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105: Passport Wedding Guestbook

March 24, 2012

A few months before my brother Adam’s wedding, he called me up and said he wanted me to make something for him (Little did he know I was already making him a video). He said that his fiancée and he had been discussing what kind of guestbook they wanted, and they had decided I would be the one to make it. Adam assured me it could be my wedding present to them (Little did he know I was already growing a handlebar mustache for the wedding photos as a wedding present to him [OK, that was more of a sabotage than a present]).

But we discussed it over the phone, and I gradually figured out what they wanted. They wanted something that functioned like a guestbook but was able to be displayed like a piece of art. They wanted something that told the story of who they are as a couple and where they are going. And mostly they wanted something innovative and personal.

After asking some questions about their shared interests and histories, I sat down and thought about it for a long time. This is what I came up with.

It’s a giant passport. Both Kristin and Adam enjoy traveling, and their honeymoon is in Ireland. But it’s not just about travel.

This is the passport to their marriage.

Where the visas and stamps go, there are a bunch of empty stamps for guests to sign and to write a little note. Each guest is an important story in the lives of the couple.

They loved it.

And that’s not all.

Some of the destination stamps were not blank. Here are a couple of stamps that you can see, if you squint, have the names to their colleges in them.

There are also places like “Marriage” and “Happiness” and real countries they’ve been to.

In this picture, you can see the stamps of Ft. Worth (where they were married) and Grand Prairie (where my brothers and I grew up).

You can also see the mostly-accurate passport security background which was pretty difficult to recreate.

But wait there’s more! I printed it all on one sheet of paper so that it can unfold into a wall hanging for display purposes. So, I think I hit all of the requirements for the project.

(Side note: if you need to precisely fold something and you have access to a pool table, a butter knife, and a ruler, you’ll be a happy paper folder.)

When it was all signed, the project really came together. I had a lot of fun making this, and I even got to keep a bad copy that Kinko’s misprinted.

Feel free to check the accuracy against your personal passport.

See you next week (and Happy birthday, Blog).

44 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2012 2:30 pm

    This was a great idea. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I didn’t think of it for our wedding!

  2. March 24, 2012 2:32 pm

    Now that’s cool! Great idea!

  3. March 24, 2012 2:32 pm

    soooo pretty.

  4. Terribly Sorry permalink
    March 24, 2012 2:45 pm

    that’s an amazing idea! ps were the stamps ‘real’?

    • March 24, 2012 2:55 pm

      The stamps are vector images made from tracing real stamps. I found them online and edited them, then layed them out in photoshop. I had planned to make my own, but ran out of time.

  5. March 24, 2012 3:24 pm

    You publish a better post (almost) every week. Congratualtions!!!

  6. March 24, 2012 6:06 pm

    What an awesome wedding gift! … Almost as awesome as a handlebar moustache.

  7. Susanna permalink
    March 24, 2012 8:54 pm

    Really, really well done.

    • March 25, 2012 5:05 pm

      Thanks! You can imagine how devastated I was when I got it back from Kinkos the day before I needed it, and they had inexplicably downsampled it to about 50 DPI before printing. I got seriously mad and used a bunch of professional printing words I learned in school, which seemed to work. They reprinted it correctly and refunded all my money.

      • Susanna permalink
        March 25, 2012 6:31 pm


  8. March 24, 2012 11:16 pm

    Great attention to detail and a really cool idea!

  9. March 26, 2012 5:51 am

    That’s awesome, man! What a great idea. A friend of mine is getting married later this year, maybe I can use your idea to prepare something similar, probably going to be much more simplified as I’m not such a graphic wizard 😉

  10. Deborah Hepworth permalink
    March 26, 2012 5:59 am

    I’ve had a chance to read all the signatures/messages in the Passport this week…it’s truly a unique keepsake. The newlyweds are going to really love looking back it all once they return to USA from their stops in IRELAND for honeymoon BLISS!

  11. March 27, 2012 10:03 am

    This is one of the absolute coolest things I have ever seen. I know that it’s a special gift for your brother and sister-in-law, but if you would be okay making another at some point down the road, I would definitely be interested in commissioning one of these for my best friend’s wedding. Of course, I completely understand if you’d rather this stay a one-of-a-kind item. =)

    Either way, this is really, really amazing. Your attention to detail and your creativity continue to impress and inspire me.

  12. March 27, 2012 1:24 pm

    Amazing! I especially like the fact that it is all one piece, so the couple have the option of framing it flat or keeping it as a book. So very clever!

  13. April 28, 2012 8:27 pm

    Awesome, amazing, thoughtful, creative, unique

  14. May permalink
    June 19, 2012 10:56 am

    I am a wedding decorator/planner and I have a couple who is having a wedding this August. Their theme for their wedding is travel and this would be perfect for them! If you don’t mind me asking, where can I order this or where can I get this done? I am very interested in this item! It is a very unique idea! Please contact me back!

