6 Guest Book Alternatives That Aren't Actually Books

How many books do you have sitting on a shelf right now? How many have you read? How many do you look at regularly? Probably not very many. What about photo albums—how often do you look through those? In a world as busy as ours, it’s easy for books of all types to get left behind.

The same thing happens to guest books. At my high school graduation party, my mom put out a notebook for people to sign and leave me advice. I read one piece of advice in it the night of my party, put it in a stack of books and notebooks, and forgot about it until after my first year of graduate school. On the other hand, I used my card bucket every day for years after my party. The party was Dr. Seuss-themed, and the card bucket was one of those giant cheese ball containers that we had painted in colorful stripes to mimic Oh, the Places You’ll Go! I took that bucket to college with me and used it every day. As a trash can, sure, but I still looked at it every day.

No matter how much we cherish the printed word, traditional books are being left behind. But that’s okay, because it means we get to update our idea of what “book” means – and find new options for guest books. Luckily, there are tons of options – the hard part is picking which modern guest book will work best for your wedding, engagement party, bridal shower, or other event.

Let’s think long-term. You want something that will be beautiful or fun or hands-on; something you’ll be able to use over and over again after the event but won’t look quite so practical at the event. I have a few ideas for you.


My personal favorite: a blank, wooden puzzle! You can use light-colored wood and just about any color marker to write on the pieces to match your wedding colors. Or, you can use a dark-stained wood and use silver, white, and gold markers. You can write on both sides, so a guest can write a message on one side and sign their name on the other side. The best part is what comes after. If you enjoy puzzles, you can put the puzzle together whenever you want and as many times as you want.

Make a tradition out of putting it together on your anniversary every year and sharing a memory of the person who signed the piece you just fit into place (bonus points if the memory is from the event!) Or, if you prefer the satisfaction of putting together a puzzle only once, you can do so and then glue and seal it, frame it, and hang it on your wall. It’s more decorative than a book and a better talking point because you don’t have to pick up a book and read through it – you can just glance at the puzzle and pick out a name. Another option, if you have young people in your family, is to leave it out for them to play with. It would be a good way for them to learn about family members as well. Check out one of these wooden puzzles here.


Source: Jenga Yard Game

If you prefer a more competitive type of puzzle, use Jenga blocks. You can yell at your friends later when you pull your name and they cause the tower to fall, because of course it was their fault! There are different sizes of Jenga games, too, ranging from travel-sized to giant (almost as tall as an adult), which makes for an exciting yard game.

Beer or Wine Growler

Source: Wine Cork Guestbook Growler

Here’s an idea that’s becoming more and more popular: a growler. Sort of like a shadow box, a beer or wine growler is an awesome alternative to a guest book for those who enjoy a good drink. Guests sign a wine cork (or bottle cap!) and drop it inside the jug. Unlike a shadow box, though, the growler can be reused. Take out the signed tokens and make your own wine, cider, or beer! If you’re not interested in investing that much time into a drink, though, it makes a great decorative item as well. A growler is big enough to sit on the floor in a corner but small enough to not overwhelm a coffee or side table, either. Put flowers or seasonal items in the top and use it as a centerpiece. Have a bar in your house (or wish you had one)? This is one of the best decorations you could find.

Sporting Equipment

Source: Surfboard Guestbook

For the more active, sporty couple, use a favorite piece of equipment. A snowboard, surfboard, or ski is a good surface for signing; then you can use it as it was intended, and remember your event every time you use it, or hang it on a wall and be reminded of both your favorite activity and your favorite event when you see it. Maybe you and your significant other met at a sporting event. Get your favorite player’s jersey and have guests sign that. Or, if the two of you argue constantly over which player is better, make a game out of it and get an answer once and for all! Get a jersey for each player and have guests sign their favorite. Later, count the signatures on each jersey. The loser has to wear the winning jersey for the rest of the season!

Shadow Box

Source: Shadow Box Guest Book

Of course, we can’t forget about the shadow box, an item that quickly became a favorite way to show off memorabilia. This shadow box offers cute wooden-shaped hearts as tokens for your guests to sign and drop in the box. The black frame sets off the silver and gold hearts in an elegant way that is sure to draw an eye or two.

Signing Stones

Source: River Rock Signing Stones

Signing stones have also become popular. I love this one because there are so many things you can do with the stones – before and after they’re signed. At the event, you can set them out in a bowl on the gift table so guests can sign as they’re dropping off gifts. Or, use the stones in your centerpieces or scatter them across the tables. Guests can sign them whenever they’re ready throughout the night, and you can leave a vase or bowl near the exit so guests can drop them off before they leave. Afterwards, you have tons of options for the stones. Put them in a vase and use it year-round. Spread them through a stone walkway or scatter them through your flower garden. Create a beautiful incense tray. Line the tray with the stones and succulents and place your incense holder on top.

