Wedding guest books are becoming more and more common. They’re like the guest books you find in hotels, only they’re signed by each guest at a wedding along with a kind message. But what should you write?
What Should You Write in a Wedding Guest Book?
You can choose between something meaningful, formal, informal or funny. It’s best to write something you come up with rather than something you copy, because you may write the same thing as someone else by accident. So, you can write whatever you want! You will also have to write your name after your greeting.
Whatever you choose to write, make it something personal. The person you’re writing the greeting for will appreciate something heartfelt and original. Plus, if you use someone else’s idea for inspiration, then somebody else might write the same thing!
How to Decide What to Write in a Wedding Guest Book
Whatever you write in a guest book, it should be tailored to the person you’re writing it to. There’s no sense in writing something funny, for example, if the couple you’re writing for are having a very serious wedding. It’s clear that they would rather have something formal and proper instead.
The same applies the other way around. If the couple are having a basic wedding without any of the formalities you’d expect to see in an old fashioned wedding, then writing something formal might come across as uptight. So, this means that there’s nothing better you can do than figure out what the couple might want. Here’s a quick cheat sheet that might help you decide:
• Are the couple friends of yours, e.g. from university? They might prefer something funny.
• Are the couple a lot older than you? They may prefer something more traditional and formal.
• Are the couple having a very cheap, simple wedding? They likely won’t care what you write.
• Are the couple having a big, expensive wedding with all the formalities? Then be formal in your message.
Of course, this doesn’t hold true of everyone, so you’ll have to think about the specific couple and come up with your own answer.
What to Write in a Wedding Guest Book
But none of that tells you what to write; only what to write. It would be best if you came up with something unique and meaningful. But not everyone has the wit of Oscar Wilde or the romantic heart of Shakespeare. So, you may not be able to come up with meaningful greetings condensed down to just a few words.
That’s what the next few sections are all about. Here are some basic ideas to get you started. You can either use them wholesale (no--you don’t need to attribute the quotes to us!), or you can use them as inspiration for your own greeting.
Formal Greetings for a Wedding Guest Book
Formal greetings aren’t cold-hearted. We think of ‘formal’ as cold and uncaring, but it doesn’t have to be. Formal can be meaningful, beautiful, well-meant but also well-written.
The reason why formal greetings are perhaps the most used is that most weddings are formal events. The vows, for example, are in language that could sometimes rightly be called archaic… Take ‘Til death do us part’, for example: nobody talks like that any more, but it’s still as popular a vow as ever. In the same way, we all dress up, wear fancy clothes, and take part in traditions during a wedding ceremony.
So, if you have to sign a wedding guest book, you can play along with the formality with a formal greeting. For example, you might consider:
• Wishing you a lifetime of love, warmth and happiness.
• May you enjoy the wonderful journey you are embarking on together.
• May all your years ahead be filled with joy and love--wondrous love.
Anything wishing love and happiness on the couple is a good idea. You can play around with this idea in lots of ways until you come up with something perfect.
Informal Greetings for a Wedding Guest Book
Informal greetings are much the same as formal greetings. They have the same meaning behind them; but that meaning is expressed in less flowery language. This makes the greeting more accessible, e.g. if the person only speaks English as a second language, or if they might laugh at you for being too formal with them! Informal greetings can also be longer or shorter, depending on what you want to write, while formal greetings are usually around the same length.
Here are some ideas to get you started…
• All the best for the future!
• Lots of love and happiness...
• I can’t believe my [little sister/big brother/cousin/etc.] is getting married!
• You look so good together, and I’m sure you’re going to be happy together too.
• Remember, being married is more important than your wedding day. The real journey starts today.
Again, anything offering love and happiness is a great idea. But gentle advice is nice too, and shows that you care about the couple and their welfare. Just avoid lecturing them!
Funny Wedding Guest Book Greetings
Funny greetings are informal, so can use whatever kind of words/language you like. But they all have an element of wit to them.
You can use a funny greeting if you like, but it may not be a good idea. We all find our own jokes funny, but it’s a curse for many of us that other people don’t (see: dads, teenagers). So, it’s risky to come up with your own jokes to write as a greeting.
At the same time, it’s risky to use a funny greeting that you’ve found online, or that you remember from another context, e.g. a greetings card. That’s because jokes can be reused and recycled where really, they should have been ‘reduced’! And if you’re truly unlucky, somebody else might have used the same joke in their greeting. As such, you have to be very careful using a jokey greeting. Ideas include:
• Love is grand. Divorce is a hundred grand!
• Being married is like any other job: it helps if you like your boss.
• The longest sentence you can form with two words is ‘I Do.’
• It’s not true that married men live longer than single men. It only seems longer.
Have a think about whether the couple will appreciate your funny message before you write it. Also, whether they won’t mind depends on what kind of guest you are: they practically expect that the best man will write something funny, so perhaps you could get away with it better if that’s you!
Don’t worry if you can’t think of something amazingly sentimental or funny to write. If you’re truly stuck, put something meaningful, even if it isn’t beautifully phrased. You can’t go wrong with something from the heart.