While weddings consist of a guestbook attendant and guestbook, many times, this role and the value of this wedding aspect is overlooked. For many people, they simply think of the guestbook as being signed, looked at by the couple, and then tucked away where it sits for years. However, over the past several years, the guestbook has changed dramatically, becoming a very important part of this celebration. In fact, the appearance and design of the guestbook has changed.
For starters, it is crucial that the guestbook attendant and guestbook be placed where all the people entering and exiting the church will see it and approach it. If the attendant and book are set off to one corner, people will glance at it and then forget to sign. Instead, set up the table at both the wedding and reception so it entices guests to sign. Additionally, instead of the table just being a table with a white tablecloth and a bouquet of flowers make a statement. Decorate the table so that it stands out, using flowers, ribbons, lace, and lots of color!
Now, in addition to the regular guestbook that will be signed by the guests, also offer them a memory book to write in. With this, they can take their choice of pens, pencils, markers, colored pencils, crayons, and other writing implements to create a memory. Encourage each guest to write a story, message, poem, or even draw a picture for the bride and groom. When the couple returns from the honeymoon and sits down to read what everyone wrote, chances are they will be rolling on the floor with laughter. By using both the guestbook and memory book, a special memory is being created.
Now, to get all of the guests to sign the guestbook, in addition to location of the attendant and table, you need to do something extra. In this case, a cousin, niece, or nephew of the couple can take a Polaroid camera and as each guest signs the books, have their picture taken. Then in the guestbook, tape the photo to a page and have them write their name and a brief message around or under it.
In other words, for your own wedding, try to think outside the box when it comes to the guestbook. Think of creative ways that will make signing the book fun and unique. The result will be that people want to participate instead of avoiding the book. Typically, guests do not avoid signing the guestbook on purpose, they are just so excited and eager to be seated for the wedding that they forget or think they will do it later and of course, later never comes.
If you want to allow the guests to think only of the wedding, then you can move the entire guestbook signing to the reception. While this works well, there is the chance that some people will attend the wedding ceremony but not the reception. Therefore, this is why we recommend the guestbook table be set up at both events. Finally, choose wisely when deciding on the guestbook attendant. Once thought of as a filler role, in fact this requires someone that is easy to talk to, someone bubbly and happy, and a person that can encourage the guests to sign.