5 Fun Alternatives to a Traditional Guest Book

Cherish the friends and family who shared in your big day with a personal, or even practical, guest book alternative. Here are five creative substitutes to the traditional book and pen.

Virginia Brown
A globe serves as décor and travel inspiration for Angela and Cam Sabatini.

As the World Turns: Angela and Cam Sabatini 

Angela and Cam met in January 2018 through a dating app but learned on their first date that they worked for the same company. The couple tied the knot on Aug. 20, 2022, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, with a reception at the Athletic Club of Columbus. 

Guest book alternative: Globe 

“We liked the idea of something that could be on display,” Angela says. “We see it every day, as a decoration in our home.” After finding the idea on Pinterest, Angela turned to Etsy shop ConsiderTheWorld to source the globe. “It was the first item we bought for our wedding day,” she says. “We have it staged in our gold-accented dining room on a bar cart and love to see it every time we are in there,” she says.  

Signed Jenga pieces combine entertainment with nostalgia for Taylor and Zach Parfitt.

Game Time: Taylor and Zach Parfitt 

When Taylor met Zach at a sorority formal in 2014, she fell fast. “I called my mom the next day and told her I was going to marry him,” she says. That prediction came true July 30, 2021, at Trinity United Methodist Church, with a reception at Vue Columbus. 

Guest book alternative: Jenga 

For their guest book, the couple chose a Jenga game and asked everyone to write something, preferably more than just their name. “We wanted something unique and an item that we would use a lot in the future,” Taylor says. Today, they keep the game, sourced from Amazon, on top of their other board games. For other couples looking to go this route, Taylor has one bit of advice: Use an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie. “We thought the markers were fine-tip, but the ink size was bigger than we would have liked,” she says. 

A graffiti artist signed guests’ names live during cocktail hour at Faith Huddleston and David Dusseau’s wedding.

Showtime: Faith Huddleston and David Dusseau  

Three years ago, Faith met David at their sons’ soccer game (both played on the same team). They got married and hosted their reception on April 22, 2022, at North Bank Park Pavilion. 

Guest book alternative: Graffiti Art 

“I wanted to create a live experience that guests could enjoy watching,” Faith says, “while also celebrating a local graffiti artist.” The artist was Christopher Etch Weyrich, whom Faith knew from her work in experiential activation design for brands, and the artwork was a 4-foot-by-5-foot canvas. She supplied Weyrich with a final guest list to start painting as guests arrived. “The completed canvas took about an hour to complete,” she says, “perfect for cocktail hour.” Today the art is displayed on a wall in their home. If going this route, “coordinate the overall color and style with your wedding theme, but don’t forget to coordinate with your home, where you intend to hang the art piece,” Faith says. 

A DIY project paid homage to Miranda and Emily O’Connor’s love of travel.

Bon Voyage: Miranda and Emily O’Connor 

Miranda and Emily met on the Her dating app in September 2018. On Sept. 17, 2022, they married and held a reception at Everal Barn and Homestead in Westerville with 75 guests. “The whole day was magical,” magical,” says Miranda (at right in the photo above). “Every single moment was memorable and beautiful.” 

Guest book alternative: Message in a Bottle 

“We love to travel and experience new places and things together,” Miranda says. “It made more sense to do something nontraditional, since we are anything but traditional, and we are artists at heart.” They saw the idea on Etsy and replicated it by coffee-dyeing cardstock and tying it with twine. They then used Emily’s mother’s vintage suitcase as a vessel. “Try to be as purposeful and intentional as possible,” Miranda says. “We poured ourselves into every facet of our wedding. Put your own twist on it, and make it special.” 

Board game lovers Sarah Emery-Crum and Robert Crum asked guests to sign puzzle pieces.

Piece by Piece: Sarah Emery-Crum and Robert Crum 

Sarah and Robert became friends in high school, started dating in April 2013 and had their first date at their high school prom. On June 25, 2022, they married at First Presbyterian Church of Granville, and fittingly, held their reception at the same venue as their first date: Bryn Du Mansion.  

Guest book alternative: Jigsaw Puzzle 

“The completed puzzle, made of many smaller pieces, is a fun physical representation of how our wedding included loved ones from all parts of our lives as a couple and as individuals,” Sarah says. They got the idea from their friends’ wedding and found their puzzle, now displayed over their fireplace, from Etsy shop Lasaris. Sarah suggests having a few people sign pieces before the reception, to serve as an example. Also, since guests tended to use one piece per couple or family, she says, order based on the number of parties attending instead of the number of individuals. 

A version of this story first appeared in the spring/summer 2023 issue of Columbus Weddings, published in January 2023.