Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Guest Books: Managing Blank Space

No matter how perfectly you plan, you will likely end up with some amount of blank space in your guest book, and that's okay.

Most people are worried they won't have enough space and Granny will be cramming her "wish you the best" into a margin, so they order too many pages.  That's not really an issue if your guest book is a three-ring binder and you can just pop out the extra pages.  But if you've gone through the trouble to have something hand-stitched, you want to thumb through it admiring the perfectly spaced sentiments of your guests.

So, even after you've done your best to choose the right size book for your event, with an appropriate number of pages how can you manage the inevitable blank space?

I've put together some ideas and creative solutions I've seen over the years.

Before your event:
  • Attach photos or thin, lightweight memorabilia on a few pages throughout. This can encourage people to look through and write near something that strikes them.
  • In a light pen or pencil, write "saving this space for photo/menu/etc" on a few of the pages that you want to keep blank for things you want to include after your event.
  • Steer clear from bulky stuff until after the event - it makes it difficult to write on pages above the bulk.
  • Ask your calligrapher-pal to write a few quotes or writing prompts on a few pages throughout (see below: During your event).
  • Draw or stamp some page framing designs/images to break up the space or make the blank pages less intimidating.
  • Have a few friends write their messages large as a "model" for what people are "allowed" to do.

During your event:
  • Provide "instructions" (framed or near the book) that briefly explain your guest book desires/expectations/intentions: Help fill this book with wishes for the future; Tell me/us a story you remember about me/us; What song reminds you of me/us?
  • Ask the DJ or a brave friend to make periodic announcements during the event to remind people where the guestbook is located and to leave a heartfelt message.

After your event:
  • Attach your event announcement, menu, etc. on some of the blank pages.
  • Include your own thoughts/reflections about the event.
  • Attach photos that were taken at the event.
  • Write out or attach the evening's musical playlist.
  • Learn to Zentangle.
These are just a few possibilities for managing blank space.  If you have more ideas, I'd love to hear them - please include them in the comments!

And tune in next week for demystifying guest book pens.

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