The world of wedding signs can be overwhelming! Pinterest is overflowing with more iterations of signs for a wedding that you could even imagine. But realistic, you probably don’t need or want hundreds of signs at your wedding. This blog post will talk about how to figure out what signs you need for your wedding day and how to make sure they are effective.
Wedding signs should serve at least one of these three purposes on your wedding day. One, they could help keep your day on time, by providing a timeline to guests or preventing guests from getting lost. Two, they can answer questions you guest might have, so they don’t have to find someone to ask. Three, they can help to convey your personality and the tone of the day.
What signs do you need for your wedding day?
1. Parking- Most venues probably don’t require parking signs. The only time you really need a parking sign is if the parking lot isn’t super clear from the road or if there are specific parking instructions.
2. Directional Signs- My rule of thumb for directional signs is if it isn’t clearly in eyesight from where guests will be coming from, you might want to add a sign. These signs are super important in preventing guests from getting lost and helping them to get where they are going on time.
Ceremony- If your ceremony location isn’t clearly visible from the parking lot, add a sign to direct guests.
Bathrooms- Bathrooms are typically a bit hidden within the venue, so it can be helpful to have some signs from the main areas of your wedding pointing guests towards the restrooms.
3. Welcome Sign- This is probably one of the most common signs I see at weddings. While it’s a great way to establish the tone of your event and make guests feel welcome, it only really necessary if your venue is very large or if there are multiple events happening on the same day. In those cases, it also helps guests to feel assured that they are in the right place!
4. Ceremony Signs- There are a few signs that can be helpful to help guests to make sure they know what to expect at your ceremony
Programs- Most weddings these days (at least in my area) tend to skip the programs. However, if you are doing a unique ceremony structure and want guests to be able to follow along, a program can be helpful. Make sure to have a sign directing guests to pick these up as they enter.
Unplugged wedding reminder- I can’t recommend an unplugged ceremony more highly! While you probably have your officiant give a little reminder before the ceremony begins, a sign can be a great way to indicate to guests that their phones should be put away.
Reserved seats- You will probably want to have a few reserved seats signs to make sure no one sits in family spots, especially if they are walking you down the aisle.
In memory of- This can be included in either your ceremony or reception space, but an in-memory sign can be a great way to acknowledge loved ones who have passed away. The sign can be a stand-alone feature or something to explain an empty seat or a table of pictures.
Bar Menu- Having a bar menu where your guests can see it while they are in line for the bar can really cut down on your wait times. This is especially important if you aren’t doing an open bar or if you want to highlight some specialty cocktails.
Dinner Menu- If you are doing a buffet and you are not doing menus at people’s seats, you may want to consider creating a menu sign with all the meal options available. This can cut down the time people take in the buffet, since they already know what to expect.
Gift Table- A gift table sign is always important so that the first people that come into your wedding know where to place their gifts and cards
Guestbook- A sign for your guestbook not only lets your guests know where the guestbook is, but it also can explain what they are supposed to do. This is especially important if it’s not as straight forward as your guests just signing their names!
Favors- A sign for favors will help explain to your guests that these are for them to keep, otherwise you run the risk of guests thinking they are just decor.
Seating Chart- If you are doing assigned seats or tables, you will probably need a seating chart (or escort card display). Make sure it is very legible so guests can quickly make their way into the reception. If you can organize by their name not by table number, to make it easier for guests to find their name.
Table Numbers or table names- To go along with your seating chart, you will also need table numbers or names. Make sure the sign towards the entrance to the space, so guests don’t need to walk around every table to find their spot.
Timeline- While most weddings can skip a timeline of events signs, if you have certain events that you need guests to be on time for (like a shuttle or a grand exit), it can be helpful to let guests know when they need to be where.
Hashtag Sign- If you want guests to share photos using your hashtag, make sure you have several signs letting guests know!
Dessert Table- If you have a dessert table, that will be out before guests are supposed to eat from it, make sure to have a sign letting guests know when it will be open for them to enjoy.
7. Decor- When it comes to signs that are purely for decor, you can add as many or as few signs as you would like. The main goal is to showcase more of your story and personality within your wedding. I like to think about these signs (especially if they are larger and more expensive) as keepsakes from your wedding. When selecting these, think about how you might display them in your home.
What to look for in your sign
Legible- One of the most important aspects of selecting effective signs is making sure guests can read them! There are two factors you should consider when thinking about how legible your signs are. The first is size. You want to make sure that your sign (and the writing on that sign) is the appropriate size for the distancing guests will be viewing the sign from. The sign with instructions for your guest book can be much smaller than the parking sign. The other thing you’ll want to consider is the font. If it something with important information that guests need to know (like table numbers or directional signs), go with a cleaner and readable font.
Heavy!- The bane of my event day is a sign that is too light. If your sign is too light, it will fall over constantly. Especially, if your sign is going to be outside or near a door or even by an air conditioning vent you want something heavy. Metal, glass, and wood are generally good at keeping things together, but plastic, paper, and foam boards will never stay where you put them.
How to display it- A stand is a popular choice for a welcome sign or other large signs. These work great almost anywhere, but as I mentioned above make sure the stand is heavy, so it doesn’t fall over at the slightest breeze. Hanging your signs is a common way to display signs at your reception, but make sure to check with your venue about the rules around hanging. A lot of venues won’t let you use a nail or even tape. Perhaps the simplest way to display a sign is to have it sitting on a table. With these make sure to consider which way your sign needs to be read from, so you can display it in the right direction (you may even need multiple signs).
Some of my favorite signs!