2/9 DIY or DIE: Guestbook Calendar

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. By clicking on the links and making a purchase, you're helping to support the site so we can keep bringing you badass ideas.

Under normal circumstances, I can usually tell you what day of the week it is, or what day of the month it is. On a really good day, I’m aware of both at the same time. On a sub-par day there’s a good chance I have no idea where I am, what I’m doing, what time it is or what day of the week, but look! I’m here and I’m dressed and that’s about all I have to offer! I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Monday. It was not. It was a Tuesday in disguise! (This further underscores my theory that Tuesdays are actually the most evil days of the week, and Mondays just get stuck taking all the heat.) The calendar and I, we’re constantly at odds.

I’m especially bad about forgetting birthdays. I woke up on January 5th in a dead panic — Grandma’s birthday! I had missed it! It had been the previous day! I called my parents’ house (Grandma lives with them now) and, luckily, my mother intercepted the call. “MomOHMYGAWDIMISSEDGrandma’sBirthdayHOWDIDTHISHAPPENI’mTHEWORSTGRANDCHILDEVER!”

I said it all in one breath. It was so impressive. Mom contemplated hanging up on me, because who wants to hear that first thing in the morning, but instead just laughed. “Mallory. Your Grandmother’s birthday is in July. Have you had your coffee yet today?”

Womp, womp.

All this serves to tell you — since I never know what day it is, or what date it is- that remembering birthdays is almost impossible unless I compulsively check Facebook. And even if I were good about keeping track of Facebook (admittedly, I am not) that still won’t help me remember Grandma.

In line with bucking tradition at our wedding, I opted for the most ingenious little details that will help me remedy my time/space affliction: A Guest Book Birthday Calendar.

I first heard about the idea from Darcy (Martha Stewart’s Wedding Expert, whose daily e-blasts are missives I like to pretend are personal notes from her to me). I then loudly declared over on my defunct wedding website that we’d be using it at our wedding. Then, I did what I always do when I don’t write things on Post-Its and stick them to my computer screen: I forgot about it.

Until Shutterfly sent me a promotional e-mail telling me that they were running a promotion for Free Photo Calendars! Somewhere, in the back of my dusty, stress-addled little mind, a light bulb clicked on and a small voice coughed out, “You have 200 engagement photos, six weeks, and no guest book. DO THE MATH.” I quickly logged in, uploaded my favorite photos of The Groom and I from our engagement shoot and 10 minutes later, I had designed and ordered my Guest Book Calendar, for which I paid a measly $3.10 for shipping. It arrived within two days.

Folks, it was like a miracle. The uploading interface, the layout of the calendar, it was all so, so simple. And so fast! I was done before my attention span even had a chance to cut itself short.

The Shutterfly interface: Everything from photo layout to text placement is literally as simple as a click of your mouse.

We kept the cover short, sweet and to the point.

I didn’t want to worry about a separate sign with directions that people (*cough* myself *cough*) could knock over, ruining the experience for everyone. So I was elated to find that one of the templates allowed for text under each Calendar photo. I put the directions on each and every single month, lest anyone get confused.

I know there are a bunch of other DIY photo publishing houses out there, all with quality products and great promotions. Shutterfly is simply the one I found first and learned the fastest; they’re in no way, shape or form sponsoring this post. Just, you know, for the record. But the image quality is fantastic and it was a great way to include our engagement photographs in our wedding day. Plus, I was having a great hair day on the evening of our engagement shoot. If that doesn’t happen for me on the day of the wedding (because, let’s be honest, it’s hit-or-miss 99% of the time) I want a reminder at the reception that sometimes, sometimes, I pull it together and look like a human.

The obvious bonus is that after our wedding, I’ll have a full calendar of all the major birthdays in both our families, as well as all our friends. Going forward, I’ll do what my mother does each December: bribes my father with a fresh plate of cookies if he’ll copy all the birthdays over into a new calendar for the new year. It’s a system they’ve had in place for literally, two and a half decades of blissful marriage. I’m already brainstorming cookie ideas with heightened allure, to ensure this process is adopted in my household as well. Who says family tradition doesn’t pass down through the generations anymore?

If you’re going to do this project, let me know who you use and how it went for you. Price shop around and see what the competition has to offer, and I’d sign up for the annoying promotional blasts from the sites you’re considering, because that’s where you learn about things like Free Photo Calendar deals.

What are your unconventional guest book ideas? What have you seen at other weddings that impressed you? Have you seen a system that doesn’t work? (Anyone else out there also terrible at remembering dates/days/times/birthdays? Am I totally alone in this irresponsible handicap?

Until next week, stay classy my dears. And don’t forget! We’re all in this together!


