Custom-Made Guestbook Signing Albums
I received an email last week that is one of my favourites to read. It wasn’t the first time I’d found a message like it in my inbox, but it made my heart flutter just the same. I had sent out the first draft of a client’s guestbook signing album I designed using photos from their engagement session and asked for feedback regarding page order, photo choice, and overall design. Their response?
“It looks perfect, can’t wait to see it when it arrives!”
I put a lot of work into designing these albums. In pairing photos to tell a story of the couple, creating templates that are pleasing to look at and lead the viewer across the page, and in leaving just the right amount of space for guests to sign and leave little notes of love. And let me tell you, it feels really heckin’ good when clients are happy with it all right away.
Though I looove to design full wedding albums, signing albums are one of my favourite products that I offer. To start, they’re super affordable - I charge only $250 and they come included in 2 of my packages or as a $150 add on in my third. Comparing that to other albums of similar quality, it’s a huge deal!
Speaking of quality, the manufacturer I use is fabulous. The albums are hand made right here in Canada with every bit of expertise and care you would want for your first family heirloom. Using carefully selected cover and binding materials along with premium professional papers and the best of the best in photographic printing processes, they don’t cheap out. Your photos will look the same in your album as they do on your fancy iPhone screen – except better because you can feel and hold them. These albums far surpass the do-it-yourself mass produced options from China that fade and warp over time. Those books have their place – I use them often for documenting vacations – but for a keepsake you want to cherish forever, archival quality craftsmanship is worth the investment.
Unique and Personal
I see more and more couples moving away from traditional guestbooks and towards unique options like canvas prints, paintings, puzzles, maps, and other artwork for their guests to sign. I find these signing albums offer a happy medium for clients who may not have the space for a large centrepiece in their home but want more of a personal touch to their guestbook. It also creates an opportunity to show off the beautiful photos from their engagement session and a reason to look back at them again and again.
Order and Design Process
The process of making these guestbooks is super simple. If I was their photographer, clients simply let me know that they’re ready to start by either sending me a list of the photos they want used or telling me that I can make selections for them. If they had a different photographer, they just need to send me their images along with a copy their contract stating that they have permission from their photographer to print the photos. I use about 20 images for a standard 10-spread, 8x10 book.
From there I do all of the designing and ask clients to pick the colour of the synthetic leather cover and if they want to add text engraving. Once I’ve completed my first draft, clients receive a link and log-in information to view the design online. They can leave comments and requests on each page for me to view and fulfill. Sometimes we go back and forth a couple times on revisions, but more often than not the design is approved right away and it’s ready to be ordered.
I’ve been blown away by the quality control of the manufacturer, so I have them ship directly to my clients. The albums arrive in their mailbox through Canada Post in about two weeks in a simple kraft box all ready to go for their big day.
On Your Wedding Day
For signing, I suggest thin Sharpie markers or Sharpie pens – though the pens tend to run-out quicker so be sure to have lots of extras. Regular pens smudge easier and run the risk of fading, but do work in a pinch. I overhear complements all the time around the guestbook table at weddings while I’m photographing – these books are beautiful and your guests will notice!
And there you have it, everything I love about my custom guestbook signing albums along with a play-by-play of the process of creating them. Have any questions or ready to create your own? Get in touch below!