Planning a wedding can be SO FUN and also, let’s be real… stressful, exhausting, anxiety-provoking… Shall I go on? Whether you have a planner or not (which – I DEFINITELY recommend a planner, but that’s a conversation for another day), you still have some decisions to make about what’s most important to you and your partner. “Some” – LOL. Let’s focus on signage for today.
Each couple is different, which means every wedding has a blank canvas ready to be filled with their unique needs, wants, and preferences. If you’re reading this, it could mean that this is your first wedding. Which means: new and unknown territory. You are encountering things you’ve never considered before as well as things you might not have known even exist. On the other hand, there are certain things you’re encountering that you could care less about.
Signage can be crucial to keeping your wedding day organized and running smoothly (amongst so many other perks!) Follow along here so that I can break down what you need and why you need it. This will be a big one but don’t worry, you can always skip ahead to the good stuff like in *all* recipe blogs. Just tell me what’s in the damn soup, Tieghan. (But really, I love you, Half Baked Harvest!!) 😉
In all seriousness, signage can make all the difference in achieving that smooth sailing, stress-free vibe you are manifesting with your newly found party planning skills. You wouldn’t want all of your hard work and sleepless nights to go to waste because someone didn’t know how to find the ceremony, didn’t know what they could order at the bar, missed the shuttle back to the hotel, or had an allergic reaction to the berry mascarpone, not knowing there were berries involved. (Did that just escalate quickly??) This is your special day and you won’t have a spare moment to be directing your guests, nor should you have to.
The truth is, not everything is going to be obvious or intuitive to your guests. Including signage on your big day cuts down on any confusion AND it’s a great way to infuse your unique love story and design aesthetic into the day. It ensures that your guests will not only be impressed, but also eat, drink, be merry, and dance the night away, all completely stress-free. Added bonus: you or your wedding planner won’t have to direct 200 guests to their tables. Score!
Alrighty, my dears. First things first. The welcome sign is the most commonly seen sign at weddings. To get more bang for your buck, ask your coordinator to move your welcome sign from the entrance of your venue to the reception as the night moves along. Another option for the welcome sign could be keeping the “Welcome” verbiage off of it and just putting your names on it. In this case, it could be repurposed as a piece of decor in your home. There are many different types of materials that can be used when designing and producing your custom welcome sign. From stained wood to linen, paper, acrylic, and foam core board, the list goes on!
Are there places at your venue that are hard to find? Intentionally placed signage, whether it be roadside or inside the venue is a must to lend your guests a helping hand in navigating where to go. Examples of signage that could guide your guests to important areas would be “Ceremony”, “Restroom”, “Cocktail Hour”, etc.
There are many different types of tabletop signs that (in my humble opinion) are necessary for every wedding. You might consider a Cards & Gifts sign, a Dessert Table sign, a Memorial Table sign, and a Guest Book sign.
You might want a guest book or a creative spin on one to look back on and have a beautiful memory of the folks that took part in your celebration. You’ll need some sort of instructional signage to let your guests know how or where that is.
One of my favorite things is the “Generations of Love” verbiage for the memorial table sign. This allows space for many different essential people to be honored on your special day.
There are many different types of signs that can be incorporated into your ceremony time and area. Here’s a little list of some that I’ve seen and believe are necessary to consider.
Unplugged Ceremony Sign
Order of Events
Pick a Seat Not a side
In Loving Memory
Ceremony Backdrop or Arch
If you take anything away from this blog post, please let it be this: The seating chart is the most important & functional signage at your event. Whether you have a micro wedding to a gigantic wedding – it’s a must! A properly organized seating plan can set the entire mood for the night. It can also help calm the nerves, ease confusion, and keep things running smoothly in a time of transition.
Not to mention, this is also where we can have a lot of fun. Your seating chart can be a large focal point at the reception and the sky’s the limit! We can go as simple or as creative with this as your heart desires. If you have one piece of signage, *please* make it a seating chart.
Okay, another seriously important item. Hear me out – Seating Charts and Place Cards go hand in hand. Your guests will check out the seating chart to see where they’re to go. Then, when they get to their table, they’ll see exactly where they need to sit (might I add, this is intentionally thought out by you. We don’t need Aunt Karen fighting with Cousin Nancy again, okay?). Not to mention, your catering service will absolutely want to KISS you knowing they don’t have to fight to figure out who is sitting where and what meal they ordered. Yes, Aunt Karen, we know you ordered the GF Vegan option.
You told your guests where to sit, now help them effortlessly find their table! These can be on marble tiles, wine bottles, handmade paper, and wooden, or concrete blocks. The options are endless. Do you want these to be numerical, written out, or named after all of your favorite travel spots?? No matter the choice, I’ve got you covered.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Dinner time, let’s eat! There are different options for this, depending on the vibe of your wedding and the way you have your dinner service set up. No matter what, your guests will want to know what to expect. If you’re hosting a buffet, we can create a larger sign telling guests what their options are. If it is a plated dinner, I recommend individual menus at the place setting, giving a very luxurious feel. Another option is putting the menu on the back of the table number card in the middle of the table.
An essential. Do you have signature cocktails that you would like to showcase? We can make a sign for that! Guests should know what’s hosted, when, and what their options are. This is where the bar sign comes in handy. A prominently placed bar menu is great for your guests so they can get on the dance floor quicker.
You might want one or fifteen of these signs. It’s your wedding, babe! That’s all really to say, focus on what matters the most to you and the details that you really want to cherish, and let that be your deciding factor. This guide is only meant to be helpful to break down the options for you.
And speaking of options, as you now know, there are many of those when it comes to signage. Shopping small for your wedding can make all the difference. If aesthetics matter to you, it’s absolutely crucial to have a signage concierge where a real live human (me!) takes the time to get to know you and your partner, and understands your wedding aesthetic. Most wedding calligraphers also have a ton of fantastic tips and creative solutions for you as well. And who knows, it might not even cost *all* that much more than it would from an automated, generic service for generic signs that you saw at Sarah’s wedding last year. Okay, maybe a little more, but seriously worth it. Plus the time commitment it would take to try to piece together a bunch of random items is priceless.
If you do find a calligrapher that you really like and connect with, I recommend reaching out as early as possible. Their calendar will typically be booked out a few months in advance and you want to make sure your wedding date is locked in.
Thanks for reading. Sending you lots of love and light! Your wedding is going to ROCK.
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Let me first tell you how happy I am that you’re here. I have many passions and I am grateful to be able to bring many of them into my daily life. I have always been creative, but never knew what my niche was until I met calligraphy. When I am not at my desk creating, I work as a Bilingual Resource Teacher in an elementary school (my second language is Spanish!). I also love spending quality time with my people, reading, cooking, exercising, or enjoying the outdoors.
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