I decided to try something different and unique for our wedding guestbook. I've never regretted it.
I had seen and heard of too many guestbooks getting stashed in a dusty box or drawer after the wedding, rarely to be opened again. My husband and I really wanted something different for ours. We were looking for a way to have a fun memory of the people who came to celebrate with us that we could reflect on over and over again. And so, when I saw this cute album at Ten Thousand Villages, I decided to go for it.
Ten Thousand Villages stores can be found across North America. I love to shop there when I can because of the unique selections of items from all over the world, because each and every item is lovingly hand-made, and because every item in a Ten Thousand Villages store is fairly traded. The workers who make these albums and the other items are all paid a fair wage for their work, and often benefit from other programs initiated by Ten Thousand Villages that improve their quality of life. I love that my money goes to support that cause instead of a faceless corporation, and try to buy fair trade when I can. It's a responsible way to shop.
Handmade products have such charm and character. With this album, the entire book is made out of handmade, water-pressed paper, that is very thick, durable, and pleasing to touch. The cover design is made of more of the same paper, with metal embellishments. I liked that the book was pretty, but casual enough to look at home on a bookshelf out in the open. I also liked that there were no space restrictions for people. They weren't limited to signing their name, but could add a message, if they wanted.
At our wedding, we had photographs taken of everyone who attended as they signed the guestbook. Later, I was able to go back and place each photo with the guest's message to create something that was much more than a traditional guestbook. It turned out really well, and now my husband and I have a memory book just like we wanted.
To learn more about fair trade, or to find a Ten Thousand Villages store near you, check out their websites:
www.tenthousandvillages.ca (Canada) or