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Green After the Tone phone set up on a table at a wedding

What’s an Audio Guestbook and Why You Will Love After The Tone

May 12, 2023
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8
 MIN READ

You don't want a boring guestbook for your wedding. You want something fun, memorable and unique. Discover the reasons why an audio guestbook will make your event unforgettable.

Bailey Yackley

Remember the good ol’ fashioned wedding guestbook? The hardcover keepsake your loved ones left sweet notes in that you couldn’t wait to reread in 10 years? The book meant to spark some of the best memories of your life? Well, After The Tone co-founders, Jacob and Bailey, thought of a better way to make sure their best memories weren’t left on a dusty shelf or rarely opened cabinet.

Let’s rewind back to 2019, when Jacob & Bailey were knee-deep planning their  wedding, constantly brainstorming unique ideas to better remember their day. Amidst the chaos that inevitably accompanies weddings, they wanted a way to truly connect with their friends and family. 

Bailey then remembered her childhood habit of saving voicemails from her loved ones, and that was the exact moment the lightbulb first flickered—she thought having audible well-wishes saved for her and Jacob on their wedding day would be so special. There was just one problem: How would it be possible for people to call in with no wifi or power in the middle of a greenhouse? And as quickly as that, her idea was put to rest (or so she thought). 

When their wedding day finally arrived, Jacob surprised his new wife with the first-ever After The Tone audio guestbook. It was a vintage rotary phone that gave guests a chance to leave a message for the bride and groom at the wedding reception. To Bailey, that vintage phone held more meaning than the typical cell phone or voice recorder. Her grandparents literally got married over the phone back in 1965, after years of doing long distance between Argentina and California. The telephone made it possible for Juan and Fernanda to get married and stay connected through their first year of marriage before Bailey’s grandfather could save enough money to buy his wife a one-way ticket to him forever. That story stuck with Bailey, and so it meant the world to her to include that piece of her family history in her big day. 

Jacob and Bailey took the messages from their wedding, transferred them to a vinyl, and now listen to them every year on their anniversary, along with their first dance song, allowing the couple to truly experience the magic of their wedding (and their love) again.

Jacob and Bailey Yackley celebrating the first audio guestbook
Bailey and Jacob started After The Tone together in 2020 after first introducing the idea of an audio guestbook at their own wedding in 2019.

Now Anyone Can Use an Audio Guestbook at Their Event

Jacob and Bailey’s idea of leaving voicemails for loved ones, instead of the traditional handwritten note, is how After The Tone was first created. Now, friends and families get to capture their best memories through a telephone guestbook. Whether it’s a newly-married couple, a birthday girl, a graduate, a mom-to-be, or just a sentimental superstar who loves to reminisce, you can use the shipped experience as a sort of time capsule to help you cherish those moments. 

So, what is an audio guestbook? Short answer: it’s a way to remember your past through the voices of your favorite people. It’s a polished audio file, a USB, a vinyl. It’s a voicemail you’ll want to keep. It’s After The Tone. 

Why an Audio Guestbook is the Perfect Alternative

The problem with traditional guest books is that they fail to fully depict the emotion, the energy, the essence of the event they’re tied to. Trust us when we say we completely understand the power of words on a page (shoutout Colleen Hoover). But, there’s simply something special about hearing your best friend’s, your grandfather’s, your mom’s, and your baby niece’s voice that shoots you back to a specific place and time—and evokes a feeling of nostalgia. 

Green phone audio guestbook from After the Tone sitting on the table
An audio guestbook lets guests at any event leave voicemails on a vintage rotary phone for you to keep for years to come.

A study from The Star Tribune explains how the sound of your voice reveals your age because your vocal chords adapt then weaken with time—which means, of course, the way your 3-year-old niece sounds now is going to change drastically by the time she turns 30. The audio guestbook is the perfect way to stick those voices in your back pocket, exactly as they are, to take you back to big moments in life that really count.  

Needless to say, the most touching moments are often fleeting. For example, a few of our couples have reached out to our team after their events with the devastating news of one of their close family members passing. The message their loved one left on our phone was one of the last recordings the couple had of their voice.

This is the power an audio guestbook holds over a traditional one. When friends and family leave messages, you can hear the excitement, the emotion (maybe even the famous pop song from that era bumping in the background), and of course, the love. It’s a keepsake you’ll have forever, no matter what twists and turns come your way in life. Think of it as an answering machine filled with voicemails, but also again, a time capsule involving your favorite people.

Not only that, but many couples or party hosts can have trouble getting guests to actually stop and sign a book. The rotary telephone serves as an inviting and interactive way for people to leave a quick message for someone they care about, as if the person is listening on the other side. It’s a fun, vintage-feeling activity that folks will want to participate in. And if you don’t want to leave the party, you can bring the phone on the dance floor—it’s completely wireless! 

Get Started with Your After The Tone Audio Guestbook

If you’re still unconvinced, check out our reviews page to truly get a feel of the impact our service can have (and the fun): Reviews

From customer conversations, to reviews, to Jacob and Bailey’s personal experience with an audio guestbook, the feedback is clear: voicemails from your favorite people are the best way to re-capture all those feels from your biggest days. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll understand why we’re saying #RIP to the standard, old guestbook.

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