For awhile now, I've been considering alternatives to a traditional guest book were the guests just sign their names. I know I want a special way to remember all of the people who were at our wedding, but at first I wasn't sure just how to do so.
I considered the Polaroid Guest book option and really liked the one on the American Bridal website, and getting the Polaroid Instant Camera to go with it. I think this popular alternative is a cute way for your guests to write down their Congrats, and could be extra helpful for identifying well wishes from guests that you may not know as well, i.e. parents' friends. Although, with the cost of the book, film, and camera this alternative can end up costing upwards of $200 retail. However, you can always find these same items cheaper on ebay, especially the instant cameras. The picture guest book would work well with our theme, we just ordered Save The Dates with our pictures in the film strip style, we plan on using pictures of us holding numbers for the table numbers, and having pictures of us with friends and family up at the reception. (Geez, all these pictures of us make us sound a bit narcissistic, huh?). But I love the picture theme throughout, because it something that you can use as keepsakes for yourself or give to your family to keep long after the reception. We'd probably have the guestbook out before the ceremony and during the cocktail hour for guests to write entries.
Although I really like the Photo Guestbook idea, there's another alternative that I absolutely love as well. My fiance and I are a quite honestly a couple of winos, so we were also considering another alternative that would take advantage of this indulgence. While fans of many kinds of wine, we've discovered Firelands Winery about an hour away from us in Sandusky, that has good wine at great prices. We've tried a couple different kinds and have liked the selection thus far, and wanted to somehow incorporate it into our Wedding. So I'm thinking of setting up a table at our Reception that has 5 bottles of their Vintage Collection Wine. On each bottle, will be a small tag marked with numbers 1-5 and a pouch. We'll have a little instruction sign for our guests explaining that each number represents one of our first 5 wedding anniversaries, and would like them to write us a little note that we will wait and read on each of these anniversaries. This way we can spread the well wishes of our Wedding out over the first part of our marriage! If we decide to go this route, I'll post pictures of the tags and pouches I make, but I must admit, this will probably be the route we go.
But how will we choose which wine to use you ask? Well, it just so happens that the Winery has both a giftshop AND a tasting room. My FI has been to the Tasting Room when he was up in Sandusky for work and had a great experience, so we were planning on going up there to do a tasting of the wines, and finding one that tastes good and ages well. I'm not sure which guestbook idea we'll end up doing. I'd ideally like to do both, but I don't know how realistic that is to expect guests to write in two different kinds of guestbooks, and if we have enough extra money for those kinds of expenses.