When brides hear the term "wedding book," in relation to the wedding industry, they need to be aware that the person using the term may mean one of two very different things. Although the generic term is used freely, the meanings pretty much fall on opposite ends of the planning timeline. One interpertation deals with a wedding planning organizer while the second deals with a wedding guest book that is signed at the reception or ceremony.
The first meaning refers to wedding planners in book or binder form. These can be as simple as a compilation of checklists covering different stages of the planning process or they can be as elaborate as an encyclopedia with detailed articles, pictures, how-to lists, real life "wedding war stories," and commentary by well-known wedding experts. Calendar pages allow for easy day and date checks when booking dates with potential vendors. Most also provide pockets for brides to store brochures, photos, business cards, contracts, and notes they have gathered along the way. These are particularly useful at bridal shows at which sponsored wedding books may be given away as swag.
The second meaning refers to wedding guest books which are also called wedding memory books. They are used for guests to record their names and perhaps a congratulatory message for the happy couple. Traditionally, these have been actual books with blank pages, but modern brides sometimes use creative alternatives.
A fancy sheet or tablecloth covering the main reception table can be used as a canvas for messages written in thin marker. Another option which takes a lot more work is for the bride and groom to create a scrapbook ahead of time with a separate page for each guest that contains some memorabilia of the couple's relationship with the guest. The guest signs on his or her corresponding page.
In any case, the names and special notes will provide a permanent record and fond memories when the bride and groom look back on the materials years later.