Nontraditional Guestbook Books

Can’t seem to give up on a book? I get it. And you, book lovers, have some alternatives too.

Use a photo book instead of a journal. Get a polaroid camera and have guests take a quick selfie and write a message on the back.

If you and your significant other have a favorite book, set out a copy. Ask your guests to find a passage or phrase they enjoy and sign their name next to it.

Love to travel as much as you love the feel of a paperback in your hands? Use an atlas! Guests can sign on the page with their favorite place or somewhere they’ve always wanted to go. When you travel to one of these places, make sure you send a postcard to that person!

Source: Polaroid Guest Book, Atlas Guest Book

Your wedding, or any other special event, deserves an incredible memento – one that won’t get lost on a shelf or forgotten in a stack of journals.

Elizabeth graduated from The University of Findlay with a Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing. She now resides in Portland, Oregon where she is employed in the real estate business and is particularly enjoying the local cuisine. As a writer, Elizabeth believes in a quote from one of her favorite TV shows: "We have only two jobs on this Earth. The first: to learn. The second: to cope." A deep desire to learn struck Elizabeth when she was young, and now she hopes to help you cope by sharing information, and helping you apply the knowledge. Weddings and event planning can be overwhelming; sometimes it's okay to take a little advice from a stranger on the internet.

4 Products Wine Lovers Can't Stop Using

Throughout history, wine has been enjoyed for both religious and social occasions. Wineries first originated several thousand years ago and the drink quickly became popular in places like American, Greece and Rome. Originally, wine may have been used for medicinal purposes, but it soon became a favorite at festivals and within households. In modern culture, wine drinking has taken on a variety of forms. One can drink socially with friends, use the right glass of wine to enhance the flavors in a good dinner, grab a glass after a long day, or attend a wine tasting. If you or a friend is a wine fan, and let's face it, most people tend to enjoy the beverage, there are a few necessary accessories. Here are four products that wine lovers cannot stop using:

1. Wine Carrying Cases:

For wine drinkers, the only thing better than wine, is being able to take wine to their favorite places. Enjoying a bit of wine at a picnic, beach- if permissible- and other social outings is a must for wine aficionados. Unfortunately, simply dropping your wine bottle into your bag or picnic basket can carry some significant risks of spilled wine or a broken bottle. This is exactly why having a dedicated way to transport wine is important. Wine carrying cases can vary from simple, adorable tote bags, to bonded leather carriers. If you are looking to gift a wine carrier to a friend, you can make the present even better by considering that friend’s style.

2. Wine Troughs: 

Wine fans tend to keep several bottles and types of wine on hand. While some wines are at their best at room temperature, others, including many dessert wines, need to be cooled for optimal taste. In both cases, a quality wine trough can come in handy. A trough can comfortably store three or four bottles – and can make an excellent display to show off a wine collection. Meanwhile, the trough can also be filled with ice and turned into a cooler for dinners, get togethers, or outdoor events. Whether wine needs to be stored or cooled, a tasteful wine trough is ideal. In fact, the only thing better than a wine trough is a wine trough that is personalized- which is easy to do and can make for a great gift.

3. Quality Wine Glasses: 

Great wine can taste even better in a fancy glass. Wine glasses come in a variety of shapes and sizes- from the traditional long stem glass to the stemless, tumbler-like alternative. A great glass set can make the experience of wine drinking even more enjoyable, especially if the set itself holds great memories.

4. Cheese Board Set

What pairs better with wine than cheese?! We offer a variety of cheese boards and cheese board sets, all of which can be personalized. Our slate serving board is beautiful, sophisticated, and the perfect addition to any wine lovers collection.

While there are quite a few wine products on the market, the above are the essentials for any wine fan.

5 Handy Gifts Men Actually Appreciate

Your wedding would not be quite the same without the help of the people who contribute their time and efforts to your special day. The type of gift you give them may depend on your relationship to the individual and the role they played. Whether you are looking for a gift for groomsman, a close friend, or a family member, here are 5 handy gifts that men can actually appreciate:

1. Travel Bag:

A tasteful travel bag can be a great gift for a group or an individual. Most travel bags on the market are geared towards women, which is why finding one that is perfect for the guys can be a bit tricky- but not impossible. You can make your gift even more personal by considering the type of bag each friend needs. You can purchase something sleek and business-like for someone who puts career on the forefront, a duffel bag for the gym and travel lovers or even a personalized toiletry case.

2. Canvas Apron

If your groomsmen's dad or soon to be father-in-law enjoys gardening, woodworking, grilling or DIY projects, this personalized canvas apron is the perfect gift. Waterproof and durable this apron is great for indoor and outdoor use. There are several pockets to hold tools or safety glasses and the leather straps are equipped with sturdy brass buckles. A unique but practical gift, these canvas aprons are sure to be a hit for any crafty guy.

