Regardless of how big or small, your wedding is going to be there’s definitely going to be 50+ guests. We have never seen a wedding with less than 80 people, and medium Canadian wedding ranges from 120 to 150 guests. We’ve also been to weddings that had 350, 500 and even 600 guests.
Now think about this: almost every single person at your wedding will have a wish for you. They are there to congratulate you on the biggest thing in your life. Will you have time to hear out (and remember) every single one of those wishes?
Of course, there’s always a Hallmark card sneaked in the same envelope or box as your wedding gift. But wouldn’t it be nicer if you had all wishes from your guests in one place so that you can keep them all as a part of your family history? And it is definitely great to show your guests that you care and want to hear what they have to say.
There are three most popular ways to achieve that and in this article, we will describe and compare all three side by side.
Wish tree is a beautifully decorated small tree or a branch. The main point is to have as many little branches as possible. So that you can hang decorations and “leaves” on it. Little pieces of paper are usually cut in a form of leaves and guests would tie them up to the tree after writing their wishes down.
We’ve seen trees (and leaves) drawn on a huge piece of paper, too. The idea is pretty much the same, but in this case, guests would stick their wish to the tree with a double-sided scotch tape.
Wish tree seems to be a popular option for many weddings these days. You can make one yourself or hire your decorator or florist to make one for you.
On the plus side, it is quite affordable and has a big potential to look great. On the other hand, it is quite bulky. And while it looks great in a big foyer of your banquet hall it will really take a chunk of space in a house (especially condo) and will be a real dust magnet. Sooner or later it will end up in the attic/basement/storage container.
PROS: looks great; every guest has enough/equal amount of space to write on.
CONS: very hard to keep after the wedding day; lots of maintenance (dust and spider web cleaning); does not have a single picture of the couple.
Signing board has been around forever. They are simple, look great and are very easy to obtain. You can get on on Etsy, eBay, at your local Michaels, or from your photographer. There is usually a photograph (or two) of the couple in the center of the mat that guests sign. There are a bunch of variations like putting your initials instead of the photo, or getting guests use sticky hearts (or other shapes) to sign and stick them to the matt. But it really comes down to a framed signing board.
Seeing almost too many signing boards I can say that the biggest disadvantage of having one is that 20% of the guests that arrive first will use 80% of the space. I’ve seen people using so much space as if they were signing their new record album ;)
Another drawback is again, space and storage. Comparing to the tree this thing needs no space at all. You will have it hanging on the wall for two, five, or maybe even ten years. But later, when you have lots and lots of family photographs and when your decor might not match with the aesthetics of the board it might be moved into storage.
PROS: has a picture of the couple, less space required to keep, very little maintenance;
CONS: does not provide equal amount of space for each guest; has only one picture of the couple; takes up wall space that will be valuable in the future
There are different kinds of guest books. They range from ten bucks Walmart pieces to high-end boutique albums.
If you are thinking about getting one from Walmart – don’t do it. Better get a signing board, really. These books will simply fall apart regardless of how often you are glancing through them.
Custom-designed guest books look amazing and provide lots and lots of space for everyone to sign. One 11”x11” with 80 pages can accommodate signatures from up to 500 people. This is not achievable with a signing board or with a wish tree. Guest books are also great to store (right next to your wedding album) and need no cleaning :)
In most cases, a custom-designed guest book will hold up to 60 photographs of you and your fiancé entertaining your guests while they looking through it on your wedding day. And bringing the most beautiful memories to your family and friends for years to come.
PROS: many pictures; easy to store; lots of space for signatures and wishes.
CONS: cheap (Walmart or Michaels) books will not last long.