Pittsburgh-Area Couples Get Creative with Guest Books

These two couples turned their traditional guest books into artistic opportunities.

Most couples like to remember who attended their wedding with a guest book, but those books often end up in storage where they’re rarely looked at again. These two Pittsburgh couples, however, saw an opportunity to be more creative and dreamt up artistic displays that they could enjoy every day.

Photos by Derek Chase Dibrell of Chase Images

Jigsaw Joy

Ashli Podrosky and Brody Gilbert knew they wanted a Pittsburgh-themed wedding, and they began incorporating subtle influences wherever they could — decorating their invitations with the city skyline, naming tables after Downtown streets and creating centerpieces with “edible goodies” from different restaurants in the Strip.

And when it came to their guest book, the couple knew they wanted to do something specific to them. Drawing from their love of doing puzzles together, Ashli found an artist on Etsy who could make a jigsaw puzzle in any shape. Keeping up with their Pittsburgh premise, Ashli sent the artist a map of Pittsburgh to be made into a puzzle.

At the wedding, guests were able to sign individual puzzle pieces and write small messages for the bride and groom.


“It’s a map of the neighborhoods, Downtown area, all they way up through Squirrel Hill, the rivers and everything,” says Ashli. “It’ll look really cool once we put it together.”

Ashli and Brodi recently bought a house and are still in the process of decorating, but Ashli says that they plan to complete the puzzle and frame it in a shadow box.

Photo by Levana Melamed Photography

Familial Fun

Christena Jenner minored in studio art in college and paints in her free time, and she loved the idea of creating a piece of artwork to represent her Nov. 12 wedding to Ryan Very. So, instead of the typical guest book, the couple decided to create a “Family Tree” for their guests to sign with a thumbprint.

“We’re pretty family-oriented, too,” says Christena. “[And] this was really the only event where both of our ginormous families would be in the same place on the same day.”

Christena asked an artist friend of hers, Ariane Vovar, to sketch the tree and then provided five colors of green ink for guests to add their thumbprint-leaves.

Christena says she is glad to have the Family Tree as a display of their marriage and family-oriented values, even though it’s different from the traditional guest book signage.

“It seemed well-received, and it’s a really cool piece of artwork that we can hang up and try to guess whose thumbprint is who’s,” she says.

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