Please Sign on the Dotted Line

I’ve had guestbooks on the brain for a while, and I knew I wanted something that would become a keepsake after the day, not just sit in a box and gather dust for 50 years. Maybe I’m weird in this, but signing a “traditional” guestbook, where guests just sign their names on the next available line, has always reminded me of signing a funeral register.

wiz1

NO FUN ALLOWED / Photo via Carter Funeral Home

Not exactly a vibe I want at the wedding. Plus, why would we just want to read our guests’ names line by line? We wouldn’t, is the answer. If we want a list of who was there we can keep a copy of our finalized guest list. No, I wanted a guestbook with a bit more personality and meaning than that.

I actually got my idea for the guestbook in December of 2010, way before we were even engaged. (That happened a lot.) We were at Mr. Wizard’s cousin’s wedding, and they had a giant photo mat for everyone to sign. I thought it was the cutest idea—guests could write messages, draw little pictures, and whatever else, and then the couple could hang it with a wedding photo in their home to always have their guests’ well wishes there on display. I loved it! Much better than writing your name on a line in a book.

So when it came time to decide on our own guestbook, I knew I wanted to do a photo mat. Mr. Wizard liked the idea as well. I headed to Michaels and found a framed 16×20”³ mat, with space for an 8×10”³ photo, for 55% off—it came to $13.49. Score! I also picked up a little easel for it to sit on, to make it more of a display and less of a…thing-lying-on-the-table. I got it in gold, to match our wedding colors. (The photo frame will stay black because that matches our home better, which is, of course, where this will eventually end up.)

I ran home excitedly and assembled the mock-up. When our guests walk into the reception, this is what they’ll see:

wiz3

Personal photo / I’ll tell you about those flowers soon!

Except imagine it with our photo (I didn’t want to take the plastic off in case the mat were to get dirty, so I couldn’t put our photo in it yet), plus a pretty cup full of pens and a little sign that says “Please sign our photo mat!” Actually, you don’t have to imagine it, because I Photoshop’ed it for you:

wiz2

Personal photo / Pens via Graphic Impact / Cup via Barnes & Noble / Frame via Art Gallery Frames / E-pic by Michael Williams / Photoshop’ed by me

Ooooh, hive, this makes me so freakin’ excited! This was our very first “complete” project with all the pieces (well, we don’t actually have them all, but they’ll look nearly identical to the Photoshop’ed version—I’m even buying that exact pen cup!), and it is SO exciting to see it all coming together, instead of just having bits and pieces and having to imagine the final product. I’m relieved to say that this came out exactly how I had pictured it in my head. Here’s hoping the rest of the wedding turns out that way…

What kind of guestbook are you having? Were you excited when things started coming together?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Wizard

Location:
Pittsburgh
Wedding Date:
June 2012

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  1. Member
    penguinof3 737 posts, Busy bee @ 12:17 pm

    we made a scrapbook out of our guest book, we put our engagement pictures on every other page so that our guests could leave messages instead of just signing their name :) love the photo mat idea too..we did see something really cool we wanted but couldnt afford it was a mirror with a diamond tipped pen that guests could leave messages ect. the pen would essentially engrave it onto the mirror, but for 150 bucks we passed

  2. Member
    spaniel 6778 posts, Busy Beekeeper @ 12:32 pm

    Ha! The signature register never reminded me of funerals, but it never struck me as something I wanted/needed/would like to have as a keepsake. We did a photo book, which we still like to look through once in awhile, but a photo mat will really be a great, prominent reminder of your wedding. :)

  3. Member
    sam2412 174 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:51 pm

    We’re having a photobooth at the wedding – so we’ve bought a nice blank scrapbook with blank pages, a million markers and then the guests can take a fun pics in the photobooth and afterward paste the 2nd strip into our guestbook and add some fun stuff with the markers – can’t wait to see what we’ll end up with

  4. Member
    coyote 1677 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:21 pm

    Yea photo mat! My aunt did this as her guest book for her wedding a few years ago. It’s hanging in their living room now and every time I visit I reread all the sweets notes and am taken back to their wedding day!

  5. Member
    archer 551 posts, Busy bee @ 1:25 pm

    oy- another thing i should probably figure out. impressed by your photoshopping skills though!

  6. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:59 pm

    Cute idea! I love your photoshop skills!

  7. Member
    Coffee cup 2319 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:00 pm

    I love that idea.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    aimlesstraveler, Guest @ 6:32 pm

    I always feel really awkward signing those things at weddings! I have no idea what to write and so I usually avoid it. It’s hard enough to figure out what to write in the card, I don’t like having to think of something else to write somewhere else.

  9. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:54 pm

    I bought a frame with four openings to put photos of the letters in our new last name (which is four letters). Now I’m concerned that we won’t have enough room for our guests. Eek.

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Around-the-world fiance, Guest @ 11:16 pm

    I am having a guest thumbprint tree. Some really cute one’s can be found on Etsy, but I have a friend who is making me one using photoshop! :) Afterward we will have it matted and framed to hang in our home.

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    mrsdtmajor 1579 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:40 am

    We’re doing a photo mat as well. My friend did one for her wedding and it’s hanging in their house. I love to look at it each time I’m there. Yours is gonna be great!

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