Recently I posted some thoughts about what might work well for a nontraditional guestbook. My front-runner idea in that post was a framed linotype print of Texas that guests could sign and we could hang on our wall. Then my bridesmaid/best bud/awesome girlfriend Chicago J oh-so-sweetly reminded me that I already had a great idea for a guestbook, and it was not a print of Texas.
(Clearly my wedding brain has developed some holes, and information is leaking out. It might be because I’m solidly into the double-digit countdown to the big day. Just a hunch.)
And, it just so happens that I like my original idea better than the framed-print idea. Thanks, Chicago J!
So what is this idea, you wonder?
Well, it’s a verjaardagskalender!
A verjaardagskalender is a perpetual calendar used to keep track of birthdays (the name literally means birthday calendar), but can also include other events like anniversaries and deaths. Every Dutch household has one, or so I’m told.
Mr. C’s family is Dutch. His dad was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to the US in his teens, and Mr. C lived and worked in the Netherlands right after college for a couple of years. Mr. C and I have been to the Netherlands together twice, mostly for friends’ weddings. On one of those trips, we visited some family friends, and Mr. C joked that I needed to make sure to write my name in on their birthday calendar. (I didn’t do it, thankfully. Later he told me it would have been quite funny if I had. Apparently one does not write one’s name on someone else’s verjaardagskalender, at least not unless asked to do so!)
Did I mention that these calendars are traditionally kept in the bathroom?
The ubiquitous verjaardagskalender (Image via Expatica)
Pretty funny that they are hung on the wall next to the toilet, but rather sensible at the same time. (I think the Dutch are quite practical in their approach to many things.) You are in the bathroom at least once a day, so you’re sure to see whose birthday is coming up. And your guests can check to see if their name is on your calendar when they visit the loo!
Anyway, I thought using a verjaardagskalender as our guestbook at the wedding would be perfect. We’ll post a sign asking each guest to write his or her full name on the appropriate date line, with a little explanation about the calendar. It will be fun to see who at the party has the same birthday, and we’ll have a full birthday calendar to hang in our bathroom when we get home.
Now I just need to find the right calendar—after all, we’re going to be looking at it for many years to come!