  • Liz

    Our guest book will be the Longaberger Picnic Basket! With my mom being a Longaberger consultant since before I was born, I have grown up with these things and this is by far my FAVORITE basket of all! Our family will sign the handles (because they help hold us together!) and our friends will sign the lid. This will also serve as our card basket! So we're knocking out two things with just one item!

  • I love this. Love love love love love this!

  • I haven't read the whole thing yet (I will, in a minute) but I just wanted to say that I read this:
    "I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Monday. It was not. It was a Tuesday in disguise!"

    And went: Wait! Yesterday was tuesday!? WTF? But that means today is Wednesday, not thursday! (I'm in Australia, and therefore it IS thursday, but the prospect of ANOTHER day at work nearly killed me.)

    It's a cute idea though! I wish we had things like free calendars here, but I don't think that ever happens. 🙁

  • Haley C.

    A couple days ago I almost dated something as April 8, 2011. And sometimes I have an impulse to write the wrong year, not an honest mistake like 2010 (especially when it's shortly after the new year), but like 2007. During breaks from college, I usually have no idea what day it is. I totally understand your "handicap." However, for some strange reason, I remember everyone's birthdays. 🙂

  • That is such an adorable idea! 🙂 so sweet.

  • Meridy

    If I don't get an instant camera (I know it's been done but I love it), I am totally doing this instead !

  • Amber (& sometimes Peter)

    I LOVE THIS! I've been trying to think of a good idea for a guest book that my friends will actually fill in. I think this is a winner!

  • This is a great idea and so affordable! I love how you added the instructions under each photo. Makes it eay for everyone! Thanks for sharing this!

  • You know what, I am totally doing this. I really don't like the idea of a "book" for a guest book; we tried doing scrapbook pages for my sister's wedding and it failed; the signing of the photo frame is old; I LOVE THIS!! Thank you! (And I'm putting it in my notebook right now because I, like you, forget it if it isn't already written down.)

  • meg

    i also love this idea! did you know they make perpetual calendars for keeping track of birthdays? i love mine but its not full enough! it just lists all the days of each month without a year of days of the week, maybe your dad would appreciate one… 🙂

  • yesmaam

    I have been searching feverishly to find a cute guestbook alternative. I've been keeping a big list of cute ideas, all lovable and fun and not so tradish. But this idea is ME, it's US! I LOVE IT! Quick, simple, no hassle for me (or my wedding guests)! I love everything about it and am shopping around online now for photo calendars. THANK YOU!! P.S. I also just signed up for Darcy's idea of the day. Score.

  • Hallo Unbekannter! bin auf diesemfür mich unbekanntem Weg auf der Suche nachein bisschen Abwechslung. Frei nach dem Motto Alles kann, nichts muss! Vielleicht wird was Längeres draus, vielleicht auch nicht – lass es uns einfach mal antesten. Diesen Sommer möchte ich etwas Neues erleben. Ich bin übrigens 26 und habe blonde Haare Mit den Richtlinien in der Onlinewelt kenne ich mich nicht so aus und mir nichtmal sicher, ob ich hier überhaupt so etwas posten darf… deswegen hab ich hier einfach einen Text gepostet, dort kann man mir auch direkt privat via Mail antworten: http://www.bravopost.net
    Es ist natürlich völlig umsonst, mich dort zu erreichen Abends ab 21:00 Uhr erreichst Du mich dort fast immer. Bin ehrlich gesagt, auch schon ziemlich Alleine und will etwas Neues erleben. Bin halt neu in der Stadt.
    Lass mich nicht zu lange warten 😉


  • Pingback: Link Love From Around The Bridal Blogs III | HLW()

  • Pingback: 25 Unique Guest Book Ideas |()

  • gigi

    does anyone have a nice poem for the calendar guestbook?

  • Cheap jerseys outlet online for 2014 World cup.Cheap Offers fifavip2014.com Online shopping jerseys for 2014 FIFA.Jerseys sale online at low price!Great Enjoy Jerseys Order!When we talk about Spain, this nation is famous for its sports activities and the variety is endless. One can find various colours, designs and style easily in the market as well as in website store. These jerseys are available in red, white, blue and yellow colours and one of the much-loved jerseys in Spain is of David Villa jersey, which is available in white colour. The reason behind its popularity is the logo of the game and is embroidered on the right side.
    Soccer Replica Jerseys http://www.appbaye.info/

  • Cheap jerseys outlet online for 2014 World cup.Cheap Offers fifavip2014.com Online shopping jerseys for 2014 FIFA.
    Soccer Replica Jerseys Cheap http://www.fifavip2014.com/