Finding not just any ol guestbook....

So I've been thinking guestbooks lately. It's such an overlooked, but really important part of a wedding - a book that contains a record of the thoughts and well wishes from those with whom you've invited to share one of the most important days of your life. While a traditional "guest book" with 10 or so lines to put your name and a kind sentiment is nice for some some couples, I've often thought "what the heck do you do with it afterwards?" Does it get shoved onto a shelf somewhere only to be resurrected every anniversary and then somehow forgotten again? We're having a small wedding, so the thoughts and sentiments of our guests are extremely important. Also I have always thought that it would be a wonderful idea to not just have a guest book, but have something that played double-duty and that would honor something that both my fiance & I will cherish beyond an engagement & a wedding.

Enter coffee table photo book -

Brilliant, I said! Now just to figure out what this Coffee table book would be about. Option 1 ) a photo album of our engagement photos. Spectacular, except the wedding is taking up 99.9% of my time and even though it's super personal, its way too labor intensive. Plus, we will have a coffee table album of the wedding photos from our photographer after the wedding.
Option 2) photo book of the Outer Banks. Both the fiance and myself LOVE quality photographs('Bama boy took some photography classes in college and I had to take a lot of "artistic" pictures of my building models in grad school) so it seemed like a great solution. So I started scouring local book stores while on vacation in Corolla this past weekend. Not too many photo books available on just the outer banks, I tell yah. Lots of books about boating and fishing and duck hunting, but nothing about Corolla and it's absolutely amazing natural beauty and historic architecture. I found one book that did highlight the beauty of the Outer Banks, but most of the pictures were from the southern outer banks (Hatteras, Oracoke, Rodanthe..), where in my 25 years of visiting the barrier islands, I've never visited. Hardly very personal .

I was ready to leave defeated, surrendering my perfect idea, until the solution practically blindsided me. The Whalehead Club.

This spectacular Art Nouveau hunt club - the inspiration for me pursuing architecture and historic Pres, and which I've blogged about in a prior post, recently had a gorgeous coffee table book published highlighting its preservation and the beauty of the environment surrounding it.
The pages are full of a lot of open space, where guests can write their sentiments and well-wishes. The pictures are also exquisite -- Mollie Issacs, who took the pictures and also authored the book, has captured some of the most breathtaking images and details from this very special building. Even though we're not actually getting married or having our reception at this building (its a block away from the our chapel), it still is very near and dear to both myself & my fiance. Its a book that even without the messages from our guests we would be proud to display on a coffee table someday.

What unique way have you put your own unique twist on something as seemingly mundane & traditional as a guestbook for your wedding?

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