5 Alternative Ways to do a Guestbook that your Guests will Love From Etsy!!

Having the memory of who attended your wedding day is something so important to have! For as long as weddings have been around guests have been signing the “guestbook” where they write a quick little message and sign their names. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that tradition, there are also amazing alternatives that you should definitely look into. Here are a few of our favorites :

An affordable option to the phone service!

Audio Guestbook :
One of the coolest things we’ve ever seen at a wedding was an audio guestbook! It’s a cute little vintage phone that the company leaves at it’s own station for all of your family and friends to leave a voice recording for you to listen to for years to come. This can be so sweet to be able to listen back to those who will one day no longer be with us and the best way to feel the person’s love behind their message. Not to mention, the more your guests drink the funnier these may become!


a lot of them come tree form - but how cute is this?

Fingerprint Guestbook :

This is an ADORABLE alternative guestbook idea. Each guest dips their thumb in ink, leaves a little print and writes their name on the “family tree”. This would make the cutest framed portrait to hang in your living room to keep the memory of your wedding day fresh in your mind all of the time. This is definitely an option that will get a lot of attention!


Perfect to display in the living room or office!

Guestbook Globe
This is the absolute perfect idea for adventurous couples. Guests can sign anywhere on the globe, even the countries that they (or their ancestors) come from - and that makes it SO fun! Not only is it an amazing guest book idea but it makes for beautiful home decor. It really upgrades the whole guest book experience and can be passed on from generation to generation. And who doesn’t love a pretty globe?!

Perfect to put in your living room!

Rustic Wooden Guest Book Sign
This gorgeous idea is perfect for rustic wedding couples. Etsy is FILLED with hundreds of amazing vendors that can make you a fully custom wood sign, with your names and wedding date for all of your guests to sign. Add some gold and silver sharpies and you have a literal art piece to keep in your home! This is one of the best ideas for couples looking to fit their aesthetic. Don’t forget to base the size of the guest book off of how many guests will be attending.

like so cute!!!

Heart Drop Guest Box
Last but certainly not least, here is a gorgeous and very popular option for a guest book. Each guest signs an individual heart and drops it into this keepsake for you to hang up on the wall. Being able to see everyone’s name protected in a beautiful frame is an excellent alternative for a regular paper guestbook!


There are so many fun and creative ways to remember everyone who attended your wedding. Finding the perfect one to display in your home is everything! Definitely be sure to check out all of the amazing vendors on etsy to make your guest book dreams come true.

From big to small ideas - your perfect guest book idea is out there for you! We hope this list inspired you!

Why I Love First Looks

Rustic Wedding First look Running Deer Golf Club NJ
Alyssa + Brian, Running Deer Golf Club, NJ

I love First Looks. One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is when I get to watch the bride and groom see each other for the first time. They usually cry. I cry. First looks make this moment so emotional and so private. Today, I wanted to send an email over with some helpful tips and pros and cons of doing them so you can  make the best decision as a couple!

Disclaimer: I Never Ever force my couples to do a first look but I know the ones that do have not regretted it one second! I think tradition can really be replaced with REACTION. 

Here are some pro’s and con’s of both options:

Option #1 | First Look

Pros:

Option #2 | No First Look

Rustic Wedding First look Running Deer Golf Club NJ
Alyssa + Brian, Running Deer Golf Club, NJ

5 Easy Poses for DIY Boudoir

So, you want to take some *spicy* photos, but not sure how to go about it? Feel like your poses are a tad too awkward? Forget all your worries - I got you.

This being said, you will need your phone and a ledge to prop it up with. Instead of putting the camera mode on an interval timer, you are going to set it up on video! This will allow you to move into multiple poses and be able to see and adjust yourself accordingly.

#1 Ballerina Arch

diy boudoir poses

This one is a great starting point because it’s going to show off all your curves and allow you to relax your body. Move your wrists and fingers around until you can hold them up in a relaxed position. Cross your feet over the ankles - point your toes - and arch your back!

