Guest Book, Guest Mat, or Guest Tree?

Months ago I got creative in making a gift for a friend’s wedding”¦ I hand burned her name and her wedding date into a set of wooden spoons. (DIY tutorial post coming soon!)

personal photo

The whole project got me thinking of all the great things I could do with my fun Hotmarks tool.

I love the look of burned wood and would just love to use my woodburning skills somewhere in wedding project land. Then, a couple months ago, during one of my Etsy lust visits, I came across a seller’s site who had a similar vision to mine, Inspired By Marie. This seller used their woodburning skills in a way I had not thought of yet, on a Wooden Signature Mat.



How awesome are those!? I really fell in love with this idea and think it would be perfect to use on our big day. I believe I can totally recreate my own version of this mat with my own spin on things. I have already custom-burned a cutting board (DIY tutorial post coming soon) so I can’t imagine it would be much different. Though I love this idea, there is still some debate. I also like the idea of having a fancy pants guest book. The same seller also makes great woodburned guest books, which are pretty snazzy.


The biggest downside to having a guest book is that it won’t be an instant display item. I like the idea of how the guest mats can be mounted to the wall to be displayed for years to come. Then, there is also the possibility of the Wedding Tree Guest List:


I love this idea too! The only worry here would be guests running around with green thumbs after they leave their prints.

So what do you think? Guest book, mat, or tree? I am currently leaning towards the guest mat and hope to post possible designs soon.

Did you or do you plan on going for a non-traditional guest book?


Mrs. Locket

Ithaca, NY
Wedding Date:
September 2010
Wedding Videos: Top Clips
6 Hours of My Life That I'll Never Get Back

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  1. Member
    clarebee 2766 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:19 am

    I LOVE the wood burned guest mat! That is so unique! We are doing a blurb book of our relationship with pictures, ticket stubs, receipts, cards etc from the past 4.5 years – it will show people a little bit about our relationship over the years!

  2. Member
    puzzle 248 posts, Helper bee @ 9:42 am

    Personally, I like the wooden guest book best! I probably wouldn’t want to display the guest “thing” in my house for years and years after the wedding; I’d rather have something to look through periodically/on anniversaries. Also: as cute at I think the guest tree is, I can’t seem to get past the idea that I’d be fingerprinting all of my closest friends and family! It makes it sound like they’re all criminals!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Ms %252BJudder, Guest @ 9:44 am

    I love the idea of a tree with finger prints. I am throwing around the same idea…but if I had it I would have a guest book as well!

  4. cardigan Member
    cardigan 8645 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 10:09 am

    I love the guest mat! You can display it afterwards, and it’s totally unique! Such a cool idea!

  5. dolphin Member
    dolphin 503 posts, Busy bee @ 10:10 am

    One of the things we LOVED about our guestbook was the sweet messages all of our guests left us. We had two bridesmaids in charge of making sure the guests knew we wanted messages, not just signatures. It was great to look back at what they said and their sweet advice and congratulations. I would choose the wooden guestbook for this reason. I love the look of the other once, like the thumb print tree, but I also like having a sweet and personal message of advice, etc from a guest.

  6. Member
    bunnylovesbear 2248 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:14 am

    We are having a photobooth at our wedding, so part of our package is for a photostrip scrapbook; however, I loooove the thumbprint tree idea. So my plan is to do the tree guest book at our rehersal dinner! I get the best of both worlds – something to display from our nearest and dearest at the rehersal dinner, and the (somewhat) traditional guest book with the photos and personal messages.

  7. Member
    Soon2beeMrsM 1681 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:31 am

    I really love the wood burned guest mat. I think you are so right in saying it is something that could just get hung up on the wall and look great.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    tnh79, Guest @ 10:34 am

    We must have very similar tastes. I went through this exact same decision. Ultimately I decided to go with the wood piece. This is my inspiration:
    I loved the thumb print tree but my mother did not think people would want to get their hands dirty.
    I can’t wait to see your tutorials on wood burning things. I’m terrible at it!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Renee, Guest @ 10:40 am

    I saw (and loved) the tree with the thumbprints idea too, but had the same worry that people wouldn’t want to have ink on their fingers, so we’re doing something similar, but less messy.

    I’m having a large (24″x36″) poster of a bare tree printed, then cutting out paper leaves in different colors and sizes. We’ll have the leaves, pens, and some double-stick tape available at the reception. Then we’ll ask people to write messages on the leaves and stick them to the tree poster.

    That way we get all the sweet messages, people won’t have dirty thumbs, and we’ll still have a beautiful tree poster to hang up at home!

    Hope that helps!

  10. Member
    shaydenise 1151 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:44 am

    I like the mat and the tree. We’re doing a photo book for our guest book and we’re doing the wedding tree at our rehearsal, so that only those directly involved in the wedding will leave their mark =). So we pretty much get to do two ha

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    NoleBride10, Guest @ 11:21 am

    I love all of these ideas! We actually did the guestbook tree at our wedding and I simply covered a box of wet ones to match our decor. They worked perfectly and the tree turned out amazing! I love the idea of having something to display for years to come that reminds me of all of the people who shared in our day. We got our tree from bleudetoi on etsy. It was $85 for the medium version (80-120 guests) but they hand draw it so it’s completely unique.

  12. Member
    alvina 807 posts, Busy bee @ 11:43 am

    Do the maaaaat. 😛 It’s definitely more unique than the others (and easier to display than the guestbook) and it’s something YOU can create yourself which makes it like a hundred times cooler. :]

  13. Member
    ladyox 831 posts, Busy bee @ 12:03 pm

    We had the thumb tree for our ketubah signing and at our reception we put out a photo mat for signatures that we later used to frame the thumb tree. I absolutely love looking at it hanging on the wall!

  14. Member
    jordynrose 6351 posts, Bee Keeper @ 1:22 pm

    Those wooden signature mats are gorgeous!

  15. cola Member
    cola 2827 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:45 pm

    I love the idea of the mat, so unique, and more easy to display in your home after the wedding than a book would be on a shelf!

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Lee, Guest @ 6:57 pm

    I love the wooden mat. My fiance and i are using an old wooden bench we found at an antique store and are having out guests sign that! this way we have it proudly displayed and we can use it within our new home

  17. Member
    winter 1333 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:59 am

    i love the woodwork ideas! and i love those fingerprint trees! and i do love the signing mat! it is beautiful!

  18. Member
    Serendipity 10356 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 3:47 am

    I’m torn between the mat and book, but what a great idea, it’s going to look awesome!

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    DIY Personalized Cutting Board Tutorial | Weddingbee, Guest @ 6:45 pm

    […] when I told you about those nifty woodburned guestbooks/mats and mentioned I had custom-burned a cutting board and a tutorial would be coming? Well, don’t […]

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