The preservers of history are as heroic as its makers. -Pat M. Neff
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
- The album is akin to holding an antique. It is a ‘real’ living, breathing relic that documents your wedding day.
- The book is archival; created with acid free products designed to withstand the ravages of time.
- The albums are delivered to you ‘designed’ and ready to fill. I’ve done the labor, taking all of the pressure off of you!
- 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).
- The albums feature hand calligraphy, a tradition that began as early as 600 BC.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
“Even if we have bad feelings about our past and it causes a sense of alienation, it belongs to our history. Its benchmarks are stored in the granary of our mind and crucial evaluations for the future cannot be made without consulting the archive of our memory.” ( “Not without the past”)
― Erik Pevernagie
Are you hung up on the logistics of setting up a guest book table? If so, this is the post for you. In making just a handful of simple, yet strategic decisions, you will have a guest book station that people will WANT to visit!
5 steps to a simple wedding guest book table set up:
- Get Help! Some suggest having one of your attendants *work* the station. I disagree. Find a teenager–someone who would love to have the responsibility! Having a ‘manned’ guest book table will increase the visibility and likelihood your guests will sign your book.
- Location! Don’t hide the table. Put it somewhere obvious, in the natural traffic pattern of the reception. If people see it, they will be a lot more likely to sign it!
- Lighting + Space! If you want your guests to write thoughtful notes to you, be sure to make it comfortable by providing enough physical space. If you are using a small table and load it up with a bunch of wedding decor and flower arrangement, it will feel cluttered and will encourage a quick visit to the table. If you provide a chair, however, and a space for guests to really sit and reflect, chances are you will have deeper sentiments conveyed. Also think about lighting…if your reception hall is dark, how can you expect guests to even see to write? Consider placing the table in a well lit area or even add a lamp (on trend with your wedding theme). A well-lit and roomy guest book table will increase the likelihood of your guests not only visiting your station but also writing meaningful notes to you.
- Plenty of Pens! This seems obvious, right? Well, it isn’t. Think about how many times people walk off with pens! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been at a wedding and there has only been one pen. At one table there was a line to sign rustic tags because there was only one pen–but enough room for 3 or 4 people to be using the space at one time. Another wedding there was actually no pen–I had to come back to my table and borrow one (because I didn’t carry my regular purse). Even if it seems ridiculous, supply the station with extras to alleviate any potential crisis with your guest book station!
- Keep It Simple Stupid! Just Say No to Micro-Managing! Are you familiar with the Einstein quote, “If you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it yourself?” Just think about that for a minute… If you plan a guest book table with multiple moving parts and complex instructions, how likely are your guests to engage? Just remember: simple set up + simple directions = better results! Don’t overthink the guest book table.
If your goal is to try and get as many people to write you a meaningful sentiment on your wedding day, do everything you can to make them at ease with the process. A simple space, with enough room and lighting, well stocked with all of the accessories needed, will encourage your guests to share thoughts and memories–something you will delight in reminiscing over for decades to come!
Don’t have time to think about the details of your guest book table? Fear not…here is the Calligraphed Epistle’s 10 Items to Include at Your Wedding Guest Book Station list!
- Archival Pens – Micron are my favorite!
- Signage – Give your guests simple instructions.
- Lighting – Use a lamp or candles to light up the table.
- Space – Plenty of room to compose notes.
- Flowers – Decorate the space with a simple jar/vase of your wedding flowers.
- Pictures – Make the space personable. Include old pictures.
- Inviting – Include a chair or two…create a table that is welcoming and interesting!
- Linens – Use an old vintage linen to decorate the table.
- Interesting Guest Book – Be creative. Choose a meaningful book or alternative.
- Extra Supplies – Have extras on hand in case those pens run off!