#2 Curvy + Relaxed

diy boudoir poses

This one is all about the curves of your body - think you are a siren calling out to sailors of the sea. You are going to sit mostly on one hip and let the opposite arm to sensually caress your thigh - almost like an invitation! Keep your feet crossed over the ankles and make sure your toes are pointed - this will lengthen you! Break up the curve with you opposite arm, slightly bent, on the armrest. You will look like you are ready to pounce.

#3 Cheeky Smile Ahead

diy boudoir poses

This is a cute and simple one. With your side profile facing the camera, pop your booty out, arch your back, and smile into the distance. Put your hand closest to the camera on the top of your thigh.

#4 Booty Pop

diy boudoir poses

This is similar to #3 but instead of looking forward and curving your hand around your thigh, you’re going to put both hands on the back of the chair and look over your shoulder with a slight smile. Really pop your butt out because this is the focus!

#5 Advanced Avant Garde

diy boudoir poses

This one is one of my more fine art poses, but it definitely shows the human form in all of its glory. You’re going to sit your butt sideways in the chair and toss your legs over the arm of it. You’re going to keep your toes pointed - one up and one down! Your arm closest to the back of the chair holds the top of it and the other hand holds the base of the chair gently. Point your chin up and keep your gaze also up - this will give you a renaissance painting type of look!

Remember, try what feels comfortable and do a bunch of variations! You will look through the film and screenshot each and everyone you love - add a cute filter and you’re good to go!

xoxox

Loving Day: June 12th 2022

I am going to start writing more blog posts that are more than just sessions, weddings, and posing advice. I want to be able to offer resources to everyone and encourage education on social issues and give glimpses into my life. So that being said, here we go:

I married the love of my life on December first 2021; yet it wouldn’t be possible without Mildred + Richard Loving. They were originally arrested in 1958 because they were in an interracial marriage in Virginia. Often while talking about segregation, racism, and laws that forbade basic human rights, we view it as late American History… yet, the Lovings were arrested only sixty-four years ago. This happened WITHIN our parents lifetime - which is insane to think about.

My mother was born in 1955 and grew up in a somewhat progressive part of New Jersey called Asbury Park. She was constantly surrounded by different cultures and backgrounds and even dated a few outside her Greek heritage (which tends to be uncommon in the Greek community). I am very blessed she raised me to be this open-minded person and to view everyone as equal because without her ability to love everyone, I would not be married to the man of my dreams (him being Black and Puerto Rican). I can only imagine the biases my mother faced with having a diverse group of people in her life, just as I am used to the dirty looks I receive when walking and holding hands with my husband.

Loving Day is the anniversary of a historic court decision for interracial marriages. Loving v. Virginia (1967) reached the Supreme Court where the Loving’s lawyers argued that being against interracial relationships are dated back to slave laws (this oppressing Black people and enforcing White Supremacy).

It took nine years after the Loving’s arrest for them to win their case (this being June 12, 1967 - hence why June 12 is Loving Day). Yet, it was not just a win for the Lovings, it was a victory for all those in interracial relationships since it debilitated all laws against such.

America is built on the foundation of systematic racism. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. This being said, claiming you are “colorblind” tends to be a more harmful statement than progressive. Talking about race is incredibly important for society to progress and dismantle the racist systems that are keeping BiPOC from reaching true equality.

Talking about Race is Necessary:

What is Racism?

In simplest terms, racism = prejudice + power. In America, the white men collective holds the power, this includes politically and socially. The non-dominant group, often faces inequalities and disparities that often can lead to abuse, not only from individuals but institutions and cultural practices. This equation of racism creates the caste system that discriminates against certain groups (BiPOC) and benefits others (caucasians).

As a white person, it is important to look at my

privilege and power. I need to be able to active anti-racist work on myself and those around me. We have to continue educate ourselves to destroy the inequalities that BiPOC face. Being “not racist” is not enough to better our world.

How To Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi is an important book I believe all white people should read. There are six essential points in the book I want to highlight for this blog post.

