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)

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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!

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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.

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

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

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Our mothers discussing the photos / Personal photo from guest

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Closeups of the albums and parents’ photos

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Me noshing on an app / Personal photos from guest

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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!

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Missed a recap? Catch up here:

BLOGGER

Mrs. Mongoose

Location:
New Haven, CT
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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  1. Member
    lolot 7007 posts, Busy Beekeeper @ 10:46 am

    I love that surprise! We (ok let’s be real, I) did something similar at our cake table with framed photos of both sets of parents cutting their cakes. They LOVED it! :D

  2. Member
    kit_kath 1331 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:24 am

    I’m doing the same thing for our guestbooks (may or may not have gotten the idea from your earlier post about it)! We both love music, and fiance collects vinyl so it’s perfect.

    Do you think 4 records was a good amount for your crowd? I can’t decide how many is enough so that people have room to write, but not leave a ton of empty space in the end.

  3. Guest
    Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press, Guest @ 11:30 am

    Ahh I love the idea of signed records!! so good.

  4. Member
    springbride23 1417 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:43 am

    Love the MOG’s dress! Do you know where she got it? That is definitely turning into one of the things that stresses me out – those pesky mothers!

  5. Member
    Miss Pyramid 800 posts, Busy bee @ 12:06 pm

    These turned out so well and I love how you displayed them! And what a sweet surprise for your parents and grandparents – I love seeing things like this!

  6. Member
    Mrs. Camera 274 posts, Helper bee @ 12:17 pm

    Love, Love, Love!!

  7. Member
    missgoldfish 775 posts, Busy bee @ 12:40 pm

    Love the pictures of the parents and grandparents posing with their pictures of their own wedding days! What a special surprise!

  8. Member
    Mrs. Mongoose 726 posts, Busy bee @ 12:40 pm

    @Kit_Kath: Awesome–it’s definitely something you guys should do! How many guests will you have? I had about 120 guests so 4 albums was plenty of room. I think a good rule of thumb would be about 25 signatures per record. Hope that helps!

    @springbride23: Doesn’t she look amazing?! I believe she got the dress at Bloomingdales :)

  9. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:06 pm

    Such a cool guestbook, and I love how much your family loved their framed pictures!

  10. Member
    Mrs. Gondola 951 posts, Busy bee @ 5:26 am

    I LOVE your guest book!!

  11. Member
    Mrs. Jet Setter 388 posts, Helper bee @ 7:52 am

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

    Love it.

  12. Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1068 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:48 am

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

  13. Member
    daniellekira 532 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.

  14. Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1298 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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