When I bring up the topic of signage with my Wedding Design and Styling couples, there is the occasional pause as they try to figure out what I am referring to. Indeed, wedding signage has a habit of edging so far down the decor list that it is in danger of falling off it entirely. I have been at several weddings where signage has not been used at all, or rushed out as an afterthought, perhaps by a well-meaning caterer. And for some occasions, that works perfectly well. However, I would suggest that it is an element of your overall wedding design that deserves conscious consideration, even if you ultimately decide to dismiss it as unnecessary.
The reason I say this is that signage has the capacity to be both functional AND add to the aesthetic of the day. In fact, signage can be impactful as a stand alone decor element all by itself (and usually at no great cost).
Functionally, it points guests in the right direction, either by offering information or instructions. Yet it can also add intrigue, encourage intimacy, and it is a simple yet effective way to personalise certain points of your wedding. It can tell a story, or increase the connection between your guests and you (or guests with other guests).
Aesthetically, it’s another opportunity to continue the impression that started with your wedding stationery, maybe by using the same colour palette and typeface. It can complement the other decor and add to the impact of the overall styling. It can even be a statement piece (think a wall-sized table plan) to wow your guests.
Still unconvinced? Here are five signs that you should maybe consider before opting to go completely sign-free:
1 Order of the day
This sign is great for preventing guests from approaching those in the know (i.e. you and the wedding party) about the timings for the day. There is room to add in details of locations if your venue has various spaces included, the names of people giving speeches; it can be as simple or as detailed as you would like. On a very basic level, people just really like to know when they will be fed and what time they should arrange their taxi for.
It’s advisable to place it in an area where all the guests have access to it fairly early on in the proceedings, and preferably not in a location that will cause a bottleneck (or a blockage to the bar).
2 – Order of service
This one is a winner for couples who do not wish to print individual orders of service, but who cannot fit all the details of their ceremony onto the ‘order of the day’ sign. Again, names of the wedding party can be added, or song and reading titles can be included. One drawback is that including the lyrics of said songs may not be possible, unless the font size is large enough to be viewed from the very back…
This one can be placed near the entrance of the ceremony space, or even at the front of the seating, so that guests may follow along during the nuptials.
3 – Menu and bar menu
As mentioned before, people like to know when food will be involved in the course of the day. They also like to know what they will be eating, or reminded of their section if they made choices prior to the day itself. This is particularly true of those with allergies or children.
Again, individual menus for each place setting or table are not always required if a sign can be used instead. Think something large at the entrance to the dining space, or a hanging installation so that it is visible throughout the meal.
In terms of a bar menu, this can be advantageous if you are looking to serve only particular beverages, or have selected cocktails for guests to enjoy. Not only does this help guide guests in their choices,but it can reduce waiting times at the bar as people are able to select their tipple ahead of their turn, and bar staff will have a faster turnaround time working from a limited number of drinks.
It is advisable to have more than one bar sign of the bar itself is able to accommodate serving multiple guests at a time, and large print is a good idea to ensure those in the queue can view from afar.
4 – Photobooth
This sign is perfect if you do not have someone manning your photobooth area. Photobooths take on many forms, and even those that are an actual booth can be confusing when they print out two copies of each picture. What should be done with the second copy? Are guests allowed to keep both? Or do you want them to leave one copy somewhere for you?
Simplicity is key with this signage. Photobooths are often opened after guests have been well fed and watered, and it is best to be clear about how they should use the booth if you have hope of ending up with any of the photos taken.
5 – Keepsake station
Guest books take on various forms at modern weddings and this seems to cause some guests confusion. Particularly those who are expecting the simple ‘message in a book’ model, or have over indulged at the bar. To increase the likelihood of guests interacting with your chosen model of keepsake, it can help to have a simple sign stating how the fun works. It does not have to be gimmicky (rhymes aren’t for everyone), and it can help ensure cohesion for your decor through to this element of the day.
One piece of advice is to make the sign very visible. This sounds horribly obvious, but it can often be that this signage blends into the background if there is a lot of activity involved in the keepsake station. Keep it visible and your guests will likely follow through on what you would like them to do.
Still unsure if you need signage, or struggling to visualise all your decor in an overall, cohesive way? Say hello here.
Featured image by Euan Robertson Photography.