I was never really that girl who grew up dreaming of her wedding day. I didn't know what color bridesmaid dresses I wanted by age 10 or fantasize about the type of bouquet I would carry. So when it came time to actually sit down and plan out the deets, I was pretty clueless!
I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of elements from nature, like wood and flowers, and I knew I wanted to DIY some projects. After that, things slowly but surely fell into place.
Getting on Pinterest when you first start planning a wedding is out of control. There are literally zillions, cuz that's a number right?, and zillions of pins related to weddings. It's overwhelming and amazing all at the same time.
I think I started with like 8 projects I wanted to DIY for the big day and when it was all said and done I only did or used maybe half that. Take it from me, less is more my friends. Because even if you're the chillest bride on the planet, shit gets cray. Especially if you have two rugrats to watch while you decorate. Woof! Not my best idea!!! Babysitters, stat!!!!!
I definitely took a moment while setting up to think to myself, so this is why people marry before children.......
But I digress.
Lets talk about one super easy DIY you can do and actually treasure for years after the vows and first dance and cake and sweaty band/guests/dancers/everyone are all said and done! It was 1,000 degrees at our wedding but again, I digress....
Guestbooks, in my mind, are this sorta outdated and boring way of making people sign this crummy old book so you can look back when you're old and grey and remind yourself of who actually came to your special day because you're too old to remember what you ate for breakfast. If you even kept that book all those years later. Instead of going that route, we decided to make something that was a little more fun for people to sign and that was also pretty enough that we could display it in our home.
For this DIY wood guestbook sign you will need...
1 piece of plywood (or any smooth piece of wood) cut to the size of your preference, I used 24"x24"
Wood stain, I used Rust-Oleum Golden Mahogany
Small towels for staining wood
White paint pens, I found water-based worked best
Krylon gold leafing pen
Acrylic paint, optional
Clear protective spray, optional
When it comes to buying wood, always check the scrap wood at your local Home Depot, Lowes or other home improvement stores because it is so much cheaper than buying something engineered at certain sizes. Most of the people working there are happy to cut it to the size you need as well!
First, you'll need to stain the board. I stained all sides since it was going to be visible from all angles at the wedding. If you've never done it before, staining is super easy and one of my favorite things to do but it's really messy! If you don't use rubber gloves on your hands, vegetable oil works really well at getting stain off of skin.
Once the stain has dried, use a pencil to write in your names or whatever other messages you'd like! I tried to keep ours similar to fonts we used on our invitations and other paper favors at the wedding but the sky is the limit. You do you.
I used a paint pen to outline our names and then went over it with white acrylic paint to really make it pop.
We displayed the sign with a little note telling everyone to sign the board and left a bunch of paint pens out. Once everything settled down, I was finally able to read all the sweet notes a few days after the wedding and it was so fun to relive it all again!
Once everyone has signed and the party is all over, you can seal the board with a wood sealer to keep it safe from water damage and years of wear and tear.
We now have the board displayed in our office/playroom and I definitely forsee it hanging on the walls of our future bar :) I love that I can read the messages and be transported back to such a magical, love-filled day. This project was simple and only took about 45 minutes to complete (without the drying time) and it's so meaningful! Even if you have no plans for a guestbook days before the big day, you can whip this together in no time. Which is pretty much what happened for us. Yay for extra plywood!
I hope this inspires you to stain some wood and make super cool guestbooks for your wedding because, why not?
Virtually cheersing this Sauvignon Blanc (bottle) to you my friends!