Buying Guide for Wedding Guest Books
Why buy a wedding guest book?
While not necessarily the most essential item you’ll have to buy for your wedding or even a requirement for the wedding, many people enjoy having a guest book as a memento. Besides signing their names, guests tend to write their best wishes, messages of love, inside jokes, favorite memories, and advice in the guest book. This makes them a touching, heartfelt keepsake from the day of the actual wedding that the happy couple can look back on for years and years after the fact. Many elements of the wedding—centerpieces, food, etc.—either can’t be saved long-term or are rented or are too inconvenient to keep on hand, so many couples appreciate having a little piece of their wedding day they can refer back to at any time to go along with photos from the ceremony and reception.
What should you look for in a wedding guest book?
- Cover Design: Since you’ll be keeping and looking back on this book for years to come, you also want a guest book with a cover and appearance you enjoy. Fortunately, wedding guest books come in a wide variety of decorative styles. They can have simple, single-color covers, be decorated with rhinestones or lace, be covered in wood or burlap, be printed with metallic quotes or letters or floral patterns, etc.
- Pages: You may not be able to predict precisely how much each guest will write or how long or short-winded they’ll be, but you can make a reasonable estimate based on page size. 12×12 pages allow six to eight guests to sign per page, 10×8 pages have room for four to six guests per page, and 9×6 for two to four guests per page. So pick your page size based on how tall or wide you want your guest book to be and then the number of pages based on that size and how many people you’ve invited. Also, consider if you want the pages to be blank for free writing or lined for a slightly neater look or have any decoration along the edges.
- Extras: Some wedding guest books will come with bonus items, like a pen or an attached bookmark. Models with pens are especially nice because you don’t have to worry about providing your own or buying new ones, and the pens will usually match the guest book in some way. If the engraving on the book is metallic or glittery, for instance, the pen’s ink may match the color, sheen, or both. A pen holder might also be included as well. Built-in bookmarks are excellent if you want to mark the page of a particularly sweet or meaningful message. Some wedding guest books even come with a display box for the table at the reception, a matching gift box for cards or if you plan to give the wedding book as a present, or a storage box for stashing the book safely after the wedding.
What are some alternatives to wedding guest books?
If you don’t want an actual book for your guests to sign, there are two alternative types of “guest books” you can buy that serve a similar purpose. One increasingly popular option is to have guests sign small wooden hearts and drop them into a glass container surrounded by a wooden frame, possibly with a picture of the couple inside it. This creates a more decorative, framed “guest book” that the couple can display in their home after their wedding. Other couples opt for a wooden board, hardboard, or fabric poster (often shaped in their couples’ initials or a shape meaningful to their shared interests or that fits their wedding theme) that guests can sign and write a small message on instead.
Our Picks for the Best Wedding Guest Books
Christian Art Gifts Wedding Guest Book with Quotes
A simple embossed wedding guest book filled with Scripture quotes about love for the religiously inclined.
Pros: It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive, and there are dozens of little costs that come seemingly out of nowhere to drive up your budget. Fortunately, this 160-page wedding guest book won’t be one of them. It’s pretty affordable yet still has a classical, attractive white and gold aesthetic with a lacy embossed cover, gold foil accents, and a white satin ribbon bookmark. Though it fits a traditional wedding aesthetic extremely well, it comes with one unique, defining characteristic in the love-related Scripture quotes on each page. And as a bonus, a gift box with a clear lid comes included with your purchase.
Cons: While it’s got plenty of pages, this book is a touch on the small side at 6.4 inches by 8.5 inches, smaller than you might expect. The quotes on each page are a nice touch; however, they are all from Scripture; if you and your future spouse aren’t Christian or particularly religious, this may not be for you.
Bottom Line: If you’re planning a traditional church wedding, this little guest book should align with your decorations and overall aesthetic. You get the classical wedding aesthetic from this book without the classical wedding price tag.
LEMON SHERBET Wedding Guest Book With Metallic Markers
For those who love a little extra glitz and shine, this metallic-esque wedding guest book comes included with two matching markers.
Pros: If you want a gorgeous, eye-catching, glimmering guest book for your wedding, you’re in luck. The white cover is decorated with bright, shining gold roses and leaves and matching letters, ideally suited for classical wedding decor. Further enhancing the book’s beauty and style are the thick pages gilded at the edges with gold for further glitz. You get some lovely little bonus pieces for extra bang for your buck. Not only does this guest book come with a ribbon bookmark attached, but you’ll also receive two matching metallic markers, one gold and one silver, with your purchase, as well as a sturdy “sign here” card to place on the table at the reception to make sure none of your guests miss out on signing their names.
