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Photobook Guestbooks

August 15th, 2011 by Jeannine

Photo Courtesy Generation Photography

Back in the day a guestbook was just a simple white book with ruled pages where your guests can write their names in. Nowadays, people are making it their own. Photobooks are all the rage, especially since it’s an easy DIY project and it looks professionally done when you receive it. There are a bunch of reputable photobook companies you can order from like Blurb, Picaboo, Photobook Canada, and Shutterfly, among others. For now, I’ve decided to take a look at these four companies plus a couple local ones.

Price Comparison

I checked the websites of the photobook companies I mentioned above, to compare prices and I found them all to be comparable and affordable. It just depends on how many pages you want for a guestbook. The bigger the wedding, the more pages you need… but you should also remember to get your MC to encourage people to sign the guestbook all evening otherwise you’ll be left with a lot of empty pages. We didn’t have a big book but a good chunk of our guests forgot to sign it… oh well :) Anyway, here are the rates I found:

For an 8.5×11 or comparable sized imagewrap landscape hardcover book:

  • Blurb – $34.95 for a 21-40 page book (10″x8″)
  • Shutterfly – $34.99 for a 20-page book, extra pages cost $1 each (8″x11″)
  • Picaboo – $39.99 for a 20-page book, extra pages cost $1 each (there’s an option for lay flat pages) (8.5″x11″)
  • Photobook Canada – $80 regular but currently on sale for $56 for a 40-page book, extra pages cost $1 each (8.5″x11″) – sale ends August 31, 2011.

For an 8.5×11 or comparable sized cloth hardcover book:

  • Picaboo - $29.99 for a 20-page book, extra pages cost $0.99 each (8.5″x11″)
  • Blurb - $39.95 for a 21-40 page Hardcover, dust jacket, Proline Linen book (10″x8″)
  • Shutterfly - $39.99 for a 20-page book, extra pages cost $1 each (8″x11″)
  • Photobook Canada – $70 regular but currently on sale for $49 for a 40-page book, extra pages cost $1 each (8.5″x11″) – sale ends August 31, 2011

Another option is Costco, but you have to be a member. You order and design online and pick up the finished product in store. I am not sure about the quality of the photobooks, I recommend stopping by the Photo Centre at your local Costco to see if they have any samples for you to see. If their books are as good as their regular photo printing (which I think is excellent) then you have nothing to worry about :)

  • 9×12 imagewrap 30-page book costs $32.99
  • 9×12 hardcover window books in shadow cord cover costs $39.99 (30 pages) or padded leather for $43.99 (30 pages)

Another local establishment you can check out is Photo Expert in Delta. Their keyhole hardcover books start at $34.99, but also offer other kinds of albums. I’ve seen a photobook made by them before and the quality is also quite good.

My Tips

  • Choose the right photobook company for you. Each has its own unique software to download or use online, different album upgrades, backgrounds, layouts and book sizes. Research well and select the company which will best serve your needs.
  • When you design a photobook, have all your pictures handy. You can use your engagement photos, if you have some, and of course your favourite photos of yourself and your fiancé. Make sure they are all high-resolution so you can enlarge it on the page without compromising the quality.
  • Use a variety of layouts, but make sure you’ve got enough room for people to write on. Experiment with different styles, like incorporating translucent full page photos, captions, borders, or even different backgrounds… Anything to add more personality to your book.
  • As with anything ordered online, always check how long it will take for a company to create your book and ship it to you. You do not want this done last minute. This is something you can do ahead of time.
  • Last but not least, have proper pens handy on your guestbook table. Sharpies are quick-drying so there’s less of a chance for smudging. Take into consideration what kind of paper you have. If your paper is matte, you can get away with ballpoint pens, if it’s glossy, you should use a fast drying marker or pen… If you have dark pages, use metallic gold or silver pens (careful with these, they may smudge).

My Thoughts

I’ve only used two of the above listed companies so I can only give opinions on Shutterfly and Photobook Canada, which I can tell you exceeded my expectations. Shutterfly is all online based so if you don’t want to install software on your computer, this might be good for you. Both were very user friendly, with reasonable prices and quick production and shipping. Get on Shutterfly’s email list and you’ll see how frequently they have specials. Photobook Canada has an account with Groupon so if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to get a good deal. I got a Groupon and only had to spend $35 plus shipping on a $115 book, so keep an eye out for it! As for the rest, there are lots of reviews to be found, a lot of them good so you probably can’t go wrong with either of them, it just depends on who has the feature you want for a good price. Good luck with your search!

Tell me… Will you be making a photobook guestbook or will it be something unique like a wish tree?

All prices were found in each company’s websites and are accurate
to the day this entry was posted. Pricing is subject to change by the vendor.

Guestbook in Feature Photo was a wedding present for us,
Generation Photography was the vendor.

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  • August 15th, 2011 at 10:27 am
    Carolyn Egerszegi says:

    Great article Jeannine. I have ordered many books from Photobook Canada and love their quality. They have sales and groupons almost every month, so be sure to get on their mailing list for updates on all of their deals.

    Regarding pens for writing in books, I highly recommend the Sakura Microperm. Unlike Sharpie, the Sakura pens are archival safe, so they won’t fade or colourshift over time. The Microperm is a pigment pen which dries instantly, even on high-gloss and non-porous pages (always test first to be sure). It’s available at Michael’s. There are many Sakura pens there, but the Microperm has a dark grey casing.


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