Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday's Wedding Poll: Guest Book

I have a confession to make, I really hate to be negative about stuff like this, but here it is:

I don't like our engagement pictures

There, I said it. I don't hate them. I "like them...they're ok...there are a small handful of good ones that I feel I can use, but as a whole...if I could redo the whole entire thing, I would in a second. I had gotten to a point last summer where I just wanted them done and over with, and didn't really mentally prepare for the whole thing.

1. I hate what I'm wearing: I was determined to find a new shirt to wear. So I bought one the day before that I had never worn and it was "eh". I wanted to have a real "casual, we look great without even trying" look, and instead I feel like we were trying too hard to be "casual"...if that makes any sense at all. Sounds crazy...but it makes sense in my head. I really wish I had dressed up more and worn a skirt or a dress. I would have felt much more comfortable and "pretty" in them. I also should have done a few outfit changes throughout the day.

2. We took our pictures on literally...and I'm not ven exaggerating here..the hottest day of summer 2010. I was sweaty, gross, my hair frizzed out, and I was so uncomfortable the whole time. Add that to the fact that I had gained some summer weight. Whether anyone notices or not, as long as you know you're not at your ideal weight, it's going to bother you...we all know that. I didn't "feel" pretty and that completely manifested into "most" of our photos.

3. I was under the false impression that the photographer comes up with the ideas for certain cute, creative settings for pictures. That may be true for some photographers, but it's also up to you to come up with specific ideas and props you may want to use. They're not going to read your mind. it had never even occurred to me to prepare props to incorporate into our pictures and bring them along. I could have gotten really creative with some Wagner ideas...sigh.

I want to stress that I'm not saying this so anyone comments saying "OMG BUT THEY WERE SO GOOD!" That's not my purpose is stating this at all. I got one or two great photos from our shoot...and really, that's all I needed for save-the-dates and other things. 

As you can probably tell from my banner, this was my favorite picture from the day:

So yay, that's fine. I've moved on. The reason for this confession leads to the subject of our guest book. I really don't want to make a guest book with our engagement pictures on or That was my original intent, and I love the guest books that I've seen so far from these sites, but I just can't bring myself to make a whole book of pictures I don't really love. 
so I took to and to help me figure out what exactly I wanted. The first one I liked was on Etsy in ModernShabby's shop. She does custom guest books and has a lot of options to chose from. This one immediately caught my eye because it's already in our wedding colors:
Modern Shabby on
Here's another one from her shop. She can customize them any way you like:
Modern Shabby on
She has a TON of different fabrics to chose from:
Modern Shabby on
This one caught my eye. I liked the color combination and even though I LOVE the one above, I kind of want to get away from the whole white/green/black color combination for everything. This would add a nice contrast:
Modern Shabby on
I emailed the shop owner and she will include our customized calligraphy on the cover tag, which would be a great way to incorporate that artwork! the only drawback with this one is it comes with 30 pages and I'll have to purchase about 50 additional pages. Though I'm not sure at what cost, I think this will end up being a bit pricier than my option below. 

Next, I found this one in Red Otters shop at - Red Otter - Lemon Blossom Guest Book
I love the tie, I love the colors, I love how simple it is and it comes with 80 pages instead of 30, and she already said she'd add 20 more for free if I was worried the 80 wouldn't be enough. 

This one isn't customizeable, and won't have our calligraphy on the cover...but it's perfectly lovely the way it is. 

You can probably tell which one I'm leaning toward for ease's sake, but I'm still really debating. Tell me, what do you think? Should I go with the fully customized one on Etsy, which will also include our calligraphy design? Or just go with the one that I won't have to design or make any changes to? Is there one you love more than the other?


Rorie said...

I realy love the Etsy one. It is so beautiful!! Let us know what you pick!!

Mom said...

You mean you won't DIY your guest book? Lol. I can't even choose one cuzz I like them all. No matter what you'll have a beautiful book.

Tiffany said...

Hands down the esty guestbook. I think it's so lovely and a definite plus to be able to customize it. I like the small detail that it will provide over the wedzu option.

winkingannie said...

I'm a sucker for ribbon. :)

Bicoastal Bride said...

I understand how you feel about the photos, because I often dislike how I look in pictures, too. Though I did love our engagement pictures, if I had it to do over, I'd put more thought into my outfits, hair and makeup. Due to time constraints, we had to do the shoot on a very busy weekend, in between running around to a graduation and other events, and after being up late the night before. As for the guest book, I think the customized pick is the way to go!

Heather said...

I love the customized one! But...would you be able to customize the wedzu book yourself? Perhaps by using your calligraphy to create your own cover tag? That might be the way to go if you're concerned with the lack of pages in the the etsy book.

Jaryce21 said...

