If you’re looking for a sign, here it is! Wedding signage is a topic that’s very easy to overlook, but don’t discount its importance. Beyond just decoration, signs are an important tool for keeping your guests informed and your event free of confusion.
We always tell our couples how helpful having appropriate signs or instructions is for your guests. So what signs do you need for your wedding?
In today’s post, we will go over some of the most common signs we see, and which ones we recommend using!
The welcome sign is usually a good-sized sign that you place near the main entrance to the ceremony. It can be really simple, and is just a nice way to welcome guests to your wedding!
The welcome sign could include:
You can decorate it a bit with some greenery or balloons, just something to make it stand out and confirm to guests that they are in the right spot. This can be especially helpful if your venue is large and has the possibility of more events going on.
It doesn’t need to be fancy. You can find fairly inexpensive sandwich-board-type signs to use, and you can write on them with chalk pens. The venue may have their own for you to use as well, so it’s worth asking before buying them yourself.
Ending the night with the bride and groom running towards the getaway car while the guests wave sparklers is so fun! But what happens if your getaway car can’t park where you need it to because a well-meaning guest accidentally parked there?
It’s something that couples often don’t think about until the moment it happens, and we’ve seen it enough times to offer you this piece of advice. Put up a highly visible sign, or even some parking cones so that when the time comes, your getaway car can be waiting for you. It also makes for better photos of such a fun conclusion to your special day!
Check out this post for an example of what we are talking about.
A few signs we recommend having at the ceremony are:
Pick a seat, not a side: A common sign that couples place just inside the ceremony is “pick a seat not a side, you are loved by both the groom and the bride”. The tradition of splitting guests by bride or groom is a tradition that has basically gone out the window in the past decade, and couples want guests to know that there is no wrong place to sit.
Reserved Seats: The exception for the casual seating will be the first row or two, which you want to reserve for immediate family. You can place “reserved” signs on those rows to keep it clear. Unless you have ushers seating your guests, guests won’t know where they can’t sit, and may stay out of the first 3 or 4 rows, when you only wanted to reserve 2.
That doesn’t look very good in pictures, so you want to make sure those seats are filled, and the proper signs can help alleviate any confusion about it and help guests feel comfortable sitting in those rows.
Unplug: It’s good to have a sign to remind guests to keep their phones quiet and put away during the ceremony. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most ignored signs of the wedding day, so we recommend also getting someone to make an announcement. The officiant or the DJ can usually announce that you want no photos or videos taken; you have professionals there to do that.
What is the flow of your event?
Where is the ceremony taking place and where does everyone go for the cocktail hour after?
Depending on your venue, knowing where to go can be confusing to guests. You don’t want them walking into the reception hall early if you are using it as a staging area or for photos. Simple signs with arrows that point to the chapel, reception hall, and other areas can help keep that flow and alleviate confusion.
Whatever space you are trying to get people to, a simple sign can help!
Here’s a completely optional, but really fun idea to help tie your whole day together: consider creating a “wedding brand”! Choose a font you like, use your wedding colors, and maybe even design a monogram. You can use the monogram on everything, from your wedding website, to your invitations and signs. You could even make a large monogram with your initials and wedding date to put on the wall at your reception.
Note: make sure you use a size, color and font that is easily readable, especially if you will be using it on important signs, like the seating chart. Many script fonts are hard to read and should be used sparingly.
Where can you get your signs made? If you enjoy DIY or have an artsy family member, you could get them to do it. You could also design it in Canva and have it printed on a variety of signs, or you can hire someone from Etsy to create something really unique for your day.
Again, a wedding brand is not necessary, but it can be a really fun and unique idea!
When it comes to the seating chart, bigger is better so that people don’t need to squint to find their names. Of course, you have to do what works for you because if you have 200 guests, that sign could quickly get too big. It’s ok to make the font smaller if you choose an easily readable one.
One thing we caution against is putting everyone’s seating card in an envelope. It’s something we have seen done before, but it tends to get confusing when everyone is searching for their envelope, unless they are clearly laid out on a seating chart or wall of some sort.
The main things to keep in mind for a seating chart sign is to keep it big enough that people can read it without crowding, and to place it in a highly visible spot. For more seating charts and floor plan ideas, check out this post!
If you are having a plated meal where guests can choose between a few options, you will want to have place cards that let the caterers know which meal goes where. You can put these at each place setting with a marker of some sort to show which meal each guest chose.
A couple of options for marking the meal cards:
If you have a table with any finger foods or desserts that you wanted to save until after the meal, you HAVE to put a sign on it because if you don’t, it will 100% get decimated immediately.
This goes for any finger food or dessert table. The worst one is the donut wall. There’s just something about donuts that people can’t resist. All it takes is one person to say, “ooooh I’m going to have one!” and bam! Everyone flocks it and your donut wall is decimated while the photographer is still out taking photos of you.
It might seem like the natural idea to keep the food put away in the back until you are ready for people to enjoy it, but that’s not always possible. When you have to set it up in advance, it’s good to just throw up a sign that says something like, “we will be enjoying dessert at 9:00pm, thank you for waiting!”
Strategically placed signs can really help speed up lines at the bar. We like to put one up part way through the line with the options on it so that by the time guests reach the bartender, they know what they want. If you are just serving beer, wine, and maybe a signature drink, put that on the sign. It’s just such a helpful thing for speeding along the bar lines.
One final thought: make sure that your signs are well anchored or out of the wind so they don’t break or have people miss them!
Our goal with this post was to help you plan the flow of your wedding day in a way you may not have thought of before and to ultimately make the experience more enjoyable for both you and your guests. In fact, we even wrote a blog post with more ways to make your guest’s experience more enjoyable
It can seem overwhelming to think, “now we have to go out and get all of these signs!” but it doesn’t have to be. Talk to your planner and see if they already have a plan in place for signage, or if the venue has signs available. It’s a little thing that can make such a big difference.
And like we always say, it’s a very personal day and you have to do what works for you! If you don’t want a sign somewhere, you don’t need to have it. Your day will still go on, and will be as special and unique as you are! Just put the blinders on with your significant other and do what you want to do.
Happy wedding planning!
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