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

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Comments on Guestbook alternatives Part Deux: from fingerprints to rocks

  1. I bought a fujifilm instax, and got pictures of all my guests at the reception. The guests then stuck them into a pretty handmade book (etsy) and wrote some sweet messages next to their photographs.

  2. We’re using blank tibetan prayer flags that I ordered for less than $20. And I thought of it all by myself 🙂

    • Oh what a good idea! I’ve been wanting to get us some prayer flags for our home, and this would be the perfect excuse to get them!

  3. We wanted something we could hang and display also, but the fingerprint thing really annoyed my mother who thought it was too much “work” for the guests…. Found a few posters with spaces for signatures like this one:

    so I came up with my own to fit our Deco Movie theme:*jhN*kib10t75vjbQJqv3OkgjTE1O/guestbookposter2.jpg

    I had a post a wedding update about it in Tribe, but wanted to share with non-Tribers. 🙂

  4. Or if your wedding is in the fall,why not use colored paper cut up leaves and have guest sign that and put them together on a table or coffee table with glass over it(or picture frame)where it can be seen everytime you have dinner or watch tv.. might make a great conservation piece.

  5. One of the cool customs my mother-in-law uses for her Christmas parties might work well as a wedding guest book alternative too. She has guests sign a beautiful tablecloth with a washable marker. After they’ve signed, she embroiders the signatures, then when she washes the tablecloth you only see the embroidery. This could be done it any color combo, and used on special occasions.

    Love all the ideas you’ve captured here. Lots of new ones! Well done.

  6. My wife and I only had 11 guests, so we had a lot more flexibility. We took a 24 piece puzzle (I think it was Barney!) with big pieces, painted the back of it in one of our wedding colors, and then at the reception we put it together and had everyone sign it. It’s now taken apart and the pieces make a faux frame around the mirror in the craft room – it’s like every time we look in it, we see all these sweet messages from our friends.

  7. We are having the guests sign jenga pieces, so we can remember our wedding every time we play.

  8. Wow! That was absolutely fun and very creative. The guest will surely enjoy participating the signing of rocks and finger printing on the guest book tree or balloon. 😀

    • We are trying to do a rock guest book for my in-laws 5oth wedding anniversary party and so far… i’m struggling with finding a marker or pen that will write on the rocks and dries quickly…. what did you use on your rocks?? Thank you 🙂

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