Guestbooks have long been a mainstay of wedding memories; a lovely way to remember those who came along to celebrate your big day.
Once taking the form of actual books, they’ve now drawn on technology to become everything from photo trees to live video streams.
With this evolution has come the opportunity to seek out so much more than just a guest’s signature or a single sentence of welcome.
But what to ask them to encourage vibrant and colourful memories and anecdotes to come spilling forth. Here’s 10 great ideas….
How did we meet?
This one is kind of obvious, and probably not that exciting for relatives or people you’ve known all your life. But it’s guaranteed to elicit a good tale from those friends you met in unexpected ways – whether it was reaching for the same novel at a bookstore or sharing a restroom mirror at a nightclub.
What’s the best meal we’ve ever shared?
Food is part of the social glue that brings people together – over coffees, over dinners, over brunches and even over snacks. So chances are there’s a good story or two to uncover about an amazing gourmet experience you’ve shared, whether it was at your local café or a tiny hole-in-the-wall place overseas.
Why do we love each other?
This one takes a dip into sweet and sentimental territory, but hey, it is a wedding. And there’s plenty of scope. The memories could reach deep – into moments when you were each other’s only light – or even just touch on some of your favourite shared qualities and personality traits.
Will you be having a hair and/or make-up trial before the wedding day?
What’s the most fun we’ve ever had together?
This is almost guaranteed to bring the guestbook to vivid life, as it’s a great invitation to revisit highlights from a lifetime of fun, friendship and joy. Memories could run the spectrum from your favourite times at school and your favourite neighbourhood adventures to your best night of mischief of cocktails.
What were your first impressions when I introduced you to (insert partner’s name)?
Not all first impressions are great, and many is the partner who initially raised eyebrows among your nearest and dearest. By now, of course, that’s long forgotten, so in the spirit of fun it’s time to find out what they really thought of the zip-up cardigan he wore to your first dinner together.
What’s the best piece of advice we ever ignored?
Some of the best times in life come from action taken against the grain, whether it’s going to a restaurant people don’t rate, spending your last $20 on a drink instead of a taxi, or going on a bike ride 15 years since you last hit the pedals. Reminisce, shake your head and agree to do it all again one day.
Where do you see us being in 10 years?
Mirror, mirror on the wall share your predictions with us all. At the very least it will be interesting to see who thinks you will and won’t have kids, will and won’t move house and will and won’t travel. You could even throw in something fun to ask, like who will spend more time on the couch in a given week.
What is your best piece of wedding advice?
This is a little bit clichéd, but you know something, it’s a great question to ask. After all, you’re surrounded by people who are well down the track on the journey you’re about to take, so why not pick their brains on the obstacles they struck along the way – and how they got around them.
If (OK when) we’re millionaires on our 10th wedding anniversary, how should we celebrate it?
It’s nice to dream, isn’t it? And other people’s bucket list suggestions can provide great inspiration as you spend the next 10 years deciding between a deserted island and a holiday (no doubt) in space. The more outrageous the suggestion the better, so encourage people to think indulgence.
And finally, what movie couple do we most remind you of?
This is a wonderful way to encourage guests to have some fun – and test their movie knowledge at the same time. If you get Emma and Mr Knightley, Bridget Jones and Mr D’Arcy, or Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara you’re set. Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, not so much.
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