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DIY Wedding Guest Book with Instant Film

DIY Wedding Guest Books with Instant Film

By Caroline Tien-Spalding, Sphynge Photography

Guest books are a great way to express your creative side at your wedding; they are also what you would love to go back to (especially as you are waiting for your wedding album to arrive). Thanks to Blurb and Fujifilm Instax, you can not only get creative with your guest book, but also provide entertainment for your guests during the cocktail hour.

Classic Problems –

  • Guests have no idea what to write in your guest book and you end up with 100
    “wish you the best!” messages.
  • You'd love a customized guest book you want to look at time and time again.
  • Photo booths can be quite expensive but there's something about instant film that makes people get creative.

DIY Wedding Guest Books with Instant Film

So here's the inside scoop from a professional: make your own guest book with Blurb ‐ their Bookify website make it a breeze to create an original book with your own photos (whether it's with your own photos or photos from your engagement session). You can upload photos from your home computer or from Flickr, so getting your photos ready takes only a few minutes. Then use the autoflow to help with the design.

Tips to Make the Best Guest Book Layout –

  • Use a bigger format like a 12×12 or the large landscape so as to leave space for the Instax film and writing.
  • For best effect, alternate pages that are “full bleed” (taking the whole page) and pages that have just one smaller photo.
  • Before you hand the guest book over, use 1 blank Instax to pre‐place the photo corners – add no more than 2 photos per page so that the pages don't get too heavy or too thick.
  • Simply mark your favorite spots for your favorite people, so they'll know where to place their photo.

So how many pages should your guest book have, and how many Instax should you buy? Well, that depends, of course, on the number of guests at your wedding! We've found that you'll want roughly 1/2 to 2/3 of the number of your guests. So if you have 150 guests, a 75 to 100 page book will work best; it will leave ample space for full page photographs and provide enough space for all your Instax film.

DIY Wedding Guest Books with Instant Film

Instax Buying Tips –

  • If you only use the Instax film for the guest book, buy half as many as your guests ‐ many of your guests come in couples or families, so it will average to about half your total count (so back to that 150 guests example ‐ 75 Instax would do it).
  • We've found that many of the guests love the film, so you could buy 1 per guest and that would provide for an original favor they'll love to keep ‐ it will double as a photobooth and a fun favor.
  • Add fun to the party with bright colored accessories ‐ remember, it should be something easy to put on/get off. Get hats, boas, oversized glasses, masks, fake mustaches, etc. The brighter the accessories, the better it'll look. A larger than life frame that guests can use to take a small group shot is also a guaranteed favorite!
  • Use the “day after” holidays (Christmas, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Halloween, etc.) to go to party stores and buy colorful accessories at a bargain price.

The day of the wedding, simply assign a relative or friend to put the guest book, Fujifilm Instax, pens and accessories on the table and direct your guests for an original photo shoot during cocktail hour. They'll be inspired and have a fun activity while you're taking your formal shots, and you'll come back to a fun guest book you'll want to read through time and time again!

Sphynge Photography is a San Francisco Wedding Photographer. Guest book instructions by Caroline Tien-Spalding and photos by Lynde Alvarez & Sphynge Photography.

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