Memorial guest book ideas

Updated June 13, 2017

Capturing memories of a departed loved one for their loved ones is the point of a memorial guest book. At its most basic, a memorial guest book is a register placed at a person's funeral or memorial service. People attending the service can write their names and, if they wish, a remembrance of the person who died or fond wishes for the person's family members. Guest books can also be elaborate and personalised in a variety of interesting ways.

Photo Guest Book

Adding a place for photos in the guest book allows people to more fully celebrate someone's life. Mourners can bring photos of the departed person and place them in the book for others to see at the memorial. Some guest books can be further personalised with a photo of the departed on the cover.


Keepsakes can be placed in a guest book so that it culminates in a scrapbook. A leather-bound book with heavy paper pages or with pockets in some pages is perfect for allowing guests to add mementos at a service. Flowers, coins, ticket stubs, postcards and other items memorialising the relationship can make evocative keepsakes for family members.

Personal Memorial Book

If your departed was a longtime Chicago Bears fan, or was proud of making a fantastic cheesecake, you can celebrate that in a memorial guest book by custom designing the book. Cut and paste images or documents you want to include onto the pages of a blank book. Or, get on your computer, open your favourite graphics program and design the book for printing at a local copy store. Having a Bears' logo on the cover, or including that great recipe on one of the inside pages, will likely prompt guests who like football or cheesecake to share their memories more freely.


Putting a memorial guest book online is a great way for loved ones or friends who cannot attend the service to share their memories. To post a book online, ask the funeral home preparing the service if they provide this service. Most do. If they don't, type "online memorial guest book" in a search engine and select one of the companies that can make the virtual book available for many faraway loved ones.

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About the Author

A journalist and writer since 1987, Alex O'Meara has worked for the "Baltimore Sun," City News Bureau of Chicago, "Newsday" and NBC. Author of the healthcare expose, "Chasing Medical Miracles: The Promise and Perils and Clinical Trials," O'Meara has completed several marathons and holds a B.A. in English from Long Island University.