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New Twist on Old Traditions: Ditch the Guest Book for Voice Mail!

Looking for an alternative to having your 12 year-old cousin, Alice, stand there fidgeting as the Guest Book Attendant at your wedding? There is one! Read on to find out your high tech, sustainable wedding options!

Redwood forest

Hey, John!

In high school, I became an Eagle Scout. As an adult, I still opt for the sustainable version…whenever there is one. Is there an alternative to a wedding guest book that spares the life of a tree?

Thanks in advance!

–Cameron in Canby, Oregon

That’s a great question! At Ainsworth House & Gardens, a sustainable wedding venue, we are always alert to new innovations which are kinder to our planet.

Yes, there is an alternative to a guest book: It’s voice mail! There are several vendors who will rent you a retro phone like the rotary phone pictured here. Ask your parents or grandparents about this phone that was connected to the wall and didn’t move. 


beige rotary phone

The vendor rents you a phone number into which your guests anywhere in the world can call in and leave a heartfelt message or a humorous message about an incident you might want to forget.

In voice mail, your guest hears a tone and then can leave a message of any length.

Why might voice mail be better than a guest book? Often people simply list their names and home towns but don’t leave a long message because other guests are waiting to sign…and no one wants the next guest to see what they wrote. With voice mail, your guests can record their messages any time during a set of days and in the privacy of their homes rather than at your wedding venue in sight of every guest.

Pizza for wedding food

Experiential weddings are trending in 2024–such as giving your guests the option of ordering their own pizza during the reception.

Giving your guests the experience of recording their messages of love and laughter on a vintage, retro phone is a fantastic way to engage them at your wedding. Your guests’ messages, warm wishes, and delightful (or embarrassing) anecdotes become your priceless, audio keepsake for years to come.

Later, you can play back their messages any time you want!

If you have any other questions, please reach out to me.

Your friend in the wedding business,

John Shyne

(Photo is of a wedding at Ainsworth House & Gardens.)




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