Whenever I think of a traditional guest book.  I think of...
a little plain for my taste... / Image via Delightfully Tacky
This is something that will likely find its way onto a bookshelf and never see the light of day, save for an anniversary or two where we're feeling especially nostalgic.

I immediately started looking for alternative options to the standard guest book, and surprise surprise - there are TONS of options out there!  A few that caught my eye: (following images via <a href:"http://www.bowtiesandbliss.com/2011/03/unique-guest-book-alternatives/">Bowties and Bliss</a>)
loved this idea of a fingerprint tree or fingerprint balloons!
this couple had their guests sign postcards to be sent to them throughout their first year of marriage!
a Polaroid guest book would be cool to capture candid images from guests with a little note!
I eventually had to narrow the search down to something that felt like us and went with our overall theme.  Enter, the wine bottle guest book!
four bottles to celebrate 4 big anniversaries! / Image via XO Edge
Typically, the couple would buy four bottles of wine.  One to open on each of the following anniversaries - 1st, 5th, 10th and 20th.  The guests, provided with a silver marker, will be able to sign one of the bottles and they'll be saved as our "guest book" that we'll be able to enjoy for the next 20 years!  (Sidenote: when we open the 20th anniversary bottle, I'll be 49 years old!  Ahhh!!!)

After some preliminary research, I realized I don't know a lot about wine.  Hahaha...I enjoy drinking it, I know what tastes good to me, but I could not tell you how long to age a wine or if it'd go bad before we'd actually reach its corresponding anniversary.

Luckily, a new wine shop opened up downtown a few months ago and they were the perfect go-to place to pick out wines that will age with us and with proper storage, taste amazing when we pop the cork!

Crush, the fine wine shop, proved to be a fantastic resource for us - check out their selection!
that awesome library ladder only added to my excitement! / Personal photo
We met with their resident sommelier (wine expert) and managing director, Kristian who knew right away what we were trying to explain when we mentioned "wedding wine guest book...thing!"  He asked us a few questions about our backgrounds and if any wines or regions held a special place in our hearts and went quickly to work finding us the best options for each year.

First, he suggested a Moutard Rosé Champagne for our 1st anniversary.  Because it will only sit for one year, the champagne will not over-mature and will prove to be a nice, sweet bubbly we can pop on our 1-year anniversary.  For our 5th anniversary, he recommended a Spanish red wine by Breca, it's a lighter red option, and will hold up for the 5 years we need it to.  Next, he pulled a darker still red varietal, Amarone Allegrini for our 10th anniversary, that will age extremely well.  Finally, for our 20th anniversary, we needed a very stable, Port wine to ensure it can sustain a storage of 20+ years.  Kristian pulled us a 20-year aged Port by Burmester - when we drink this Port, it will be aged 40 years!

I highly suggest that if any of you go this route, to consult with a trained sommelier and ask specific questions about storage and aging so that you don't open a moldy, nasty wine on your 20th anniversary!

We'll be making our own labels for these bottles similar to the inspiration photo above and displaying them at our reception proudly!  I'll be sure to share the final product!
our "guest book" wines, from our 1st to 20th anniversaries! / Personal photo

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