Unique Funeral Guestbook Ideas
Of all the funeral plans you will make for a loved one, the guestbook probably isn’t high on your list of priorities. After all, you have caskets, urns, burial plots, and gravestones to consider—the book that people sign as they walk into the memorial service is hardly the most important (or expensive) item to consider.
However, long after the body has been buried and the funeral flowers have withered away, the guestbook will remain. In fact, when you need memories, comfort, and the knowledge that you are not alone in your grief, you might find yourself turning to the funeral guestbook for support.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to take a moment and decide on something special and unique. Even if this book is nothing more than a list of names and signatures, a nice binding and personal tribute will go a long way in helping you deal with your grief.
- Leather-bound Journal: The contents of the guestbook are what is important, but there’s no reason why you can’t create an exterior to match. A nice leather binding, a cheerful print the deceased would have loved, or even a hand-quilted cover can make all the difference.
- Memories and/or Photos: You can ask everyone attending the funeral to bring a photo or jot down a favorite memory before they come. These can be saved and used to create a scrapbook out of the guestbook, combining signatures and more personalized tributes in one book.
- Memory Stones: Place a basket of smooth garden stones next to the guestbook, and ask everyone to sign the rock instead of (or in addition to) the guestbook. You can then place those stones in a garden, fountain, or display vase as a memorial tribute. Anything that can be signed and holds a place in your heart (wine corks, quilting squares, wooden tags, board game pieces, etc.) can be used for this.
- Seed Packets: Instead of asking your guests to provide you with a comforting memory, give them one. Place seed packets with a favorite flower next to the guestbook and encourage everyone to go home and plant a garden in memory of your loved one.
- Photo Frame: Wedding parties will often ask guests to sign a large, matted picture of the couple instead of a traditional guestbook—and will then display the photo in their home as a reminder of their big day. This also works for funerals. Find a favorite picture of the deceased and have everyone sign their name or jot down a memory. This can be displayed at home for years.
No matter how you decide to set up the guestbook, make sure it is placed in a prominent position and that everyone is encouraged to sign. This small gesture takes only a few minutes and can make a huge difference as you begin a life without your loved one.
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By Amy Johnson