When it comes to your wedding, you want to have as much signage as necessary to make things easier for your guests. If there’s any information you want them to have, wedding signage is the way to communicate it. Here’s a complete list of all the signage you might want to incorporate.
The Wedding Signage You Might Want
1) Directional and way-finding. Are the restrooms difficult to find? Put up a sign. Are the ceremony and reception in opposite directions when people first enter the property? Signage can help!
2) Welcome. A large sign on an easel is a popular way to welcome guests to your wedding. It can be as straightforward as “Welcome to Our Wedding,” or you can get creative with “Welcome to Our Forever” or something like that. Often the couple’s names and the wedding date are listed as well. Some couple opt for wording that will allow them to hang the piece in their new home. For example, “The Millers | October 19, 2019” or something similar.
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3) Unplugged ceremony. As cell phones become more ubiquitous, it’s becoming more common for couples to ask their guests to put away their phones during the ceremony. Not just to silence them, but to avoid using them to take photos or videos. There are professionals to handle that!
Pinterest and Etsy are full of examples of signage wording that you can use to request an unplugged ceremony.
4) Open ceremony seating. Traditionally, the bride’s friends and family sat on the left side of the church (or aisle) and the groom’s friends and family sat on the right. This has mostly gone by the wayside, and most couples opt for open seating. But many guests will still ask which side they should sit on. You can avoid this with signage indicating that seating is open.
Two clever, rhyming approaches are “Choose a seat, not a side, we’re all family once the knot is tied” and “Pick a seat, not a side, you’re loved by both the groom and bride.”
5) Reserved ceremony seating. If there are particular seats you’d like to assign at the ceremony (such as the mother and father of the bride and groom), you can create individual cards to hang on those chairs. At the least, I recommend having 2 - 4 “Reserved” signs to hang on the aisle-facing chairs in the first row (or first two rows) on each side, depending on how many immediate family members you’d like to have priority seating.
6) Cards and gifts. Not many people bring gifts to weddings these days because online registries make it easier to have the gift mailed directly to the couple. But it’s still helpful to have some space for gifts. And most guests still bring cards, so having a card box or basket is essential. A simple sign that says “Cards” will tell your guests where to put their card.
7) Guest book. If your guest book is an actual book for guests to sign, you can probably get away without any signage. Most people are going to be able to figure that out! But if it’s anything else, signage and instructions are helpful. Maybe it’s a map or atlas and you want guests to sign in their favorite vacation destination. Maybe it’s a photo book of engagement photos and you want them to sign the pages. Maybe it’s a set of blank puzzle pieces. Maybe you’re using the popular Instax Polaroid cameras and you want guests to paste their photos into a book.
Whatever it is, provide some guidance so they know what they’re doing.
8) Table and seat assignments. If you have totally open seating at your reception (not recommended), then you don’t need any seating signage. The most common option is to assign guests to specific tables. You can do a large seating chart, either printed on foam board or hand-lettered on a mirror or large pane of glass. You can do individual “escort cards” that are displayed on a table. Or you can combine the escort card with a take-home favor, such as a small plant, a jar of honey, or a caramel apple. The tag on the favor would have guests’ names and tables numbers on it.
If you’ve assigned seats at the tables, then you will also need cards at each seat with the guests’ names on them.
9) Table numbers or names. Pretty self-explanatory. The guests need to know which tables are which.
10) Bar menu. List out your signature cocktails if you have them, or the types of liquor available if it’s a full bar. List the types of wine and beer on offer. You might also consider listing the non-alcoholic beverages available.
11) Dessert table. If your caterer is putting together a dessert buffet, they will probably have signage to indicate what’s what. But if you’ve ordered multiple desserts from a bakery, or multiple flavors of cupcakes, you’ll want or order signage to display.
You may also consider a sign that says something like, “Please wait until after dinner to taste,” to avoid people raiding the dessert buffet before the proper time.
12) Wedding favors. If you’re giving guests a take-home favor, you might consider signage. If the favors were the escort cards or are placed at individual guest seats, then signage isn’t necessary. But if the favors are all staged together in a central location, something to indicate that guests should take one is advised.
13) Hashtag. If you’re doing a wedding hashtag, it’s helpful to have one or two signs with the hashtag on them. You can place them near the guest book and/or the bar, which is where guests are most likely to see them.
Where to Get Wedding Signage
Etsy is full of templates for DIY signs. In some cases, you’ll be able to print the signs yourself—think bar menus, favor signs, table numbers, cards/gifts, and favor signage. But for the larger signs like the welcome, unplugged, and directional signage, you’ll probably need a printer. Specialty printers are ideal for this type of work, but your local FedEx or UPS Store should also be able to help you.
Browse through Pinterest to get some ideas on wording. I recommend creating a section on your wedding Pinterest board just for signage so you can easily keep track of them.
Many rental companies also can provide signage for the non-personalized items, such as unplugged ceremony, open ceremony seating, cards/gifts, favors, and directional signage.
You can also have signage custom-made by a calligrapher or hand-letterer for the most personalized, elegant look. Many calligraphers have rental items such as mirrors and panes of glass that they can write on for your wedding, then remove the writing and use them again for future weddings.
How to Display Your Wedding Signage
Large signs are best displayed on easels. Check with your venue to see if they have easels available. Your calligrapher may also have them for rent, or your event rental company.
Smaller signage can be displayed either on a tabletop easel, or in a picture frame with a stand, or just propped up against something. When you think through which signage you want, also consider how you will display it.