The best wedding guest book

Julia Austin

It's a good idea to place the wedding guest book somewhere conspicuous like on a table in the entryway at the reception -- this increases the chance that guests see it and sign it.

After the perfect floral arrangements have been picked and your favorite caterer prepares the food, there’s one final thing that plays a huge role in making your big day the best day: the guests. Years from now, you’ll want to remember who was there on the day you said “I do.” These are your most cherished loved ones who made the journey and took the time to witness your vows. 

A wedding guest book like the Lily & Val Wedding Guest Book gives you a beautiful and succinct way to record who was in attendance and collect a few last words of encouragement before you start your married life.

What to know before you buy a wedding guest book

Number of guests

It’s important that there’s enough room for everyone to sign your guest book and perhaps leave a few words of encouragement or wisdom. Consider the size of your guest list and remember that some of your loved ones might get long-winded in their messages. Make sure your wedding guest book has enough pages to allow everyone to sign it, and say what they want to say. 

Style and theme

You put much thought into designing your wedding with a specific theme, so your wedding guest book should suit that theme. If your wedding is rustic, perhaps a book made of cork or wood is a nice touch. A spring outdoor wedding may call for a light-colored canvas book. Something embroidered might be appropriate for a classic or religious wedding. If you’re having a nautical wedding, try a guest book with some rope or anchor images on it.

It doesn’t have to be a book

If your love story isn’t conventional, then your wedding guest book doesn’t have to be. Some couples choose not to have a traditional book and instead opt for something a bit more creative. For example, you may have a Jenga set, and each guest can write their name on a block. You might have a large pinboard and small pieces of fabric guests can write their names on, and pin to the board. Your record of attendance may look more like a piece of artwork than a book when it’s complete.

Wedding guest book features

Keepsake pages

In addition to written messages from guests, you might also want mementos and other keepsakes from your big day in the book. Some wedding guest books have scrapbook sections where you can add things like name cards, a flower from a centerpiece, menu cards and similar items that will help capture the memory of the big day. If you’re giving guests disposable cameras or Polaroids to take photos at your wedding, you can also add these printed photos to the keepsake pages.

High-quality binding

Hopefully, you’ll sit down to look at this book many times throughout the years, showing it to your children and grandchildren, along with loved ones who weren’t able to attend the wedding. On the big day, your guests will be turning the pages to find an empty spot to write in and to see what other guests have written. It will get a lot of use and for that reason should have strong binding.

Prompts and quotes

Not every guest may know what to do with a blank page. Consider a wedding guest book that contains prompts such as “When did you meet the couple?”, “Do you have any advice for the couple?” and “What’s your favorite memory with the bride and groom?” These help guests determine something fun and meaningful to put in the book. Some books also have inspiring quotes about love as well as old adages about marriage printed throughout the pages.

Wedding guest book cost 

Wedding guest books range in price depending on the materials. Those made of more traditional hardcover materials can be $15-$25, while those made of high-end materials like real wood or cork can be up to $50.

Wedding guest book FAQ

How big should my wedding guest book be?

A. If you have 50 or less guests in attendance, a 10-page book should suffice. If you’re expecting up to 100 guests, 15 pages is ideal. If 200 guests are coming, aim for a 20- to 25-page book. A 300-guest event calls for a 30-page book.

Is a wedding guest book necessary?

A. No. You don’t have to have a wedding guest book. However, if you like to commemorate special occasions with physical memorabilia, you may enjoy having a wedding guest book. Seeing the messages and signatures of your guests might bring some of the memories of the big day to life.

Which wedding guest book should I get?

Best of the best wedding guest book

Lily & Val Wedding Guest Book: available at Amazon

Our take: With hand-drawn artwork inside, a velvet ribbon and gold lettering, this is a beautiful book for a classic or vintage-theme wedding.

What we like: This guest book features family-friendly writing prompts so guests can give advice to the newlyweds and jot down special memories from the big day. 

What we dislike: Lacks a guest list section.

Best bang for your buck wedding guest book

BETTERLINE Rustic Wedding Guest Book: available at Amazon

Our take: Made with burlap and lace, this book could be perfect for a barn or western-theme wedding.

What we like: This guest book comes with a beautiful pen and features a detailed guest list page.

What we dislike: Included pen holder breaks easily.

Honorable mention wedding guest book

Y&K Molish Wooden Hearts Guest Book Picture Frame: available at Amazon

Our take: The couple who wants something non-traditional might like this creative piece of art. Guests write their name on the small hearts and add them to the large heart frame.

What we like: Easy to assemble, this unique guest book comes with a decorative stand, as well as metal hooks so you can hang it at home after the wedding.

What we dislike: Limited space to write on.

Julia Austin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.