We have all written our names in the traditional, white, leather bound guest book upon entering a church for a wedding. This has been a long standing tradition used as a keepsake for the bride and groom. Most guest books have several pages that remain empty and then usually end up stored away in a box.
There is an alternative that will give the newlywed couple a reason to keep it for years to come. Purchase a journal! Most stationary companies and craft shops offer a wide variety of beautiful hard back journals that you can coordinate with your color scheme. You may like to add a personal touch by applying stickers or borders to the pages.
Every guest will have the opportunity to use an entire page to write a heart felt note, advice or share a memory of the bride or groom. Your journal should be available to your guests at the reception in a central location with a printed card explaining that this is your replacement for the guest book. Some guests may choose to just sign their name, but the majority of them will gladly welcome the chance to convey a special message to the happy couple.
You may decide to have a guest book at the wedding ceremony and the memory journal at the reception hall, just in case some of your guests attend the ceremony but not the reception. Also, having both the guest book and the journal will not add much expense to your wedding.
Whatever you decide, the sentiments in the memory journal will bring you more joy through the years than a book full of signatures. It will also make a wonderful family heirloom and perhaps start a tradition all your own.