Anna and I have a guest book from our wedding. We didn’t spend overly long choosing it, (I don’t think I had any input at all actually!) but it’s nice and it did the job perfectly. The only problem though is that since our wedding in 2011 I can’t recall ever opening it! Our wedding album is carefully packed away in its beautiful box which we open two or three times a year and look through. But our guest book has seen as much light since the big day as Anna’s wedding dress. As I write this it is sat in our ‘wedding draw’ about five feet from me, nestled amongst other mementos and keep sakes from the day: cards, orders or service, menus, the wedding notebook and even some wedding magazines that Anna took inspiration from. Now that I’ve realised this we will of course take it out and have a look through it; but only because I’ve brought it to my own attention.
As a professional wedding photographer I’ve signed dozens of guest books (yes, if I’m at your wedding I will help myself to something from your chocolate fountain and sign your guest book. It’s implied in my contract. Especially about the chocolate fountain.) and I wonder how many times my message has been read.
One alternative to a wedding guest book is a signing frame. Over the last two years these have become one of the most popular items that I’ve provided after an engagement shoot. The signing frames that I use are hand-finished by the professional lab I’ve been using for years, and are of superb quality. You choose your favourite photograph from your engagement shoot and your choice of colour for the frame – black or champagne. The frame is then delivered straight to you, fully assembled and ready to go, complete with the professionally printed photograph mounted on a generous board with lots of space for signatures and messages, a transparent acrylic sheet to protect the photograph and the handwritten notes once the picture is on the wall, and all the fixings assembled and ready to hang.
Once it’s on the wall it’s as if your guest book is permanently propped open, full of wonderful messages from your big day. You can always have a guest book too, in case anyone wants to write a short novel or witty essay on how to keep your new spouse in check, but I can guarantee that you’ll look at your signing frame more often.
Now, where’s that guest book…?