So true. Exactly how I felt our my engagement photo shoot.--> "There, I said it. I don't hate them. I "like them...they're ok...there are a small handful of good ones that I feel I can use, but as a whole...if I could redo the whole entire thing, I would in a second" But ya gotta makes best with what you have and roll with the punches. I'm sure everyone will think they're beautiful! We're just our biggest critics. Good luck with the book!

Kerry said...

Splurge and go with Etsy. I think the print is so pretty. The floral design reminds me of the anemones you wanted to incorporate but couldn''s your chance!

Dancy said...

We didn't do e-pics and I regret it. We traded them in the contract for extra time during the wedding day - big mistake. I kinda hate our wedding pictures and thank goodness for friends who are kick@$$ with cameras. Your outfits & the weather you can't control but in the end - t has everything to do with the photogs. A good photog can make anything look awesome. If you don't like them, talk to your photographer and let 'em know. I wish I had the chance to go back & do it again - don't make my mistake. :)

steph c said...

I'm all for customization - you'll get exactly what you want.

Also.. I wasn't a huge fan of our e-pics either. My fiancé isn't a big picture person, and it was like pulling teeth to get him to smile and bear being photographed for an hour. Our photog did a lost of posed pictures, which I hate. There were maybe 9 or 10 that I actually liked, but I'm seriously considering getting new ones taken. Money? Yes. But I think it'd be worth it.

SG to SP said...

1. I would go with the etsy one.

2. I just looked at your engagement pics for the first time and I could definitely pick out more than a couple that are really good. Not sure how many you would have needed for a shutterfly type guestbook though. That's what we did for ours and I think we used maybe around 20 of our e-pics.

3. I'm sorry you didn't like your pictures as much, will you be using the same photog(s) for your wedding pictures?

4. At the time I loved my e-pics and I still mostly do though now that it's been a year and a half I wish I could go back and change what we were wearing and get a few other type of shots.

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

I say Etsy already made. The guest book is one of those things that you've got to want to keep... And that looks nice in case you want to display it. Since it seems that's what you're leaning towards, get it! :)

Rebekah said...

I really like the Etsy one! We didn't do a traditional guest book. I knew that I wouldn't really look at it, so we bought a Thomas Kinkade art album and used that. I have it on our coffee table!

Jasmine said...

i love the etsy guest book! it's really cute and maybe it's meant to be that it's already in your wedding colors?!

and about your engagement pics... i can't even express how much i can relate to every word you shared about your pictures. i wanted that same casual feeling in ours.. and it just didn't work. i think i cried for a week after i got them back. we got some good ones... but a lot of them... i hope to never see again! it was a hot & humid august day and if i could do it again... i would in a heartbeat! and the DIY props! oh man, i wish i had thought of those things BEFORE the pictures!

Diana said...

I'm sorry you don't love your engagement photos...I can understand about that. I didnt love that we never had any taken and wish we did. But since you already have something you didnt totally love, I would say go with the more customizable guest book, make it your own and put your personlity into it.

Thats so great that you were at a wedding at Glen Foerd! I bet it looks amazing in the summer/fall, our wedding was in the Spring.

Diana said...

That was me up above!

Anonymous said...

The one from Etsy is beautiful!!!

Kamie said...

Loving that etsy one but so is everyone else!! I love that you can get your calligraphy on it too what a great way to incorporate that!

Also your pictures are gorgeous-- and yes I am saying that even though you asked us not too. However let your photographer know that you are not totally thrilled with them so that you won't be disappointed on the wedding day with the photos. Also I have seen couples do some one year anniversary photos that look like engagement photos with props and everything!! You could do that- what a fun thing to do for next year!

Shana said...

I feel the same way about our photos. I like them but I wanted alot more "something". (I put some up on my blog and got pretty much exactly what I thought I would not much response ) they are just kind of boring...

I did however make a book from them to work as our guest book but I honestly havn;t really even looked at it since it arrived last month.

Your books look lovely though :)

The Vintage Modern Bride said...

no matter what, i love your pictures. i'm with you though on thinking that photographers are supposed to have ideas. while my photog had some ideas, i had to start off our session with my ideas so she could get a feel of what i wanted.

also, here's another guestbook option if you still are undecided. we're using: and you can customize them and they're super cute!

Nicole-Lynn said...

Aw, well if it means anything I do love that super sweet picture of you on your banner and in this post! Love it!

I think Etsy would be a great option!
Whatever you do though, I wouldn't spend too much money or thought on's such a small detail.

Ksenia said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog/website and thanks for posting about your engagement photos! I've just set up out session with a photographer. it's less than a month away, and I have no idea where we'll shoot it! Your comments about the fashion and creative elements are so helpful. Good luck!!!