taking all of the pressure off of you!
  4. The albums are multi-purpose, in that they are made up of multiple ‘book chapters’: a section for the guest book, for the photo album and a space for posting keepsakes (a scrapbook).
  5. The albums feature hand calligraphy, a tradition that began as early as 600 BC.

Wedding_Guest_Books-65

Discover your book today!

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Use Your Guest Book in Unique Ways

There are so many details to remember when planning a wedding. From booking venues to planning the minute details of your reception, it is easy for something like the guest book to become an afterthought.  I’ve even heard many brides of recent suggest that the guest book is a complete waste of time…

One way to think about the guest book is to frame it in a completely different light. How can you use your guest book in a unique way, you ask? Consider the guest book as being a part of your repository of wedding day memories. Many guest books today are combined scrapbooks and photo albums.

Guest Book Standing Up Showing Features

At the Calligraphed Epistle, we create our wedding guest books specifically for couples who don’t want to spend a lot of time *creating* the book; and are, instead, looking for a unique album that is ready to fill. Our books are organized into 3 categories, providing space for all of your wedding day memorabilia:

  • Introduction/Opening Section
  • Guest Book Section
  • Scrapbook Section

Introduction/Opening Section: While each book is constructed uniquely, there are roughly 6-12 pages dedicated to the opening section of the books. They include an inside cover pocket, decorative photo pages, additional pockets for slipping in important mementos, featured calligraphy script pages, slip/in pages and decorative introductory section to be personalized with names and dates.

Guest Book Opening Section Examples

Guest Book Section: Guest book pages can be hand stamped, stained, left plain, or even embellished with gold/silver leaf onto natural and heavy weight paper. Edges can be deckled as well for a textured look.

Guest Book Section Collage

Memory Scrapbook Section: Can contain altered, embellished and/or stamped, stained pages. Fold out chalkboard pages, archival pages are also included to post additional larger photos. This section also provides a repository for wedding keepsakes; sprigs of dried flowers, ribbons, invitation, save the date, menus… The possibilities are endless.

Wedding Guest Book Scrapbook Ideas

Every couple has their own story to archive and indulges in a chosen reminiscence. Your wedding memories are worth remembering. Indulge in your memories…

Create an heirloom that preserves your story.

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How to get your Wedding Guests to Sign the Guest Book!

There are always going to be guests who ‘just aren’t that into you’…get over it. But, these 6 tips will {at least} help you get a lot more people to sign your wedding guest book! Here’s how to make that happen.

one.

Don’t hide the guest book table in the obligatory dark corner. This seems obvious right? But, it isn’t… {You’d be surprised that most couples think that everyone is so thrilled to be at their wedding that they will flock to their guest book…no matter where it is. Well. Not so much.} Here’s what to do. Put it in a place that is obvious, that is well lit and is near a traffic pattern that makes sense. {Don’t put it in the middle of the buffet table…or dance floor.} The bottom line: if the guests can at least *see* the guest book table, you’ve won half the battle!

two.

Are you having a separate table at your reception for ‘cards’ or ‘gifts’? If so, think about combining them *or* {at least} putting them in close proximity. Doing so, encourages ‘participation’ in each of these steps… If someone makes the ‘trek’ to place a gift on the table, and the guest book table is *right* there, chances are that they will take a minute or two to also sign your book!

three.

Make the guest book interesting. If you plop down a $1.00 signature book from the dollar store on a table and expect each of your guests to be running like the bulls of Spain to sign it, you are fooling yourself. It’s an afterthought… If you are going through the motions with this and you don’t care, why should your guests care? If you want your guests to sign your book, MAKE IT INTERESTING. Pique their interest! Curiosity may have killed the cat but it will make your guests far more eager and interested in the process! Interest=Signage. Period.

four.

Find that *perfect* person to work the station. Maybe you have a perky Aunt Jane…you know the type, very personable, outgoing and knows *everyone*. Or, maybe you have a teenage niece who’s bringing a ‘friend’? Let them man the station…solicit signatures and the like. They can be rewarded with a special gift and/or acknowledgement at the end of the night! Regardless of who would be the perfect ‘attendant’ for your station, having someone who is bubbly, vibrant, always smiling and endearing will go a long way to increasing your signature rate!

five.

The formal announcement. Yep. Don’t shy away from this…especially if made during reception ‘down times’. It’s the perfect time for guests to do their ‘chores’. There’s no food, no dancing yet…make an announcement and help your guests during the wait times. Give them a little reminder of things they can do! Happy guests=Happy reception.

six.

When all else fails {and if you happen to be competing for some Guinness World Record Guest Book Signature Rate Title}, bribery is {absolutely} the answer! If your guest signs the book, they get *their* wedding party favor. Period. End of story. {But the wedding favor had better be good…and I mean…exceptional.}

recap.

So there you have it. 6 ways to increase your guest book signage. {relatively painless, really…}

  1. Location! Location! Location!
  2. Location addendum.
  3. Pique their interest.
  4. An awesome attendant.
  5. Announcement.
  6. Bribery.

Happy planning!