Cons: While this guest book’s cover is quite durable, it’s a little less so at the corners; there is the risk that they’ll crease or bend if not handled carefully. The number of pages also isn’t the best for bigger weddings, so if you have more than 100 people, it may not be big enough.
Bottom Line: Weddings can be pretty elaborate, glamorous affairs, and this wedding guest book will reflect well on such an event. Between the classic white and gold color, gilded pages, and matching metallic markers, this guest book has plenty of shine and glamor for those who want something especially beautiful and fancy.
bloom daily planners Hardbound Wedding Guest Book With Gold Page Marker
A simple yet elegant wedding guest book for those who want something that's more understated yet still aesthetically pleasing.
Pros: If you’re going for a simpler or more casual wedding celebration, you’ll want your decorations and accent pieces to suit that style. This book is still plenty pleasing to the eye, especially with the gilded edges and decorative header on each page. Still, the cover is understated and not as metallic or flashy as other models. At seven by nine inches and sporting 120 pages, there’s also plenty of room for your guests to sign, and the attached bookmark adds to this guest book’s functionality. As a bonus, you choose between gold and silver accents, depending on which better suits your wedding’s theme.
Cons: Keep in mind that this guest book and its cover are quite thin overall.
Bottom Line: If you’re planning a more casual, laid-back wedding, this guest book is an ideal choice as it’s pretty and functional without being so ornate that it looks out of place.
Y&K Homish Wedding Guest Book Alternative
Instead of signing their names in a book, guests will write on little wooden hearts and drop them into a windowed box instead as a cute, creative, more decorative alternative.
Pros: If you don’t want a traditional guest book for your wedding, consider this rustic, antique-looking sign as a cute and creative alternative. Rather than signing their names and writing in a book, your guests will sign small wooden hearts and drop them into the top of the frame. The clear acrylic window displays the hearts with the names, so not only do you still get the names and words of love from your guests but a cute decoration you can display in your home after the wedding is over. Especially since you have four different frame colors to choose from, and it can either be mounted on the included stand or hung on the wall thanks to the wall-mounted hooks on the back. The matching stand comes with your purchase, but you get the wooden hearts, a box to hold them, and a small, customizable blackboard sign (to sit beside it at the reception).
Cons: Cute and creative as this alternative “guest book” is, it is more expensive than a traditional guest book, and the hearts are much smaller than book pages, so your guests won’t have as much room to write their names and messages on.
Bottom Line: Not everyone wants a classic wedding with all the customs it entails. If you find the usual wedding traditional to be a bit old-fashioned for your liking or simply want something a bit more creative than a classic guest book, this guest book-alternative allows you to break the mold while still enjoying sweet messages and well-wishes from your loved ones.
BETTERLINE Rustic Burlap and Lace Wedding Guest Book
If you're planning a more rustic or farmhouse-style wedding, this cute burlap and lace wedding guest book will fit your style and decorations perfectly.
Pros: Rustic-style, farmhouse weddings are growing ever more popular, and if your big day will feature this theme, this wedding guest book will suit your decorations and reception perfectly. The burlap body invokes that rustic, farmhouse feel while the lace sash and jute flower give it an elegant, wedding-appropriate twist. The pen holder for the included pen matches the book as well. If you want an alternative to the jute flower, you can buy this book in two other styles, with a rose or ribbon instead. As for the interior pages themselves, not only is there a high page count (120 total) but there’s also introductory pages you can fill out about the couple, both their families, and the entire wedding party—a nice bonus touch that most wedding guest books don’t include.
Cons: While there are plenty of pages for your guests to write in, keep in mind that the book is on the shorter side (6.5 inches) so this does limit the amount of writing space to some degree.
Bottom Line: If you’re planning on a trendy rustic aesthetic for your wedding, you’ll want to make sure all the decorations and details match it. This, naturally, includes your guest book. Fortunately, this lovely little burlap and lace guest book will suit a rustic-themed wedding admirably.
If you want a thoughtful and cost-effective memento of your wedding day that you can look back on fondly at any time, you can’t go wrong with a nice wedding guest book. Whether you go for a more modern, updated version or stick with a traditional empty book, you’ll appreciate having easy access to the memories and messages that your loved ones provided on your special day.