Monday, June 29, 2009

A Non-Traditional Guest Book…

So if you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m not really a traditional sort of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be girly-girly and I like to follow tradition just like anyone else. But more often than not, I also like to march to my own beat. I have always been very self-confident and knew what I wanted, what I liked and didn’t like, and it never really mattered to me whether you thought I was cool or not. I thought I was cool, and I knew that was most important.

With that in mind, why would a traditional guest book work for my wedding? You’re right, it won’t. I want something a little more than just a book that everyone signs to say that they’re here to share this special day with us. They’re nice and all, and please don’t hear that I’m knocking traditional guest books, because I’m not. It’s just not what I want for my guest book.

I’ve known this for a few months, and started keeping my eyes open for some inspiration on what I could do differently for this aspect of our wedding. I wanted something out of the ordinary, something that truly reflected us and who we were, and definitely something more than a book that I’d probably never look at again.

I’ve seen several things that I like. I LOVE the big poster board type of thing that everyone can sign. Using an engagement picture and making it big enough to frame in your “new” house. Cute.

I’ve also seen the ever-popular photo booths and one bride who required all guests to be snapped in the photo booth and given a card to sign. She then arranged all the strips of photo booth pictures with the notes that were handwritten into a type of coffee table book. She gets points for originality in my book...and with my love of scrapbooking, this was an early front runner for me. Which also led me to consider the idea of actual scrapbook pages set out for guests to sign that I could incorporate into a photo book of our wedding. Also a good idea, and now that I’m getting more familiar with Photoshop, this could work for me.

But that didn’t really stand out for me. Until I came across the idea of signing fabric. (I SO wish that I could remember where I got this idea! But I can’t credit the originator since I can’t remember…but this is NOT my original idea.) With another of my hobbies being sewing…this one sparked my curiosity. What if I laid out pieces of fabric for my guests to sign and then later worked those “scraps” of “paper” into a quilt. I’ve made several blankets and quilts and am now working on a bedspread for my room…

Hmmm…the idea takes hold…and continues to grow.

I’ve been looking into the thought a little more, and so far, most fabric professionals (read ladies who work at JoAnn’s) have told me that muslin would work the best for signing. And my little sister assures me that a sharpie pen would work for ink that won’t run. And I’ve found the pattern that I would want to use…what is more fitting than the wedding ring pattern? Here’s a picture so that you can visualize along with me…


Picture this quilt pattern made with scraps of black and cream fabrics forming the rings…and in the middle of each ring is the swatch of cloth that our wedding guests signed. They can just sign their names, they can write words of advice, and they can even draw me a picture (keep it clean, folks!). These scraps can be worked into a quilt later at my convenience, which I like since this is one wedding project that won’t be totally finished BEFORE the wedding.

Here's a close-up of each circle - you can clearly see the area in the middle where guests could "sign in"

I LOVE this idea! (I think that I’ve written that A LOT these past few posts!)

I think that I’ll go ahead and find all the patterned material and try to make up one ring that can be displayed at the wedding to give everyone an idea of what I’m trying to accomplish. Building a quilt that each guest signed a piece of just resonates deep inside me as something that is meant for me and just “right” for our wedding somehow. This would be an ongoing symbol of the love that others feel for us; that they cared enough to come to our wedding day and share in our joy. I love it, love it, love it.

I even came up with a little poem that I could display on the table where you would “sign in” the other night as I was trying (unsuccessfully) to drift off to sleep. Stinks for me that I was then successful in falling asleep and I’ve since forgotten the poem. It was perfect…Maid Britney assures me that I’ll remember it again. Let’s cross our fingers!

I’ve borrowed my mom’s pinking shears to cut the washed muslin into the “scraps” for our guests to sign…they’re special because they come from my step-dad’s mother. What a nice touch to be able to use a family heirloom in making one of my wedding projects – my own personal hot glue gun that I’ve had for years doesn’t really qualify!

Do you think that doing something this untraditional just puts “our mark” on our wedding that much more? Is this a great way to incorporate something that I love to do into our wedding?

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