3. Duffle Bag

Whether you are traveling on a business trip or just going to the gym, a quality duffle bag is something that every guy can use. Personalize some of these great bags for your groomsmen and fill them up with other travel necessities like shaving cream, body wash or some cool socks. This is an incredibly useful gift but can also be meaningful if you take a few extra minutes to customize each bag to fit your friends tastes.

4. Wood Docking Station

Our wooden docking stations are rustic and look great on anyone's bedside table. This is an awesome gift that is customizable and compatible with any cell phone or tablet. Easily able to hold a watch, wallet or set of keys, this is the perfect gift for anyone who likes to have all of their things in one place.

5. Toiletry Bag

These canvas and leather toiletry bags are stylish, durable and easy to clean and are the perfect gift for the traveling man. They come in a variety of colors from black to red and even bright pink. No matter what colors your groomsmen like, we've got you covered.

With all of these options available, finding the perfect gift for your groomsmen and male friends is easier than you think. All you need to do is take a moment and think about the things that you enjoy with your close friends and go from there.

Don't Give A Gift Unless It's Personalized. Here's Why.

The act of giving a gift is selfless and can often show affection and gratitude. However, not all gifts are made equal. If you are looking to give someone a present, especially someone who is a close friend or family member, you should make these gifts personal.

Show You Care:

A personalized gift shows your care and appreciation for the recipient. Buying presents is easy, but finding something to cater to each recipient is a known challenge. Now, that doesn’t mean that the challenge is impossible. If you know your friends, and you certainly do, you can pick out the best gift for each individual. If you are looking for a gift that is multifaceted, you can think of your friends as a group and figure out what everyone might need. Love cooking with the girls? This personalized recipe stand is a beautiful gift and can hold any tablet or cookbook. There are plenty of ways to create personalized bridesmaid gifts by adding a specific design or initials for each individual.

They’d Do The Same For You: 

In fact, they probably already have! The people in your life have shown that they are amazing friends time and time again. This is after all why they are walking you down the aisle! But, they have also signed on to help you plan one of the most inherently stressful events of your life. It takes a small army of family and friends to plan a wedding, and your friends and loved ones have probably been there with you every step of the way making sure you are not too stressed over the details. For your groomsmen, consider this personalized whiskey decanter set to say thank you for all the hard work they have put in to making your special day memorable.

Don’t Add to the Pile: 

The best items are either high quality or are extremely meaningful. If your gift does not meet either of the two criteria, it is likely to end up in a closet or under a bed. To avoid this you need to find something that is specialized even if it is meant for a group. For instance, something that is useful such as a serving tray can serve as a lasting reminder of great memories and time spent together. A serving tray has a functional purpose, which can help ensure that your gift isn’t left to gather dust on a closet shelf.

While many occasions for gift giving can be hectic, it is important to take the time and make the effort of giving a personalized gift to your loved ones. 

3 Insanely Cute And Useful Gifts For Women

Your wedding wouldn’t be quite the same without the women who helped you get there- and you are probably looking to say, “thank you”. You want to give something to your bridesmaids who put time aside to help you plan, throw you a bachelorette party, and helped make your wedding one of a kind, but you also may be inclined to find a gift for other close friends who were super helpful during a stressful time. Whether you are looking for personalized bridesmaid gifts, or want to give something to a friend or family member who contributed, here are three great gift ideas for women:

1. Tote Bags

Personalized tote bags are the perfect gift for any group of women. You can give these as gifts by themselves or fill your totes with wine or other cute gifts like these beautiful spa robes. Our totes are tasteful and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. A nautical style for those friends who enjoy a laid back beach outing or even a silver or gold metallic dipped canvas tote for those girls who love a little sparkle. From chevron to floral we have a style to fit every taste!

2. Docking Station

Want to give a gift that’s hip, cute, and useful at the same time? Our personalized docking station is the ideal gift for your trendy friends. Store your phone, wallet, watch, and keys all in one convenient place. The best part is, they’re compatible with any mobile phone or tablet. Your bridesmaids will love this useful yet thoughtful gift.

3. Makeup Travel Bags:

No matter where you or your girlfriends are traveling to, a makeup travel bag is an item most women can’t live without. Our stylish black bridesmaid survival kit clutch will ensure your bridesmaids are prepared at all times while our canvas cosmetic bags with travel with your friends long after your special day is over.

While showing your appreciation is great, you should not stress over the perfect gifts to others while planning your own wedding. Something simple and heartfelt can go a long way towards showing your gratitude and will serve as a lasting reminder of your time together.
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