So thinking about my wedding blog post this month and chatting with a venue coordinator we got to talking about the trend to have a sign for almost everything at your wedding… and well, do you really need all of those signs?! It used to be if your wedding was in an out of the way location maybe there was a sign stuck to a post with an arrow and maybe even some balloons to mark the spot… not anymore! There are signs everywhere at weddings nowadays! Direction signs, table seating assignment signs, reserved signs and more! It seems like signs have become just as much of the wedding decorations as the flowers themselves! So I thought I would put together a list of the most common wedding signs that I’ve seen the past few years and a few of my thoughts about them… Hopefully, this will give you some ideas on what you can use signs for or if you may want to scrap the idea because of time and money restraints.
1.) Direction Signs – Again if your wedding is in a hard location to find or internet maps send you in a funky direction perhaps you may need a sign at the gate or the turn off point of your wedding. Or perhaps you are having an outside ceremony located just a short distance from the venue’s reception hall and you just want to send people in the right direction when you don’t have a greeter. I can get on board with these signs as it takes away the guess work for the wedding attendees and also offers a great photo opportunity.
2.) “The Choose a Seat Not a Side” sign – Gone are the days of the Bride’s friends & family sit on the left and the groom’s on the right (at least for the guests) parents and immediate family still tend to sit in the first row of the side of the family member that’s getting married on. It used to be a fairly new idea to just have everyone pick a side. And if the wedding isn’t having ushers than I think this sign is still a good idea. Although it can also have it’s pitfalls… I’ve been at a few weddings where one side is completely over seated compared to the other side and it looks off. It’s better to have fewer guests in the back then everyone seated on one side. This particular sign is one that I think you can forgo all together if you have ushers. A great reason to consider using ushers is so they can even out the seating especially if you are not having people pick a side. Also a “reserved” sign on the front row reminds guests that those seats are for immediate family.
3.) Reception Seating Arrangement Signs – Sometimes a seating arrangement is an absolute necessity, especially if you are doing a plated dinner and the catering staff has to figure out where each meal goes. Most people can figure out where the seating chart is, but if you are doing something elaborate, for instance a rock with everyone’s name painted on it. Then it helps to have a sign next to your seating cards to explain how the seating is going to work.
4.) Guest Book Sign – A sign telling your guests to please sign your guest book is not needed as most weddings have some sort of guest book to sign and people expect it… unless you are doing something unique like asking for guests to give marital advice, or put their thumbprint on a tree. Also it helps to have a designated person to sit next to the “guest book” as your friends and family enter the reception to help them to know what they are suppose to do… especially, again if you are doing something out of the ordinary.
5.) A Place for “Cards” Sign – Again this is one that I think is completely unnecessary because if your card holder is sitting on the gift table it’s implied, but nevertheless can be cute! Especially if you are using a non-conventional card holder like a suitcase or a bird cage.
6.) Food Labels & Menus – I thought I would lump these two together… Does there have to be chalk board sign stating that there is a candy bar located on this table? Probably not. It’s self-explanatory. Does the chicken need to be labeled in a buffet? Again these are some of the signs I feel like you could skip. Is it nice to know what’s on the entire menu before you go through the line, yeah, but again not a necessity unless you know a lot of your guests have food allergies or special considerations for what they can eat. A chalkboard sign can make another cute detail for photos, but it’s one of those items I feel can be left off the list to save money.
7.) Signature cocktails & Beverage Lists – If you plan on doing a signature cocktail for your guests than I think a sign explaining what is in it is a great idea. This will help the bartenders from having to explain to each guest what’s in each drink and thus taking them away from getting those drinks made for everyone. Also if you spent a great deal of money purchasing the specific liquors that go into your special concoction than you probably want those drinks to go first before people break into the other liquor. A beverage list of all that is available from the bar is also nice, but again not a necessity.
8.) The wedding Hashtag # – It’s still going strong! And one of those things that’s still fairly new to society and may have to be explained to your parents and grandparents. If you have one then by all means make a sign for it, put it on your wedding website, or wedding program, but make sure it gets out there because if people don’t know about it than they won’t use it!
9.) Favors & Thank You Gifts – If you purchased a wedding favor for each of your guests I believe the best way to distribute those gifts is to place them on each and every person’s place setting because this ensures everyone has seen them and will remember to take them with at the end of the night. If that’s not very practical because let’s say you bought a bottle of wine for everyone and you want them to take it home and not drink it at the table then putting a separate table by the door with the favors is a good idea along with a “Help Yourself” Sign.
10.) Other signs – Poems, Love Stories, Bible Verses, Etc. – These signs fall into the completely non- essential category. These would be purely for decoration, to remember a loved one or to share how you and your fiance’ met. And while they are completely for esthetics rather than a pragmatic reason they really do give you a sense of the couple’s identity. Whether they are loving, funny or religious… they are just fun to have! If it’s not a “saying” that you plan on displaying on your wall after the wedding choose a really nice frame that can be used afterwards to display some of your wedding photos after the big event!