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Wedding Guest Books: 7 Ideas & Trends

Photo: Karina Heneghan Photographics

There are countless hassle-free, clever ways to make your guest book reflect your personality, relationship, and wedding style. Here are ten ideas for an extra-special keepsake to savor long after the party's over.

1. Create an Heirloom

The key is to have lots of pages -- allow your guests plenty of room to get mushy. One couple we know plans to bring out their guest book at their 50th anniversary party, so guests can record their thoughts in the original book. Then, the couple will start a family tradition by passing the guest book on to their children.

2. Moving Images

Appoint a guest book "captain" -- someone who will drop by each table with your book to ask specifically for contributions. Have the captain approach close friends first -- give them magic markers and ask them to draw pictures. Other guests will be inspired to follow their example.

3. Memory Lane

When you send invitations, include an insert asking guests to bring a picture of themselves with you (or both of you). Ask them to paste the photo into your guest book and describe the scene, or write about their favorite memory of you. In the end, you'll travel a whirlwind path that takes you from Cub Scouts to the office Christmas party to your first concert to last year's Fourth of July bash -- and all the delicious moments in between.

4. Say Cheese!

Appoint a friend or family member to snap a Polaroid of each guest arriving at your wedding. Guests can attach the pictures to a blank guest book page with a glue stick, tape, or adhesive corners (available at office-supply stores). Personalized messages can then be scrawled beside the photos.

5. Live & Uncut

Have guests express their wishes live to your videographer and forgo the whole book concept. Pros: tear-filled eyes, cute kid stuff, knee-slapping sentiments. Cons: slurred words and shy relatives.

6. Keeping the Theme

Is yours a period wedding? Use a feather quill and inkwell in lieu of pen and holder. For a beach wedding, get a guest book with a seashell motif, or have tiny shells on hand for guests to glue onto blank pages. Will your theme hone in on sports? Paste up trading cards onto the pages. Your guests' messages will read like autographs. Will the wedding be Irish to a "T"? One word: green (the cloth cover, the pages, the ink...) and don't forget shamrocks.

7. Make Your Own

Here's a risk-free way to add a drop of do-it-yourself to your wedding day. Offer pages of loose stationery for your guests to personalize, and have them bound later in a beautiful book. You also can purchase an inexpensive album or scrapbook with a plain cover -- decorate it with photos, postcards, drawings, or attach a blown-up copy of your invitation. For the ultimate self-made guest book, design and create the whole thing yourselves. Check out our easy-as-pie instructions for details.

-- The Knot

See More: Wedding Reception Ideas