The wedding guest book does NOT have to be a book! Find a frame with a large mat to go around an 8x10 portrait (pic to be added after the wedding). Have everyone sign that. Or make a tree to go with a nature theme, and everyone signs in on the leaves. There are a million other creative ideas out there on this subject. And yes, you can do more than one. Yes, you can have guests sign in with colored pens. It’s your wedding, do what makes you happy and what fits your theme.
Here’s the big insider tip:
Get someone to stand there and tell people what to do. Don’t leave guests to guess. Even if it’s really simple. You know what’s simpler? Skipping it. And some people will.
This is what greeters are for. They aren’t actually part of your wedding party. But they dress nice (suit, pretty dress, or whatever the theme is) and welcome your guests to the wedding. These people (you want two, more if you have over 500 guests) hand out programs and corral guests to your signing area.
You can reuse these wonderful volunteers at the reception! Lead people to the photobooth. Make sure they get in a picture at some point.
“Was Uncle Jim there?”
“I think so.”
“He’s not in any of the pictures.”
“But he just died! Why don’t we have even one picture?”
Don’t be that couple. Unless “Uncle Jim” has a legit reason for avoiding pictures (religious belief, witness protection, etc), be sure to snap at least one. The bride and groom do not have time to make sure this happens. But you can assign people to the task!
Sometimes a DJ is also good for this. Back in the day of 35mm disposable cameras, DJs had “games” going that ensured at least 12 pictures were taken at each table. Pass the camera, scavenger hunt, etc. But it’s 2016! Go back to the Q post and see if you can come up with a creative way to deal with this.
Or… get it on the contract with the photographer. If that person has the help of your cousin who knows every family member and the groom’s friend from the neighborhood, between them they can figure it all out. Perhaps go over some of it beforehand. Give checklists. Again, consider that the greeters already know who’s there and who isn’t.
Last note- Greeters also bring your guestbook (or creative such item) to the reception for you. A handful of guests might not make it to both. Sometimes considered tacky, sometimes considered a blessing (screaming children), and occasionally just how life is (darn airline pilot cousin who didn’t land in time). If you have someone who is ridiculously organized, they can stand there with a list (perhaps on a digital tablet) and ask guests to verify their addresses for you. Helps when you mail those Thank You notes.