I have had the honor of planning several baby showers and birthday celebrations. While I love the decor an special details what I love most are the memories. Those live on long after the last guest has rubbed your belly or your little one has dug into their first birthday cake. One of the ways I’ve been able to preserve memories is by incorporating a guest book or another alternative of it. My favorite thing to do is purchase a special book for the baby or baby to be and have each of the guests write a message to baby. Bedtime routines will be filled with not only a special story, but also sweet messages from family and friends.
1. Scrapbook – For my baby shower, guests were given a letter and a scrapbook page. Each guest made a page in what would be Lola’s ABC book. We added a miniature instant camera photo for good measure.
2. Furniture – When I got married, my husband, daughter and I asked everyone to sign a guest bench. Our plan was to one day put it in our garden. Right now, however, I’ve been using it as a nightstand in our bedroom. It’s a beautiful reminder of all of the loved ones who celebrated our special day. I love the idea of having guests sign a wooden rocking chair or special piece of furniture for baby.
3. Reading book – A book is my favorite alternative to a traditional guest book. Not only can it be read time and time again, it is easy to find a book that holds special meaning or complements your theme.
4. Calendar or Devotional book – Years ago my mother had a friend who loved giving her the most thoughtful gifts. One year, she gave her a devotional, and sprinkled throughout it were notes and reflections beside specific dates. This would be a lovely gesture for a mama to be — reminders of special days (for some of us pregnancy brain lingers), memories of special moments, holiday wishes and words of encouragement.
5. Dishes – Have guests sign a ceramic platter or cake stand at the baby shower and use it for baby’s first birthday!
6. Recipe cards – Know of some simple and delicious recipes and celebrating a mama to be who loves to cook? Recipe cards complete with a special inscription on the back is a sweet guest book idea. Just be sure to give guests a heads up or consider sending them recipe cards along with the invite. Don’t forget to purchase a special recipe box to store the cards.
7. Art – Ensure baby has some art on display in her nursery. Get a print and have everyone sign it or have everyone create their own mini print. Images such as trees or bouquets of balloons made with thumb prints are a fun idea.
8. Puzzles – I’ve seen this done for weddings and think it would work great for birthdays and showers. Have guests sign the back of puzzle pieces. The day you and your sweet toddler are putting together puzzles will be here before you know it. Working on the puzzle may facilitate a discussion on all of the special people in your little one’s life.
9. Wish cards – One of my most favorite details at my baby shower was the wish cards. Each of our guests wrote a wish for Lola and also her big sister. I cried hearing them read aloud and cried again later as I read them to myself. They were a tangible reminder to the love that surrounds my girls.
10. Birthday cards – I once read about a sweet idea where guests are all given a birthday card to sign for the baby to be going up until his or her 18th birthday. Each year one is opened and shared.
11. Time capsule – Ask each guest to bring a special memento and a note-card that explains the story behind the item. Tuck or bury the capsule away and open in x amount of years.
12. Quilt – If only I could sew, I would love to have given my babes an heirloom in the form of a special quilt. I adore the idea of having guests write special messages on quilt squares and later piecing them together to make a beautiful quilt.
13. Picture frame – Frame a special photograph and have guests sign and/or write messages on the matting.
What are some additional ideas for a nontraditional guest book?