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!

Romantic DIY Wedding Day at Patterson Family Barn | Kenny + Spencer

The Storybook love story beginning at Allaire Village Chapel then heading to the Patterson Family Barn.

allaire village wedding chapel new jersey
Allaire Village Chapel, NJ

Kenny + Spencer met while playing Playstation. They instantly connected and began dating long distance for eight months before she booked a flight all the way to Iowa! They look back fondly of their first date, dinner at Applebee's then some added sweetness by taking a trip to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream!

And then we met outside of Allaire Village's Chapel to have them pronounce their love in front of their friends and family. The Chapel itself is a photographer's dream due to all the windows allowing a ton of beautiful natural light in. Kenny was lined up outside with her bridal party and mother, and she looked absolutely radiant. As I prepared for the ceremony, I met Reverend Anthony Cavallo who was officiating and I watched as he prepared Spencer for Kenny to walk down the aisle. Spencer showed me his handwritten vows (totally recommend writing your vows for anyone who is about to do their nuptials. On your wedding day, it not only becomes a keepsake but it photographs better than you reading off your phone) which had a tons of scribbles and corrections all over: "I'm not great with words". I later found this to be false since I literally listened to him pout his heart out in his vows to Kenny.

As Kenny walked down the aisle, tears were already falling down her cheeks. Both Kenny + Spencer had smiles from ear to ear the entire time as she walked down the aisle. Kenny was so excited to call Spencer her husband. From countless hours talking on the phone, to date nights and adventures, to this moment right here where they say "I do".

I was over flooded with emotions as they both said their vows - their devotion to each other was so clear to each other and everyone around them. She literally traveled halfway across the states for him and then he moved here to be with her, it was like a fairy tale coming true. And everyone cheered as they were pronounced Husband + Wife, swarming them with love + hugs + congratulations as soon as they stepped outside, bubbles being blown and surrounding them.

But Kenny removed herself to go walk over to her grandfather and share a moment with him. The joy she felt that he was able to witness their marriage and celebration meant the world to her - there was a period of time where they did not know if he was going to be able to show up for the event, but he did, and tears kept falling as they embraced. He wished her love and wedding day wishes.

Kenny + Spencer had their closest friends and family at their wedding and were so thankful for all the love and support they have received from them over the time in their relationship. Their bridal parties were so enthusiastic throughout pictures, the ceremony, and the whole day.

Leaving Allaire and heading to the reception at the Patterson Family Barn, I called my husband to let him know how emotional and beautiful the ceremony was. Photographing weddings really has me missing my husband, so I always try to speak to him for a few moments in between venues. What can I say, I really, really adore love stories.

Arriving at the Barn, cocktail hour was ago (catered by: Tuscany Italian Market) and people were loving all the little apps. Everyone was laughing, smiling, having a great time. At the venue, they have this cute little bridal house - this is where I met Kenny + Spencer as they took a moment to take in everything that already happened. Kenny sat at this beautiful vanity where she and Spencer chatted whether or not it was "too early to join cocktail hour". I gave them the difference and suggested I take some photos while they prepare to be bombarded with hugs + handshakes.

The details of Kenny + Spencer's wedding were rustic, romantic, and floral, which was perfect for the whole vibe of the day. The wooden barn created their gorgeous set up, plus adding the open door, created a beautiful amount of natural light flowing onto the dancefloor.

Introductions had everyone breaking down their best dance moves as they walked in - especially Kenny's mother and Spencer's father - I mean, c'mon can you see the grooviness?

The thing about Kenny + Spencer's combined family, is that everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - makes you feel welcomed, as if you are apart of their own bloodline. Joining the party, everyone roared with excitement - and all the dancing began!

After Kenny + Spencer's first dance they played a "selfie game" which challenged everyone to take as many selfies with others at the wedding as quick as possible - whomever has the most, wins! This is a super cute game for intimate weddings to be able to have pictures with everyone! The song only lasts about ninety seconds, so it does not take a huge amount of time either - and gets everyone up out of their chairs (and hopefully head to the dance floor)!

Then, while everyone is up - the dance floor opens up and people get to groovin'.

When it comes to parent dances, Kenny and Spencer decide to do something a little different: Spencer dances with Kenny's mom + Kenny dances with Spencer's dad.

The thing about weddings is that you can make it exactly how you want because it is YOUR day. Focus on what's important to you and your values and do exactly that!

After speeches, there was a surprise live musician - can you guess who?

Our bride, Kenny, brought out her guitar; she played and sang a song she learned specifically for their wedding day and it was an emotional, beautiful moment to witness.

And just like that it was almost my time to leave - but before that, golden hour portraits!

It is always recommend doing portraits forty-five minutes before sunset; this will create that warm, romantic, glow that I am known for!

I just want to take a moment to thank Kenny + Spencer for letting me capture their love from engagement photos to their wedding day (and beyond!). Creating a literal obsession with how beautiful these portraits came out (and her skin looks FANTASTIC). Kenny + Spencer reminds me that true love is worth making an effort for, no matter what hurdles are in your way - because they let NOTHING stop them.

Want to see another DIY Rustic Wedding? Check out Jennifer + Tristan's by clicking here!

