The One with the Guestbook

At every wedding since the dawn of time*, there has been some sort of ledger to account for the guests. Appropriately, they call it the “guestbook.” In years past, this has traditionally been just that: a book with lines to sign your name, and not much else.


Image via InstantFilmDirect

More recently, these books have evolved to have spaces for people to write fun messages and well-wishes to the newly married couple. Some, like those available on online photo services sites, have books with areas to insert your engagement photos:


Image via Weddingbee user Hazen24

I like these ideas, and they certainly serve the purpose of books for guests to write their names and possibly messages to the couple, but even more recently, the guestbook has evolved to any number of nontraditional options.


All images from Etsy shops. Clockwise from top left: The Ink Lab, BellaPuzzlesToo, Evelynne99, and RememberZen

With so many new and unique ideas, it was really hard for us to narrow it all down to exactly what we wanted. I showed Cam lots and lots of options and we narrowed it down to either a poster of Charleston…


Image via RetroAmerica

…or something along these lines with 3D hearts for guests to sign.


Image via SuzyShoppe on Etsy

Believe it or not, Cam was more into the hearts. I know, I was surprised too. I love the look of this, but it’s $195. Seriously? How hard could it be?

I headed to Michaels, purchased a heart punch, several types of card stock, and a shadowbox, and set out one evening last week to make this puppy. It took three episodes of Law & Order: SVU on Netflix, and here’s what I ended up with:


Personal photo

I guess overall I’m happy with it. I wish it looked more like the one pictured above, but I think if I get a new shadow box and move the hearts closer together it’ll be more along the lines of what I had pictured. There is also the small issue that there are only 99 hearts, and we are expecting between 125–150 people. I’m assuming people will get that they need to sign two names to one heart on some of them. It isn’t my favorite DIY project, but it probably won’t be the worst!

Anyone else out there do a nontraditional guestbook? Anyone DIY it? Any suggestions for how I can improve this a bit?

*This is pure speculation.


Mrs. Camera

Charlotte, NC/Charleston, SC
Wedding Date:
September 2013
Venues: The Good, the Bad, and the Lovely (THE BAD)
A Highland Fairy Tale: We Rehearse and Kids Scream

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  1. Member
    soontobemrs_z 387 posts, Helper bee @ 3:57 pm

    We’re planning on doing one similar to the tree print you had above. I wish I could do ours diy but, I am not an artist by any means.

  2. Member
    ecjohnson 157 posts, Blushing bee @ 4:35 pm

    Also doing a guestbook tree! I found a free online template, but was worried it would be too small so I ended up buying one from Etsy for like $70. It’s in the mail now!

  3. Member
    kirabee 1240 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:38 pm

    Cute! You could maybe have your parents and wedding party sign it beforehand to show other guests that two people can sign together – that will hopefully make it a little more foolproof!

  4. Member
    CPearson1016 117 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:58 pm

    My sister is a book binder and she made me a beautiful book in our wedding colors with blank pages. We got one of those new Polaroid cameras so the guests can snap their photo, place it into the book with photo corners (layed out ahead of time) and write a message next to their photo! Not a new idea, but very special because of the work my siter did!

  5. jetsetter Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 6:33 pm

    I think what may be throwing you off visually is the size of the background/white mat around the hearts in the etsy version – maybe try a larger frame with a thick mat to give that extra space??

    This is a great idea though, I love the idea of a guestbook you can actually use as art! We tossed around the idea of the fingerprint tree, but landed on something else instead.

  6. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:17 pm

    I think this is adorable! I think a bigger frame and mat will make you feel better about the look.

  7. Member
    texasaggiemom 595 posts, Busy bee @ 8:02 pm

    Wow – you did a great job of replicating the original! I agree with a previous poster that the only difference is the mat in the original frame – you might see if that helps you love it more. Can’t wait to see your final product – this is a great idea!

  8. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:12 pm

    It looks adorable! How are the hearts being held onto the mat?

  9. Member
    fzesguer 1090 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:54 pm

    That’s really pretty!

    We have a wood motif going on, so I think my FFIL is making us a huge book with two slabs of wood for the covers, and burning our monogram onto the front of it.

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Elizabeth Sowers, Guest @ 11:08 pm

    I love your idea!! I agree maybe bring the hearts closer together. Not entirely sure yet as to what I will be having at my wedding but i know I want something much more than just a guestbook.

  11. Member
    fridaythe13bride 291 posts, Helper bee @ 11:38 pm

    I’m doing the first image, as I really don’t want anything displayed in my home (sorry if that’s rude!) and I’ve wanted to make a book with all our engagement pictures in it anyway. There’s only so many you can frame around the house!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    AMaxBurtutt, Guest @ 1:07 am

    Думаю, в этом нет ничего удивительного. Минимальный депозит 10. .

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  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Nancy W, Guest @ 6:50 am

    The hearts look tiny. Is there room to write more than just a name?

  14. Member
    triciag 438 posts, Helper bee @ 6:58 am

    Cute! Do you mind sharing how you adhered the hearts on?

  15. msjackrabbit Member
    msjackrabbit 1080 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:31 am

    ahhhhh i made the exact same gift for my friends wedding! (except I didn’t write on the hearts!)

  16. genie Member
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 10:09 am

    I love it! But I agree with the other ladies that a bigger frame and mat will help get the look you want.

  17. Member
    mzjynxie 783 posts, Busy bee @ 12:31 pm

    I love photo guest books the most. Can’t wrap my head around displaying some item scribbled with squiggles in my home. But the rocks could be scattered in a garden or yard, and the puzzle pieces aren’t too bad.

  18. Member
    Missbliss 877 posts, Busy bee @ 10:27 pm

    I love your heart concept. I do a lot of scrap booking and I have a suggestion for you. If you provide a photo of the concept, and add a pile of hearts you can add as many as you actually will need in the long run. I would guess you’ll have lots of couples sign together, but you’ll also have kids and your single friends sign as a single! I would also make a bunch of extra hearts if they are very small.

  19. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:54 am

    Lady I think yours is better than the inspiration! I think the inspiration looks too cramped. I’ve never seen this before so if I were a guest at your wedding, I’d be super excited and impressed. :)

  20. Guest Icon Guest
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  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Kayla B, Guest @ 1:08 pm

    Yours is great! I don’t think you need a different frame though. Just push the hearts closer together in that frame! The original has a couple of inches between the hearts and the frame so squishing those hearts closer together would help!

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