Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Photo Guest Book

I love the idea of a guest book - a way you can look back and remember all the wonderful people who helped you celebrate your marriage.  However, I hear again and again how people just pack them away and never look at them again.  My own Mom said the first time she has ever looked at hers was several weeks ago when she was searching for the sixpence for my shoe!

Given that, I decided that our guest book should be something that draws us to open it up and pore over the pages.  We loved our engagement photos (taken on our family farm by Whitney Huynh) so much, that we decided to make a coffee table guest book out of them.

Engagement photos by Whitney Huynh

I often see Groupons and the like featuring deals on DIY photo albums.  I happened across one from Mixbook, and snatched it up!

I'm not sponsored by anybody, and all opinions following are mine!

I've used Snapfish before, and my book turned out OK, but I really loved working with Mixbook!  They offer so many more options for designing your own pages, and the quality of our book blew me away.   I noticed that in the time since I ordered our book, they even created a template for guest books.

Here's the cover and first page of our guest book.

guest book cover

guest book cover page

I also like that they have a feature where you can digitally flip through your book to make sure it flows nicely.

Here's what I did:
  1. Start with a totally blank 14"x11" coffee table photobook.  
  2. Add 1-3 photos to each page, making sure to leave lots white space so guests can write messages.  There are also pages in the front and back covers to write on in case space is limited.  
  3. Double check the flow of the book.  Revise images.  Rinse and repeat until perfect!
  4. Provide a super-fine-point Sharpie for the messages to prevent smudging and smearing.  
  5. Display the book in an obvious place, and have bridal party sign it first as an example for others.

I really liked that I could put images anywhere on the pages.  It was also easy to resize images, make them transparent (like in the cover page below), or make them black and white (like in the cover page above).  You can also change the contrast, hues, etc.  The program was very simple to use.

I was so excited when the books arrived!  They were very high quality, and looked completely professional.

We read all the messages the day after the wedding, and they were so special!  We loved this addition to our wedding, and the lasting memory it will provide.

We also made copies of the book for our parents and grandparents, but we changed up a few photos for their individual interests.  For instance, we changed the cover and cover page to farm photos for my grandmother who lives on our farm.

Guest book with farm cover

Guest book cover page with farm photo

They were so surprised by the gift, and I think they were a big hit!

I'll admit that this project took far longer than I ever anticipated - maybe 12 hours total!  If you're not such a perfectionist, I bet you could finish one in an hour or two.

That said, I think it came out fabulous, and I'm so glad I took on the project.  The guest book cost about $55 total (the 45-page book, plus shipping was originally about $110).  So maybe not a project for everyone, but if you have the time and $$, I think you'll love the results.  Mixbook also has great sales all the time, so if you're not in a rush, it might be worthwhile to wait a few weeks and see what comes up.

I'll definitely be using the same company to make a similar book of our wedding photos.


  1. Can't wait to see the one crazyquilter has!

  2. That's a great idea! I have maybe once pulled out our guest book in 7 years, ha! I would be more likely to if it was a cool photo album. This would be great for other things like birthday parties, baby showers, etc. I used Shutterfly once then Mix book. Def prefer Mixbook. And there are other companies I'd like to check out.
    Thanks for sharing =)


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