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How Much Wedding Signage Do You Really Need?

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Pick a seat, not a side. Welcome to our forever. All because two people fell in love. Wedding signage has grown from a thoughtful day-of addition to a must-have for communicating details. And with signage serving double duty as decor, it’s an excellent way for couples to express their personalities during the celebration.

From chalkboards to acrylic sheets, the design opportunities for wedding day signage are virtually endless. But with so many ideas and options, it’s easy to get carried away and end up with many unnecessary signs.

“Wedding signage can be a lot of fun and really add to the couple’s design, decor, and overall aesthetics,” confirms Edna Dratch-Parker, co-author of Guide to Smart Wedding Planning. But she quickly notes that “it’s easy to put signs everywhere, but signs that instruct or share information are the most important.”

So while signage is useful for logistics and design, aim for a balance that supports the guest experience without creating information overload. Here are some examples of wedding day signs that are worth consideration.

Directions to the venue

Adding driving directions to your wedding website is a nice way to help guests, but most likely won’t think to pull them up when they’re in the car looking for your venue. Instead, try placing signs along the way to point your loved ones in the right direction.

“If your wedding venue is in a remote location, placing directional signs along the route (with permission granted, of course) indicating clearly and securely which way your wedding guests/shuttles should turn is always helpful,” assures Sarah Chianese of Mangia and Enjoy!.

You can decorate this signage to align with your wedding theme, whether it’s balloons that match your color palette or bunches of flowers and greenery.

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A welcome message

Arriving at a wedding can feel overwhelming for some people. There’s music playing, people buzzing around, and tables displaying everything from favors to gifts. A bit of signage can welcome your guests, directing them to explore the space.

Lilia Shatnaya of Plume and Stone Invitation Studio notes that a welcome sign is especially vital for venues hosting more than one event, like a hotel or country club.

“You want to make sure that your guests make it to the correct ballroom instead of wandering around,” Shatnaya says. “An acrylic or foam core sign can say “Welcome to the wedding of …“ and point in the direction your guests need to go.”

Additionally, “a guestbook sign is also very helpful so guests will know to stop and sign your book,” adds Christina Lovelace of Lovelace Design.

On the other hand, some venues may not require welcome signage.

“Many clubs or private venues have staff that helps direct people to the various venues and need-to-find places like restrooms,” explains Cathy O’Connell of COJ Events. “If you are at a completely private venue where you are the only event or activity taking place, you may not need any signage at all.”

Jen Sulak of Weirdo Weddings agrees, adding, “you may only want to think about a sign that is your name(s). The simpler your wedding location and your overall event, the less signage you will need to direct people.”

Consider your venue’s layout and amenities before deciding whether you need a welcome sign to greet loved ones. You may still choose to purchase a custom sign for decor purposes, but look to your planner and venue coordinator for the best placement.

Onsite directions

You don’t want to hear that a guest stumbled into a coat closet while looking for the restroom! Directional signage can help your friends and family navigate the venue without asking staff for help.

First and foremost, “you’ll want a sign that welcomes your guests and directs them to the ceremony area,” recommends Allison Russell of Stonegate Manor.

Russell encourages couples “to aid with the transition after the ceremony by using signage to guide your guests to cocktails and the reception area.”

And when the drinks start flowing, guests need to know how to find the restrooms. “Bathroom location signs are important so guests don’t have to find a staff member and be directed,” assures Sandy Brooks of Timeless Event Planning.

Again, the need for directional signage greatly depends on your venue’s size and layout. Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events explains, “if your wedding is very small, there is a high probability that directional signage will not be needed as the space is likely very small as well, and everything is easily findable.”

You may also find that your venue has permanent signage to guide people throughout the property. If that’s the case, discuss how you might dress up the signs with florals, balloons, streamers, or other decor to match your wedding theme.

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Reserved ceremony seating

You know who you want to see in the first few rows when standing at the altar. It might be your parents, grandparents, special aunt, big brother, or childhood best friend. No matter who makes the cut, be sure your VIPs get prime seating!

“Remember the reserved seating signs placed on ceremony chairs for those VIP guests!” reminds Joan Wyndrum O’Hear of Blooms by the Box.

Marissa MacLeod of The Treasury on the Plaza chimes in to suggest “having signs on each individual seat with the name or title of who the seat is reserved for to avoid any confusion and seating mishaps.”

Your inner circle will appreciate the chance to witness your big moment up close, and you’ll no doubt love knowing that your favorite people are right by your side.

Reception seating assignments

Most weddings have assigned seating for the reception, particularly when it involves a sit-down dinner. But letting your guests loose to figure out where to go is a recipe for chaos! Instead, display a seating chart that helps them find their way.

“Must-have signage would be a seating chart for a sit-down dinner with assigned seating,” confirms Catherine Taylor of Woodland Fields Photography.

Alternatively, you could opt for individual place cards that direct people to their seats. But regardless of how you display seating assignments, you’ll need table numbers (or names, if you’re feeling creative!) for guests to navigate the reception space.

Fortunately, “table number signs can be subtle elements of table decor that provide structure and order and reinforce the aesthetic of the wedding through their texture and style,” says Sarah Jobe of Twickenham House and Hall. “A wooden or textured sign can contrast the table decor for rustic weddings, while elegant acrylics or simple black and white prints seamlessly add to more elegant aesthetics.”

Consult with your venue to see if they have table numbers you can use or rent for your wedding. If not, consider how you can incorporate tabletop signs into your centerpiece!

Food and beverage details

Individual menu cards are a nice touch, but extra signage around food displays can save your guests from unnecessary risk. As Chandai Raghunauth of Chandai Events explains, “It’s a great way to advise guests what the main ingredients in the food are — if it is dairy, gluten-free, has peanuts in it, and so forth.”

The bar is another excellent candidate for signage! MacLeod shares that “bar signage is a must-have to communicate to your guests what is available to order. This could help limit the amount of time people wait in bar lines.”

And if you have a signature cocktail (or two!), “a sign featuring the name and description of the cocktails being offered will be important to have clearly displayed on each bar,” adds Kelley Nudo of Momental Designs.

For an extra creative touch, consider having your food and beverage signage hand-illustrated with each selection. Or, if you want to add a more personalized approach, opt for a portrait of your venue, your pets, or the two of you!

Transportation information

As the night winds down, your guests will start to trickle out and return to their hotels. If there is a shuttle service, it helps to have a sign that points them to the right location with details about pickup times.

In the case of multiple hotel shuttles, Andrea Smith of SoiréeSmith encourages couples to “consider signage ON your transportation” — and that goes for arrival and departure!

“This ensures out-of-town guests staying at the hotel get on the correct shuttle/trolly!” Smith says. “You’d be surprised how many times guests hop on the wrong shuttle.”

Proper signage can prevent confusion about getting to and from the wedding venue. No need to worry about guests getting lost!

It’s true — signage (or lack thereof) can make the difference between a seamless celebration and a chaotic one. But there’s no need to go overboard! Be mindful of your venue’s layout and consider the elements you want to highlight on your big day. The rest is secondary!

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.

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