The 4-Step Process for Creating a Meaningful Photo Guest Book

Our daughter Molly recently got engaged to her boyfriend Michael. We are thrilled for both of them, and can’t wait to officially welcome Michael to the family!

As we start to plan the wedding, I started thinking about different ways to create a guest book for their wedding. I’ve focused my business on telling stories with photos (and it’s one of my favorite things to do), so I’d like to design a book that focuses on Molly and Michael’s relationship, and on their guests. After all, their guests are the people who are most important to them, and they will all be gathered in one place for their big day!

Photo credit: Grace Adams,

Here are four tips for making your wedding guests the stars of your guest book:

Step One: Finalize Your Guest List.

Start the process by making the final decision on your wedding party and your overall guest list. It’s important to finalize this list as your first step, because it will make your guest book design easier from this point on.

Then take a look at the names on your list, and think about why you’ve decided to invite each person. There will be some key players, like your wedding party, your immediate families, and your closest friends. These key players are the folks who will be highlighted in your guest book.

Step Two: Gather Your Photos.

Next up, it’s time to gather photos of all your closest family members and friends – all the people on your “key players” list.

When you’re looking for digital photos, make sure you have a full resolution copy of each image. If you don’t have a full resolution version of a particular image, you can always ask your friends for help.

If you have print versions of any photos, you’ll need to scan them to put them in your guest book. Make sure you scan at 600 dpi for good reproduction resolution. We can help with the scanning process if you need assistance!

As you gather photos, put all the digital copies in one folder on your computer – this will make your life easier later, when it’s time to compile your guest book.

Consider including photos of:

  • The people who introduced you to your fiancé (if you were introduced by friends of family members) or pictures of moments in that friendship related to bringing you together
  • The first time you met each other’s families
  • Childhood photos of you and your fiancé with friends and family members
  • Childhood photos of long-time friends
  • Older photos of your family members – your guests will love looking at the hair and clothing styles from other eras!
  • The moment you asked your wedding party to be your attendants, if you had a creative way of asking them

Remember, you’ll know of your guests better than others, so don’t worry if you don’t have photos of everyone. You can simply include a guest list at the end of the book and include everyone that was invited.

Your friends and relatives can also provide the stories of how you met, and their favorite memories of your relationship. It will be fun to go down memory lane and recall your shared history, and you’ll need these stories for one of the upcoming steps in your guest book creation process.

Step Three: Add Stories.

To create a really personal guest book, leave plenty of room in your book for your guests to include a short story or caption about your relationship.

For those guests who are more connected to your parents, you can ask them for stories of how they met your family, and how that relationship has grown. It might also be fun to include first impressions from your family when they initially met your fiancé.

If you plan to finalize the guest book close to the date of the wedding, your guests’ stories can be submitted along with their RSVPs, and you can put them in the book when you compile it.

Step Four: Compile Your Guest Book.

Once you’ve collected all the photos and stories you want to use, it’s time to put them all together into a printed guest book.

You can use a service like Shutterfly, Mixbook, Picaboo or Artifact Uprising if you’d like to do this yourself. If you’d like someone else to manage this for you, let us know – designing and publishing guest books is one of our specialties!

When you compile the book, you can include all the stories you received ahead of time. Also make sure to leave some space for other folks (anyone who didn’t submit a story ahead of time) to write something on the day of the wedding.

Time to Get Creative!

Creating a personalized guest book for your wedding is a fabulous way to honor your friends and family on your big day. It also gives them a lovely way to share their favorite stories and anecdotes about your relationship.

Your customized guest book will be a treasured keepsake that your fiancé and you can cherish for the rest of your lives.

Have fun with this process, and if you need any assistance with gathering your photos or putting your book together, contact us here at Picture This OrganizedWe’d be happy to help!

If you’d like some additional ideas on creating a guest book for you wedding, check out this board on our Pinterest profile!

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