Time Capsule Guest Book


You guys, I have been so excited to show you one of my favorite DIY projects from the whole vow renewal – our time capsule guest book.  When A. and I were brainstorming and this idea came up, it was like “yes, that’s perfect!”.  We were celebrating ten years together and many years of friendship with our guests, and what better way to do that than by creating a treasure box of memories that we will have for the rest of our lives?

time capsule guest book

time capsule
{Jessica Claire}

If our event had a true theme, I suppose it would be classified as “vintage treasures”. Our RSVP keepsake boxes gave the first clue, as guests were asked to bring a small, non-perishable item to the ceremony that represented their life today. Those objects made up one part of our time capsule. Items brought ranged from a computer part brought by the best man to a hammer (because there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a hammer!).


Each guest was also provided with a folder (check out the drool-worthy Laura Hooper calligraphy!) containing cards to fill out:

* Their contribution to the time capsule
* 2009 resolutions
* Favorite memories of us
* Predictions for the next 10 years
* Their favorite things today

I designed each of the cards in Photoshop using frames drawn by Laura and gocco printed the designs onto Paper Source superfine soft white cardstock.  The folders were DIY school folders custom-made by me into a 5.75 x 6.75″ size out of Paper Source luxe cream cardstock.

diy folders


Something helpful to note when goccoing cards larger than 3×5: create a pattern that is split in the center, and to conserve screens, make the pattern mirror image.  For example, take a look at the card below that says “Favorite Memories” (top right of the picture).  The card is 5×5 square, a size that is not printable in one pass of a PG-11 screen.  To print this, I burned one screen with the top flourishes and top half of the side flourishes, along with the text.  I then printed the top half of the cards and set aside to dry.  The bottom half of the card is a duplicate of the top half (without the text).  To cover the text, I ran a piece of computer paper through my Xyron sticker maker and covered the text area.  Turn the cards around, print the bottom half, and voila – you have printed on a larger sized card AND saved bulbs and screens!

(The Xyron tip works well for eliminating pesky carbon dots too!)

gocco cards

All of our friends and family got into the task and we had SO much fun reading their completed cards and seeing just how much thought they put into the items that they brought.

time capsule
{guest collection}

The completed folders went into this lovely French-inspired trunk (purchased for $12 on sale from Home Goods!).

time capsule clocks
{guest collection}

Everyone had two more tasks.  Scattered about were small trunks containing photos of S. and I, of Charlie, and of all of our guests.  I printed labels for the backs of the photos with the date the photo was taken, who is in the photo, and where we were or what we were doing at the time.  We had a blast looking through all of the old photos!

Guests were instructed to find their favorite photo from the keepsake boxes…

{Jessica Claire}

… and using the portable printer we brought, print their favorite photo from that evening…


… then put both pictures into our photo album!  All of our guests wrote why they chose the pictures that they did and we all relived some wonderful memories together.

photo album for time capsule

{Feisty Tourist}

We completed the time capsule by putting in one of our programs, that day’s newspaper, and other various keepsakes from the event.  And perhaps if we are crazy enough to have a 20 year vow renewal that time capsule will get opened then.  :)

So, let’s have it – what are you doing for your guest book?  I’ve seen typewriters, scrapbooks, signed surfboards, postcards, beautiful traditional guest albums… anything goes – give us your ideas!


Previously: Choosing My Venue, Out of Town Baskets, Do Not Disturb Signs, The Welcome Party (Part 1, Part 2), Lighting the Lawn and Porch, Bathroom Baskets, DIY Coat Check Tags, Ceremony Music, Our Same Day Edit Video, Getting Pretty, Portraits, The Ceremony, Cocktail Hour Decor, DIY Wine Glass Charms

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    24 comments on “Time Capsule Guest Book

    1. Love, love, love!! What a wonderful idea! Question, though — have you shared/would you share the template for the folders? I want to do a folder around this size for my OOT packets, and haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for yet (until now!)

    2. elizabeth writes...

      hi leika! i sort of “winged it” but i will prepare a template for you guys and share! so glad you found this inspiring!

    3. I love this idea, quick question about the logistics though– how did you ensure your guests actually filled out their paperwork, chose the photo, pasted it in the book, etc.?

      We have made a simple “guestbook card” we hope our guests will fill out answering questions about how they know us, a favorite memory, wishes for us, etc. but I’m not sure how to make sure people actually do it! Did you do an announcement, etc.? I am also debating putting them on all the tables vs. one central location– did your central location work well or did a line form? Did it help to label them with the guests’ names? Thanks very much!!

    4. That would be totally amazing, *if* it’s not too much work! I’ve got projects coming out my ears at the moment, so I definitely don’t want to add to anyone else’s list!

    5. elizabeth writes...

      @autumn – I think we just had amazing guests! our vow renewal was very small, about 35 people, and the time capsule was self-contained in a room which was a focal point of the cocktail hour. once we opened those doors, a few of the guests went right in and everyone seemed to follow. we only had one person who didn’t fill theirs out – they did a combo filling-out with their husband so they could keep their folder as a memento.

      in your situation i would definitely tell a few of your guests about it and have them spread the word to the other guests. and make the guest book a focal point during a time where your guests will be contained into one area, like a cocktail hour, or in the entry way, etc.

      i love your idea of the cards! those are going to be awesome to read after the fact. for us, putting the people’s names on there actually solved a logistical problem – people didn’t have to remember to put their names on their cards and we didn’t have to tag the time capsule items with their names (because the item that they brought was listed on their cards).

    6. Lindsey writes...

      elizabeth what an amazing idea! LOVE IT! Do you by chance have the templates for the inserts? I am thinking that this would be an awesome idea for a Bridal Shower too!

    7. elizabeth writes...

      @lindsey thank you so much for your kind words! the inserts were all standard Paper Source size flat cards. 4-bar, A2, square 5.5″ etc. The graphics were created for me by Laura Hooper so I cannot share those but hopefully that helps you! I tried to keep the trimming to a minimum by using standard cards.

    8. As a follow up, we made question cards for our wedding and ended up putting them at each guest’s seat with a few pens on each table. I would say 95% of our guests actually filled them out, and we ended up with some hilarious comments by fake guests (“Owen Wilson” crashed our wedding, along with “Elvis”, etc.). A friend gathered the cards at the end of the evening. This was a great, easy project and we have wonderful memories from all of our guests now!

      Autumn’s most recent blog post: No longer Witt Boyd to-be!

    9. elizabeth writes...

      @autumn i’m so glad those cards worked out – we too had an amazing time reading the comments our guests left in the time capsule!

    10. Elizabeth McHenry writes...

      This is an absolutely lovely idea! I am getting loads of great ideas for my wedding in future. Hopefully, in the near future! :)

      Absolutely ingenious and beautiful.

    11. Shanna writes...

      I am Elizabeth’s twin and she just showed this to me, and I’m quite delighted with this whole website. The layout is so beautiful and haha, Elizabeth doesn’t mean anything about getting married soon. We are both only 16.

      On another note, it’s cool that you are called Elizabeth Anne, because my twin sister is Elizabeth, and I am Shanna <3 Elizabeth Shanna is pretty close to Elizabeth Anne!

      • Ami Elizabeth writes...

        @elizabeth @ shanna you two are adorable – so glad you love the site! :)

    12. This time capsule is fantastic. Thought out from beginning to end to perfection. Thank you for sharing!!!

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