Guestbook alternatives Part Deux: from fingerprints to rocks

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I love when you guys do roundups like “non-floral centerpieces” etc. They help get my noggin thinking!

Can you do a Part Deux to the guestbook roundup? I think that one can be a real pain in the ass for those of us that don't want a book filled with just names collecting dust laying around.


Not only did Kyle send in that request for another guest book alternative roundup, but then he sent in some of his favorite ideas to boot! So how could I resist doing another guest book post? Answer is: I couldn't. So here we go…

Fingerprint tree

The fingerprint guestbook tree from Andy and Nadine's wedding looks amazing and can also help with criminal investigations.

Etsy seller Bleudetoi shows us how fingerprints can also make awesome balloons too.

Time Capsule Candle

Kyle tells me that these are really popular in Japan. He also sent a link that (once you use Google translator) breaks it down. Your guests write their message on strips of paper, then you collect all the papers and put them into a glass vial that has a cap with a wick on the top. Finally you pour wax granules over the vial, light that bad boy up, and let it melt the wax until you've got a decent seal going on. Ten years in the future you relight the candle to expose the glass vial and read what everyone had to say on your wedding day while enjoying a bottle of wine or whatever your vice is. This one would have to take some creative DIYing since the whole getup isn't sold outside of Japan as far as I know, but I think it'd be easier and cheaper to pull off than the commercial deal anyway.


signing the guestbook
Have guests sign quilting squares that are already stitched together to form a quilt, like from Lindzy and Davido's wedding, or leave out a basket of individual quilting squares for your guests to decorate and sign and then stitch them up into a wedding quilt later.

Picture book

Guestbook / Coffee table reader
Get a picture book of the place where you're holding the wedding (New Orleans, Paris, etc.) or a photography book about love, or of a connection you and your significant other share (your alma mater, modern art, etc.) and have people write messages in the book. Then you have an awesome, super personalized, coffee table book!

Canvas painting

Punk Art.
Ben and Ella designed a canvas that says “All You Need Is Love” and each of their guests decorated a square or two (or five). Or, if you prefer a more free-form guest book, you could purchase a black canvas then let our guests go wild doing. (I will warn you: I did this for my Sweet 16 and it ended up a big blob of ugly. But, I'm assuming your guests will be more mature than a bunch of teenagers.)


You know those flags they make for hanging off your porch on different holidays, seasons, your college mascot, etc? Pick one out that matches your theme or has some sort of meaning to you two (I like the rainbow peace flag pictured here, thinking of people signing all the long rainbow lines), then get people to sign it with Sharpies! You can hang it outside every year on your anniversary. Pirate flag guestbook? Yes please!


Jessica and Charlotte decorated their guestbook scrapbook-style with scrabble stuff, autumn leaves, their wedding invitation illustration, and a quote about love. Then they set out a digital camera and a PoGo printer, which prints photos with a sticky back, to add to their guestbook scrapbook.


Reception slambooks
Instead of a guestbook, Adam and Jenny made slambooks. “It's something that was cool to do in my 5th grade class (so my two best friends from elementary school who attended totally got it!). Basically it's just a list of questions for people to answer, and we made some wedding/couple/love-themed. This was also an extra activity to do at the tables.”

Steampunk guest box

From Steambride: “Instead of a guestbook we are opting for slips of paper that will later be incorporated into a project. My plan is to Mod Podge the slips of paper onto a vase that we then can bring out every year on our anniversary and fill with flowers. This alternative guestbook is great for smaller weddings where there are not hundreds of signatures and messages. However, we needed something to hold the slips of paper. So this is where my five years of working in the scrapbooking industry came into play. Behold, the steampunk wooden box of wonderment.”

Garden rocks

guest book rocks
I absolutely LOVE this idea. If you have a backyard or a small garden area, this is pretty awesome. Dar and Scott set out rocks on a table with a sign that explained, “In lieu of a guest book, please sign a rock for our garden and put it in the tray.”

Want more ideas? You can always peruse our past guestbook entries, and if we STILL have left a fantastic idea or two out, leave 'em in the comments!

Offbeat Bride Vendor

This post features vendors from our curated Offbeat Bride Wedding Vendor Directory. They're awesome and we love them. If you're a vendor let's get you in here!

Comments on Guestbook alternatives Part Deux: from fingerprints to rocks

  1. I LOVE the fingerprint tree/balloon! For our wedding, we had a dry erase board, and had our guests write us a note, then get photographed with said note. People actually had fun doing it, and we recruited a camera-happy uncle to take the photos for us. I’m planning on either an album or some sort of wall collage of all of our pics. I think I’ve seen something similar with chalkboard, too, but didn’t want to risk people getting chalk all over themselves (like I know I would).

  2. My husband and I just got married this past Friday and for our “guestbook” we used a kite. At the end of the ceremony my husband and I held on to the kite while someone on the other end held a reeeaaaally long ribbon tail that reached the end of the aisle. We had markers in baskets along the edges of each bench and all our guests came up and signed it and left messages. When they were done my husband and I took off into the adjacent field to fly the kite instead of a traditional exit.

  3. I love Quaker-style marriage certificates, where all of your guest sign as witnesses of your marriage. It’s a guestbook inasmuch as it is a record of who attended, but it’s also a show of solidarity and support with your marriage – which I think is beautiful.

    In a totally different vein, I also love using polaroids as guestbooks (they could write messages on the white part)… That’s just plain cool. 🙂

    • I love the polaroid idea! Would go especially great if there was a diy photobooth.

  4. We are doing something similar to the quilt signing, but my grandma has everyone sign the blocks before she put the quilt together and hand embroiders each name and message on to the blocks. We are having to start a bit early by giving the blocks to family members now, my grandma just turned 80 and my cousin’s quilt took her almost a year to complete. We are planning on having clothes lines and pins out so that as each person signs a block they pin it onto the line creating some fun decorations along the way.

  5. We are doing a wedding tree! Our wedding is in a month and I’m finalizing the design this week!

  6. I was at a wedding where they laid out a table cloth and permanent markers for everyone to sign/leave a message. They were planning to use it on their table on anniversaries.
    For my wedding, I just put out a few sheets of nice paper for everyone to sign. That way I can just incorporate them into an album with all the wedding pictures, rather than have an entire book devoted only to that.

  7. We did Wish cards that I am turning into a big wall hanging. I will post pictures in Tribe when I am all done.

  8. we’ll be doing the fingerprint tree but also an advice jar, just where people write marriage advice on paper and put it in a cute jar.

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