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:
- Peacock theme done right.
- Officially husband and wife!
- We write vows that make everyone cry.
- Our officiant and readers say some lovely words during the ceremony.
- We walk down the aisle to beautiful music.
- Despite the rain, we get creative with bridal party shots.
- We have a fun first look session.
- We get all bridal-y and groom-y.
- I put on the most beautiful dress I’ll ever wear.
- The guys do guy-like things and get dressed.
- We jam out to seriously awesome tunes and get very pretty.
- The girls get gifts as we prep to get primped.
- How I became the most relaxed bride ever.
- With a potential crisis thankfully averted, I reveal my welcome dinner surprise to Mr. M.
- A scary and dramatic start to the welcome dinner.
- Feelin’ hella good with hella expensive champagne.
- Practice, practice, practice!