Or Check Out Other Weddings Below:

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

Creating Wedding Day Timelines

One of the most stressful parts about wedding planning (despite the whole process being incredibly overwhelming) is creating a wedding day timeline! It is not only essential, but it is crucial to have to eliminate day-of stress and any type of scheduling conflicts. This will allow everyone - and I mean, everyone, from the make-up/hair vendors, to your mother-in-law, to the DJ, and everyone in-between - to be on the same page. It is your wedding and you have some sort of vision to exactly how you want your day to go but scheduling too much or too little time for certain things can cause lags, boredom, or even straight-up chaos.

We definitely recommend building a rough wedding day timeline in the start of the planning process, rather than waiting until the very end. As you continue to hire more vendors, you will be able to start envisioning your day - and can often spot timing mishaps early on.

Plan with your vendors

specifically your photographer and planner.
You need collaboration between vendors to give input so you are able to build a realistic wedding day timeline. As a wedding photographer myself, I always encourage my couples to allow thirty to forty minutes for golden hour bridal portraits (this will create the warm, romantic, glowy portraits I am known for!). If you do not have a planner, talk to your venue! They are definitely a great resource since they are consistently hosting weddings and know, from experience, what timelines typically work best.

START with your ceremony.
Usually the venue gives you a rough time for the start of your ceremony. Start with this and work backwards. Creating a simple timeline gives you an idea of where to add more detail. While working backward, go all the way to the time you wake up, go back to your ceremony and work towards the end of the night starting with major events - grand entrances, toasts, dances, cake cutting, etc - then add all the additional details around these events.

Transportation also takes time.

Taking time to figure out traveling time is super important for creating a timeline for photography. If you are not sticking to the same location from hair and makeup all the way to the end of reception, it might knock off a decent chunk of time between locations in transit. Also take in consideration that there might be guests that are NOT familiar with the area and unsure of traffic patterns or differences between locations. When creating a timeline, hop on google and estimate the travel time is between locations and ADD a buffer; this way your timeline is realistic (when is teleportation going to become a thing?). Things typically take longer than they are planned, so add a buffer so the day continues to go smoothly. Forgetting this detail will throw off your entire timeline for your wedding day.

SPEAKING OF BUFFERS

No matter what point of the timeline you are creating and how you are envisioning your day, add buffer time through out the day. For example, you're thinking that your ceremony is only going to last twenty minutes (pretty typically) then put on the timeline it is for thirty minutes. Google tells you it take eleven minutes to get from the first look to the ceremony, round up to fifteen. If you are doing a first look and have no traveling, finish up those photographs and allow thirty minutes of downtime before the ceremony. This will allow you to BREATHE, relax and to take your time enjoying your day. This will also protect the rest of your timeline if things are being delayed.

Also, I highly recommend scheduling about fifteen minutes of cocktail hour where you and your newly-announced spouse can soak up the moments. You did it, you're married and we want you to enjoy the day.

Sample of Day of Wedding Timeline:

The Ultimate Wedding Timeline shows an example timeline from getting ready at 9am to the end of reception at 11pm

Here is a wedding day timeline template that you can keep on your wedding Pinterest board!

Lush Floral Extravagant Brooklyn Elopement | Adam + Adam.

What happens when two Adams fall in love? They run away to The Pink Moon in Brooklyn, NY, to have a lavish elopement. The Pink Moon (insta@/thepinkmoonbk) is a gorgeous venue in the heart of Brooklyn (located at 478 3RD AVENUE) - its brick wall, the greenery, the murals bring a uniqueness to this intimate venue. The owner, renowned florist, Rebecca Shepherd, created this venue after spending a decade in the wedding floral business, to offer a special, intimate place for events, weddings, and collaborations.

Gay Couple Rings and Invitation detail shot

Their Love Story.

They met through the Philadelphia theatre community and over the years, they became friends. But what really pushed it to the next level? We can thank everyone's favorite Prince Charming, Shrek, for that. They both became involved in the production of "Shrek: The Musical" at the Walnut Street Theatre that their friendship blossomed and they even took it a step further. The Pandemic approached and this gave the ultimate test to their relationship. But they prevailed, able to grow further as friends and as individuals. "Having Adam by my side through all matters of uncertainty has been a lifesaver...I wake up every morning, look over and see his face, and I smile.I don't think there's been a day in the past three years that I haven't woke up smiling because of him. I consider myself lucky. Very very lucky." They have such a beautiful, authentic connection that blows others away.

The Details

Eloping does not mean you cannot have a gorgeous celebration for the beginning of your marriage. Elopement means the wedding is focused on the couple versus all the guests/the party. Often when picturing elopements, you envision running away into the mountains (I literally did this), but that is not always the case. Adam + Adam decided to go all out with their closest friends and family at this chic venue. The conundrum is often thinking elopements are just the couple, but often it just has to be some sort of intimate number less than twenty five.

Shoutout to some local vendors:

Dolce and Gelato Catering
Rebecca Shepherd Floral Design
Film Cars NY
Julissa Beauty

The Moments Leading Up

When I showed my husband the photos of this elopement, he said, "those are the two best looking guys". I mean - c'mon, do you see them? They both look incredible. They both went with very natural looks with just some concealer for the lack of sleep they got leading up to this moment.

groom getting makeup done by makeup artist

First Look

gay couple first look wedding

Portraits

gay couple greet guests at reception

gay couple Brooklyn New York City taxi

gay couple run across Brooklyn New York City street

A Sweet End to the Day

They did get a gelato cart to celebrate with more than just a cake! Not only was it a cute detail of their day but it was absolutely delicious.

Cheers to both Adams on eloping, and thank you so much for letting me document it. It was such a beautiful day to witness.

ice cream wedding vendor