Our brides know that there is on part of our consultation conversation where I step up onto my platform to make a case for....yes....the guestbook.
Who would think I would care so much about an arrangement that really doesn't add much to the price of the flowers? Because it isn't at all about the money. What it iS about is your relationships.
Isn't the Guestbook a (yawn) kind of antiqueted way of recording your guest attendance? I mean there are so many FUN ways of getting people involved in the process.
Ceramic Frames surrounding your photo
Tiny notes hanging from orchid trees (we've done this!)
All sorts of fun ways to remember your special peeps at your wedding. I have no beef about HOW you keep a record just THAT you keep a record.
Why do we need an attendant? Who cares? This is the part where I make my case.
Let me tell you a story.
My parents married in 1959. The days of Mad Men. When informal weddings were held in your family church, just with the family in attendance. Mom wore a knee length white dress with a crinoline....and gloves. Is that fabulous or what? In those days everyone who married had at the church a little white book where each guest signed thei name in their own script in between golden lines printed in clean white pages. Weddings big and small all had them. As my parents did. Normally an attendant stood by to make sure every guest signed. Because people will generally think they'll sign it later...and then forget.
Last year my mother said, "I think you might like to have this guestbook from the day your father and I got married." And she was right. I DID want it. She handed me the now ivory looking 5" X 7" book with it's gold print on the cover. "Our Wedding", it said.
I opened the book. There on the musty pages were lines and lines of perfectly handwritten signatures.....
Aunt Rita....Nana....Uncle Charlie....Aunt Claire.....Auntie Sally.....Mimi
Tears welled in my eyes. Here in my hands I held a precious gift. The only true record of those who attended my parents wedding. What a gift! A treasure. Many of these had long passed away. We missed them so at family events. Their antics, gestures, jokes (our family is very funny!), their loving-kindness. And now I held their own script. Their own perfect handwritting, no doubt inspired by years of grammar school handwriting excercises and stern nuns.
Maybe I never had the chance to attend their funeral service here in Tilton, NH. But honoring our passed loved ones is something we do everyday at Simple Bouquets so I fully understood the gravity of what I held. From Boston to Tilton.....over 50 years...beyond the graveside. The guestbook transcends time and space. It even transcends those family tiffs.
I say to my brides, "This may be the only record you have left after 50 years. This and your photographs. But even in photographs you will not have everyone all gathered together in one space."
Every now and then I pick up that guestbook and lovingly trace the outlines of the scrolls in the loops with my fingertip. I miss you Aunt Rita...Nana....Uncle Charlie...Aunt Claire....Auntie Sally.....Mimi.
I wish you were here now. I wish I could see your smile again. Hear your jokes again. See you dance again. See that twinkle in your eye. Taste your apple pie.
But for now I have your script. And that is precious indeed.