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Bridal influencer Squid Westra back to back with her groom

Why Influencer Squid Westra Booked After The Tone First Thing For Her Wedding

May 14, 2023
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10
 MIN READ

Bridal influencer Sydney (Squid) Westra's modern fall wedding featured an emotional audio guestbook that captured heartfelt messages and funny moments. Get inspired by her tips! 💕🎙️

Bailey Yackley

Wedding Date? Check ✔️

Wedding Venue? Check ✔️

Audio Guestbook? Check ✔️

We’re not making this up. That was the exact order of operations for bridal influencer Sydney (Squid) Westra when she first started planning her modern fall wedding. More than a year before her October 2022 event, she was scrolling for inspo when she stumbled upon @gritandgraceeventsco on TikTok and first discovered After The Tone. 

“To me, it just made so much more sense,” Sydney said when she compared the audio guestbook to a traditional one. “There are so many things that restrict people from saying what they truly want to say with a standard guestbook, and I didn’t want to limit our guests […] I'm also someone whose love language is ‘words of affirmation’ so this felt right up my alley.” 

Not only that, but her husband, Ryan, is a certified minimalist, and loved the idea of having a digitized audio file to forever hold their well wishes as opposed to a thick, hardcover book (and we don’t blame him). So naturally, the audio guestbook was a no-brainer for the couple. What they didn’t know was the level of impact one little telephone would have on their big day. 

The Wedding Day 

To Squid’s delight, she and her partner experienced no shortage of words of affirmation at their fall event in downtown LA. The couple shared extremely sentimental vows during the ceremony, which led to a splash zone of waterworks from friends, family and loved ones. 

“We focused a ton of our attention on the ceremony because we’re sappy people,” said Squid. “I think being really vulnerable in our vows helped set the tone for the night.” 

It sure did, as the tears didn’t stop there. At the reception, Ryan performed an original song he wrote for his new wife. We’re not crying, YOU’RE crying. 

Squid Westra and husband Ryan kissing with guitar
Ryan wrote and performed an original song for Sydney on their wedding day, which inspired guests to go deep with their voicemails in the audio guestbook.

With emotions and sentimentality at an all-time high, the telephone guestbook became a central theme during the reception. Guests couldn’t wait to leave a message (and a tear or two) at the phone for the couple to cherish years later. In fact, Squid and Ryan received so many crying voicemails, they decided to compile them into their own separate audio file and call it “the cry counter”!😂 Check it out here.

But don’t worry, that’s not the only plan Sydney had with their 30+ voicemails. The messages now serve as the closing scene to their wedding video! Because Ryan is a

film director, the recap of their special day is about an hour long, and gives them the feels all over again whenever they watch it. And according to Squid, they might even break the voicemails back out during a romantic road trip one day! 

Tips from Sydney on How To Get The Most Out of Your ATT Experience What’s Squid’s number one piece of advice for someone using After The Tone at an event? Dedicate someone from your family or a close friend as the official phone informant. 

“The ushers at my wedding were my cousins, and I had them point out the phone and explain what it was to every single group before the ceremony,” she said. 
Guest from Squid Westra using audio guestbook at wedding
Sydney and Ryan’s guests left a mix of funny and sentimental messages on their audio guestbook.

But Squid had even more tricks up her sleeve. Immediately after the emotional I do’s, she asked the officiant to make an announcement over the mic encouraging guests to express their well wishes in the audio guestbook, and made sure to include its location. 

“A lot of the voicemails came right after those sweet moments, like the ceremony, the vows,” Squid remembered. “You can actually hear the shift in the mood from the people that left messages before the ceremony and the ones who did after!” 

TL;DR, if you’re the ooey gooey type and really want those heartfelt messages, Sydney’s got you! Follow her steps for success and you’ll be sure to relive those cry-worthy moments for years to come. 

Squid’s Favorite Voicemails 

While crying was a big theme at Squid and Ryan’s wedding, they still received their fair share of funny messages from friends and family, too. For them, it was the perfect mix of silly, sappy, and profound. But the voicemails that struck Sydney most were those from the loved ones she never expected to go deep or get emotional. Check out some of her favorites below! 

Squid and Ryan’s dear friend, Vince, complimented the couple in a way that blew her away:

Voicemail example from Squid and Ryan's dear friend Vince.

Another message Sydney will cherish forever is from her younger brother, Taylor, who was at a loss for words trying to hold his emotions together. 

Voicemail example from Squid Westra's younger brother Taylor.

Oh, one last #protip from Squid: make sure to leave a voicemail yourself! 

“One of the funniest [voicemails] is one I don’t remember giving!” she said. “The day was just so hectic that I completely forgot I left it, and it was such a funny surprise hearing it back.”

For more about Squid and her love for vintage, check out her Instagram, TikTok, or website.

About Sydney (Squid) Westra 

Squid Westra and Ryan pose for photo at wedding

Sydney Westra, also known as "Squid," is a bridal fashion influencer based in Los Angeles. With a background in music management and marketing, Sydney brings a unique perspective to the world of bridal fashion. Prior to her content creation journey, she worked in artist management and record labels, gaining valuable experience in the music industry. Combining her expertise in marketing with her passion for weddings and love, Sydney now creates content that focuses on bridal fashion and provides valuable insights for brides-to-be. Her diverse background and industry knowledge set her apart as an influencer in the bridal fashion space, offering a fresh and distinctive perspective for her engaged audience. As an up and coming bridal influencer, she collaborates with wedding brands, models for bridal companies, and shares her expertise through guest pieces for wedding publications.

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The original vintage phone audio guestbook.TM