  1. Understand the Definition of Racist
  2. Stop saying “I’m Not Racist”
  3. Identify Racial Inequalities + Disparities
  4. Confront the Racist Ideas You’ve Held or Continue to Hold
  5. Understand How Your Antiracism Needs to be Intersectional.
  6. Champion Antiracist Ideas + Policies

I will elaborate below:

Understand the Definition of Racist

Merriam-Webster defines racism as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race." As stated, this is also how racism = prejudice + power. We need to be able to hold ourselves accountable for our thoughts and actions, as well as the politicians and policies we support.

Stop saying “I’m Not Racist”

Saying “I’m not racist” is only a self-serving sentiment. This does not help anyone but your ego - people constantly change their view or “what is racist” and what isn’t so that it does not apply to them. That joke you’re telling that degrades a black woman? your racism and biases are showing. If you're a white nationalist who's not violent, says Kendi, then you might see the Ku Klux Klan as racist. If you're a Democrat who thinks there's something culturally wrong with black people, then racists to you might be people who are Republicans. Who and what you support is literally your deepest beliefs. Kendi states “that term is more of a term of denial than a term with meaning”. Often people are quick to say “I’m not racist” but do no anti-racist work; by saying you are not racist you are creating blinders to your own ideas, thoughts, and actions that could be in fact racist. Anti-racist work will have you re-evaluate your own views and beliefs in how to be better. For example, avoiding a neighborhood that is predominately African American without any other reason than it being of a Black majority, is racist.

Identify Racial Inequalities and Disparities

Racism creates racial inequalities and disparities in all aspects of life: politics, healthcare, criminal justice, education, employment, property ownership and so much more. What an anti-racist does, first and foremost, is identify racial inequalities and disparities. By Identifying inequities and disparities that give, in particular, white people, or any racial group, material advantages over people of color. When Social Security was created in 1935, for example, it did not include domestic and agricultural workers, majority of whom were black. While the Social Security Administration denies it’s racial biases being a factor in that decision, it still meant that black workers had less opportunity (over the course of DECADES) to accumulate savings and wealth compared to white workers. Being actively anti-racist will have you acknowledge that BiPOC are not the issue, instead it is the policies that put BiPOC at a complete disadvantage - hindering their growth and prosperity.

Confront the Racist Ideas You’ve Held or Continue to Hold

Now that you understand what racism is and acknowledged how anti-racism can progress society, it is important to take a breath and look at your own beliefs, systems, and voting patterns that have justified racial inequalities (does the person you vote for constantly degrade Black and Brown people and make them the “enemy”?). Are you voting to create educational opportunities for ALL neighborhoods? Do you know that funding policies affect how resources are allocated to schools and why those practices can create racial disparities? To many, these realities probably seem disconnected from whether or not they're racist, but Kendi argues that remaining ignorant about them, or declining to change policies that produce disparities, is not an option for someone who wants to be antiracist. How you vote will directly impact to those who are not in power.

Understand How Your Antiracism Needs to be Intersectional.

I am an intersectional feminist and proud to include all people in my work and in my life. If one believes that black men are superior to black women, then that person won't be able to see how certain ideas and policies disproportionately affect black women in harmful ways. Viewing black woman as lesser than the black men, or labeling them in derogatory ways while praising the other gender, is still racist. You need to be willing to intersect all parts of someone’s identity; this includes gender, sexuality, ethnicity and race. To truly be anti-racist, you need to be intersectional.

Champion Antiracist Ideas + Policies

You cannot - let me repeat this - you CANNOT be anti-racist without some sort of action. A step in the right direction would be supporting organizations in your community that fight policies that encourage and create racial disparities and inequalities. If you do not have the funds, donate your time to these organizations. If you have some sort of power (even being just your white privilege) to change racist policies in any setting you are involved in (for example, school, work, government, family). We need to commit to making action against racial disparities to create a better world for everyone.

“When racists criticize America—namely people of color + our spaces—racists call it preaching facts. When antiracists criticize America—namely racist policies and ideas—racists call it preaching hate.” - Kendi.

Reading List

This is a Buzzfeed article of educational books to learn more about race and racism.

Loving Day

If you’re in an interracial relationship, be thankful for this court decision, for no one’s love should be illegal.

xoxo,

Christina Hernandez