How to Make Sure Your Wedding Guest Book Isn’t Ignored

A table at a wedding reception with a small sign that says "guest book" next to a globe.

Whether people simply forget to sign a wedding guest book or get shy worrying what to write, this traditional wedding activity can be overlooked by many if you aren’t careful. Here’s a few ways to collect those signatures so you can remember the day and who was there for years to come.

Place the Guest Book in an Obvious Location

It may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes the guest book is left in a random location at a wedding reception. No one is going to sign your guest book if it’s stuck in a corner somewhere! A great eye-catching place to stash it is at the entrance of the reception. As people make their way into the reception area, they can easily stop to sign the book. You can also place it at the entrance of the actual wedding so as they wait to sit for the ceremony, they can also easily sign the book.

Make it Stand Out

Wherever you put the guest book, give it a great set-up. Position it in the middle of flowers, photos, or other decor to catch people’s eyes. Think of the difference if you put it in a corner all by itself on a boring table—no one likes anything boring at a wedding! Give it a special place surrounded with special items, and more people will come on over to sign it.

Don’t Forget Signage

A wood sign that says

Place a large, decorative sign above the guest book to catch people’s eye. Use the opportunity to get creative with a fun saying so people are more enticed to make their way over. You could use a chalkboard, wooden board, or a simple piece of decorative posterboard.

Use it as an Opportunity to Tell Your Story

At my wedding, we made our guest book different than most. We created a book out of photos of me and my husband through the years of dating and our engagement. People could sift through the book looking at all of our old photos and then sign it. You could even put things in there like ticket stubs or other momentos from some of your favorite dates. This kind of thing makes guests feel like they are getting a personal glimpse into the relationship, so they have more of an investment in the couple and the wedding. It’s fun and guests aren’t just signing on a blank sheet of paper in a blank book.

Make a Photo Frame Guest Book

So many people end up stashing their guest book away in a drawer, but I’ve seen photo frames adorned with wedding guests’ signatures hanging up in people’s homes decades after their wedding. Have guests sign a large photo mat frame with their well-wishes, and then frame a wedding or engagement photo in it at a later date.

Make a Wedding Tree

A wedding tree guest book with people using ink pads to leave their fingerprint on the paper.

I’ve seen a few different “trees” done as wedding guest books. A popular version is a tree made of fingerprint leaves created by the guests using an ink pad. Guests can sign their name around their finger print and the art work can be framed later. Another idea is a “wishing” tree. Guests write their well-wishes for the couple on a note card, which is then hung on the branches. Most people use a little magnolia tree or cherry blossom tree in a pot for this type of guest book. You can save this in your home as a cute decoration after the wedding.

Assign a Wedding Guest Book Attendant

It may sound like a strange job at the wedding, but a “book influencer” could actually be a lot of fun. Ask a fun family friend or chatty cousin if they want to stand by the guest book to greet people. They can casually ask each guest who walks by to sign the book as they talk and tell funny stories about the couple. It beats people just walking by the guest book table without a glance!

Include a Reminder in Your Program

You can put a short reminder in your wedding program asking people to stop by the guest book. It doesn’t have to be a big deal; it’s just a simple way to remind people that it exists and that you would appreciate their signature.

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