Your Guest Book: Collaborative Storytelling

Category: General Guest Books Wedding

We’ve made guest books for many years, and while our customers love them, one of the questions we often get is what to do with all those pages. We give you a generous 208 pages for your guests to write in, which can result in a large number of empty pages if the guest book is being used as just a sign-in sheet.  

Below, we’ve compiled a few ideas to help you end up with a guest book that is not just a collection of signatures, but a treasured repository of your guests’ stories that you’ll want to revisit long after the book has been filled. 

Tell the Story of Your Event

For weddings and birthday parties, guest books often become simple sign-in sheets. When placed near the entrance, people sign a guest book quickly as they’re going in. To allow people a more thoughtful experience, try setting up your guest book table within the event. Encourage people to stop by and write as they have time and inclination.  

On the table, try making some of the following available: 

  • Various colored pens and pencils 
  • Themed stickers and washi tape 
  • A camera like the Kodak Printomatic, which prints photos on the spot (be sure to provide extra film!) 
  • Double-sided tape for affixing photos in the book 

Post a sign that encourages people to be creative and take their time participating in creating a story with others.  

Once the event is over, you can create digital scans of the pages to share with your guests. 

Tell the Story of Your Loved One

At funerals more than other events, guest books tend to be a rushed affair. Usually guests sign as they enter the service, and the guest book is never seen again. This is, of course, understandable, but we recommend trying something a little different. 

If you’re having a reception after the funeral, try putting the guest book there as well. If you’re able, invite people to bring small photos of your loved one to share (we recommend 3”x4” or smaller). While fun stickers may not be the right feel for a funeral, lay out the guest book with a few pens in a quiet corner, and give people space to write about your loved one. Encourage them to take five minutes to record a favorite memory, a song lyric, poem, quote, or scripture verse. They could add their photos if they brought any.  

When you’re ready, this will be a beautiful reminder of your loved one and just how much they meant to everyone.  

Tell the Story of a Favorite Place

When I was a kid, we rented a beautiful cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. While I have many favorite memories of that trip, one of the special things was the guest book on the entry table. Over the years, other guests had written about their stays, including names, dates, favorite memories, funny incidents, and recommendations for guests that came after them. It elevated a “vacation rental” to the status of “beloved temporary home,” something we were sharing with all the people who had loved it as much as we did.  

If you rent out a home, or even a room in your house that sees frequent guests, try placing a guest book in a convenient location and provide a pen. Your guests will do the rest.  


A guest book can be so much more than just pages of signatures. With a little bit of inspiration, it can become a treasured keepsake of an event, a person, or a place that you love. If you’re feeling inspired, check out our guest books here