The secret to my wedding success

One thing I quickly discovered when planning my destination wedding was that welcome bags for guests were an absolute must. When guests are spending extra money and taking time away from their lives to attend your wedding, it is important to show your gratitude and appreciation.

Want to know the absolute FAVORITE item in my welcome bag? A Shutterfly photo book that included pictures and names of every guest attending our wedding. With 125 of our closest friends and family at the same resort for a week, there were a lot of people meeting for the first time – and it’s a challenge to remember who’s who and how everyone knows the bride and groom when you have been drinking margaritas at the pool most of the day.

The main reason my husband and I chose to have a destination wedding was to give our friends and families time to get to know each other, and this booked helped more than I could have imagined. Our guests were so delighted when they first saw this book and expressed how helpful it was for them throughout the week. Some people even brought the books down to the pool so they could reference it if they needed to.

It was a great keepsake and even if people didn’t keep it, I know it was useful during the week. We also ordered an 8×11 to use as our guest book at the wedding. We added extra blank pages to the end so people could sign, but many people chose to sign by their picture.

How do you make one:

  1. Select a photo book type and style. I used a 7×9 because it is one of the less expensive options. Although the 7×9 book cost more than a 5×7 book, you can fit more pictures per page on a 7×9 so it saved me money by not having to add a lot of pages. I was able to get all 125 guests in the standard 7×9 photo book and only had to add 2 pages.
  2. Shutterfly and Facebook make this project so quick and easy! First, I started the photo book using Shutterfly’s Simple Path technology. I was able to access my Facebook account through Shutterfly and easily add pictures of our wedding guests to the book. Shutterfly allows you to add any pictures that your “friends” have added or are tagged in. Luckily, most pictures were high enough resolution to put in a 7×9 book—but if not, Shutterfly makes it easy by showing you what pictures will work.
  3. Next, I emailed my friends and family who were not on Facebook to get a picture. I didn’t tell them what it was for because I wanted it to be a surprise.
  4. After that I made a few updates, added names and the relation to the bride and/or groom and ordered 125 books!

Other items in the welcome bag included a “survival kit” with snack bar, water, pain reliever, etc., and a Koozie (foam can cooler).


  1. petiam says

    Excellent idea!!! This is so clever and so easy to accomplish (especially since most everyone is on facebook nowadays. I bet your guests loved it!

  2. kayb says

    Great article. The idea of the books with pictures of guests and their info is a great idea. Welcome bags are almost a must for any guest coming from out of town for a wedding!

  3. Joey says

    Now this is a great idea. I bet your guests LOVED this little gifty they received when they got to the destination. A very thoughtful and creative idea! LOVE LOVE it! And I must say your jumping picture with your groom and wedding party is fabulous!
    Thanks for sharing this

  4. says

    Wow, you are so organized! Great ideas and wonderful photos. My Sister-in-Law did a photobook of pics from the wedding and reception in a similar book to send afterward as a Thank You to all the guests. It was beautiful . Such a neat idea that lasts a lifetime. Congrats!

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