This Modern Love: Guest Autographs & A Cocktail Hour Surprise

Hands down, the best wedding decision we made (other than having a destination wedding in Montreal) was our record albums “guestbook.” It was so uniquely us and also something that none of our guests had ever seen before at a wedding—which makes it even more special.

All photos by Sarelle Photos (unless otherwise noted)


A guest signing one of our record albums

I bought some cheap frames from the dollar store and made a sign that said “Give us your autograph! Use the gold Sharpie to sign directly onto a record.” Most people didn’t just stop at signing their name, though, and decided instead to write some really sweet messages. And now, with the wedding over, we put all four albums into frames and hung them on the wall in our living room—you can’t beat a keepsake that doubles as wall art!


Our signed albums hanging on the wall at home / Personal photos

One thing that I kept tightly under wraps (in fact, only Mr. M and his brother knew about this) was that I wanted to surprise our parents and Mr. M’s grandparents with photos of them from their wedding day to be displayed at the record signing table. It was pretty easy getting a few photos from my parents’ house without them knowing—I simply made copies of the photos at CVS. Getting pictures of Mr. M’s parents and grandparents (who live in Wisconsin), however, was a completely different story—thankfully I was able to enlist the help of his brother in covertly searching for and scanning their photos.

While I know this isn’t by any means a unique thing to do at a wedding, this was the first time our families had seen something like this, so the look on their faces when they saw the photos was absolutely PRICELESS.


They were all SO excited to see these! / Personal photo from guest


My parents and Mr. M’s grandparents couldn’t stop posing with their photos / Personal photo from guest


Our mothers discussing the photos / Personal photo from guest


Closeups of the albums and parents’ photos


But before all this happened, we were with our immediate family members in the room taking family portraits. Family portraits are funny because, while I know they are necessary, it’s hard work standing there for 45 minutes in nearly the same pose with a permanent smile plastered on your face—my cheeks were KILLING me after a while, and I couldn’t wait to get downstairs to join our guests for the remainder of cocktail hour! But we definitely got some gems out of that session—I won’t bore you with them all, so I’ll just share some fun ones.




When we were finally done, we arrived at cocktail hour to excited cheers from our guests. It’s weird to say, but it really feels like being a celebrity for a day when you are a bride or groom. Everyone wants to chat with you, take a picture with/of you, or just hug and kiss you. But the difference is that you are surrounded by people who genuinely love and care for you—and we loved every minute of it! After we got there, our photographers took these great overhead shots.


And in between greeting guests and taking more pictures, I luckily had some people making sure I ate a few bites during cocktail hour and that Mr. M was never without a drink in his hand.


Me noshing on an app / Personal photos from guest


Mr M. and his grandparents / Personal photo from guest

And with that, cocktail hour was over and our guests were told to head to the reception room. Next up, we show off our dance moves with killer reception entrances!


Missed a recap? Catch up here:


Mrs. Mongoose

New Haven, CT
Wedding Date:
May 2013
Being Wed in a Land Down Under
Airplanes in Aruba, Part 2
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  1. jetsetter Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 7:52 am

    AMAZING idea – it’s like you guys have your own “Gold Records”!

    Love it.

  2. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:48 am

    Totally and completely felt like a celebrity on our wedding day – it was so freakin’ great. 😉

  3. Member
    daniellekira 573 posts, Busy bee @ 2:11 pm

    The records are a great idea. I love the look of them and how you can display them after.

  4. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:36 pm

    Your guest book is so cool and original. And I think it’s so sweet that both sets of parents are still married, I can see why they loved the pictures :)

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