    • June 19, 2012 4:21 pm

      Short answer: I have no plans to remake it.
      Slightly longer answer: Feel free to use this post as inspiration in crafting your own similar item. 🙂
      Full answer: I sent you an email.

      • July 27, 2013 2:36 pm

        Hi I’d like the info too? Have a wedding come in February and we thought of this also!

      • April 3, 2015 9:12 pm

        Really awesome work! I’m helping my sister with her wedding this coming May and this would go great with her travel theme. Do you think you can provide me with more info on how to do this? Thank you!

  15. Rouselle permalink
    August 27, 2012 8:44 am

    This is exactly what I want for my wedding guest book. Are you willing to share instructions on how you made it?

  16. Andrea Bumstead permalink
    September 3, 2012 11:05 am

    I am looking for something like this for my own wedding. Do you create and sell them?

  17. Ana Fenton permalink
    November 5, 2012 3:52 pm

    Hepworth…I want to “steal” your idea for my daughter’s wedding shower. Can you give me some info on how you came about the stamps?? Can you share the websites? Thanks!

    • November 5, 2012 5:51 pm

      Sure. Not much to it, really. I searched “passport stamps” in google images, and found images I liked. Some were available for download, I copied some others, and built a few from scratch in Illustrator. The idea was to edit out a lot of the information, so I was left with a stamp-shaped frame. After I had about 20 unique designs, I duplicated them all and swapped their colors around. I put everything together with Illustrator and Photoshop, and printed it all out.

      It’s all digital, and no actual stamps were used. But if you actually wanted to make your own stamps, those products exist at hobby stores. It’s pretty tedious, though.

  18. Ana Fenton permalink
    November 6, 2012 12:43 pm

    thanks a lot! how about the paper? did you have it printed at Kinkos? They have paper that long or did you put it together from individual sheets?

  19. November 6, 2012 6:31 pm

    Large format printing is available at Kinko’s. But it’s expensive and it takes time. This was around $70 I think.

  20. TLC permalink
    November 29, 2012 10:37 am

    This is awesome!! And EXACTLY what i want!! Possible to send the file to be tweaked and customized for my wedding??? pleaseeeee

  21. Ben permalink
    January 15, 2013 5:34 am

    Hi this is amazing, I will be holding a travel theme wedding. Mind to share your work art on this amazing passport? Do email me.

  22. Amanda Ramnawaz permalink
    April 28, 2013 1:46 pm


    I am having a travel themed wedding next year and i absolutely love your passport guestbook. its something i have been looking for, and something i would love to make.

    I am struggling to figure out how to start it and I was wondering if you has a basic template you used that you would not mind sharing to get me started.

    again, what a brilliant idea, it looks fab!


  23. August 6, 2013 11:36 am

    Hi, I am hosting a Naturalization party and I absolutely love your passport guestbook. Could you please send me the template? I will be very happy to make a donation

    • August 6, 2013 12:36 pm

      I didn’t use a template. I made it from scratch.

      • August 6, 2013 2:33 pm

        Wow… you did a fantastic job!!! Would you be able to send me the illustrator or photoshop file? Again, I am happy to pay but need it ASAP as my party is on Sat (and would need some time to edit). THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

      • Rob permalink
        August 30, 2013 11:25 am

        I just saw this and I am in awe!! For our wedding, my fiancée and I sent out passport invitations and were wondering what type of guest book we should use. This would be perfect!! Would you be interested in selling us of these?

      • July 20, 2014 9:06 pm

        Hi Kyle Hepworth
        I need some help…love your idea by the way, but am a bit stuck on how you fold the book up from the poster size for it to make sense as a passport book, do you think you could help me out with that?I would greatly appreciate it!

      • July 22, 2014 10:16 am

        here's how to fold it.

  24. Bailey Ginnings permalink
    February 13, 2015 11:28 am

    Can you make one of these for my wedding? It’s amazing

  25. Shannon permalink
    July 28, 2015 6:14 pm

    Is there any way you can share what fonts you used and how you did your backgrounds they are awesome.

  26. Diseree permalink
    March 9, 2016 4:37 pm

    OMG! This is amazing! I am sure that you have been asked a thousand times, but would you email me the instructions if you don’t sell the item itself? I will pay you to create it for me.

  27. mitsui permalink
    June 2, 2016 10:35 am

    Hello I’m looking for something like this for my son party. his is similar to bar mitzvah but its not. .so wondering if you can help me build this type of passport guest book signing. he loves to travel and loves airplanes.. so please let me know. thank you.. at my email

  28. Laura D permalink
    May 19, 2017 8:25 am

    I’m trying to make a passport guest book for a baby shower!!! Yours is so amazing! Anything you can share would be greatly appreciated!!!

  29. LiZ permalink
    July 22, 2020 7:10 pm

    Hi- this is such an adorable idea and I was wondering if you would be able to advise where you got the blue outer cover for this from??

  30. Erika Myers permalink
    January 2, 2022 10:24 pm

    I love this. I was wondering if you could send the template. My friend is travel them baby shower and I would love to make this for her guest book. Could you please email me?

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