There are loads of must-have items for your wedding day celebration and in our opinion wedding signs are up there. They can help guide your guests to the right place at the right time and help with the overall flow of your day.
So, with that in mind, you might be asking yourself, what wedding signs do I need for my wedding? And that’s what we hope to answer in this article.
We’ve been to thousands of weddings over the years as photographers. What we’ve found is that the choice of wedding signs can really amplify the style of the wedding. They can provide a personal touch making the wedding unique to that couple. They also look great in photos!
If you get them right they can be both practical as well as stylish. From something as basic as letting your guests know where the restrooms are to more important matters like where the bar is!
We’re covering it all in this article with our list of the must have signs.
What are wedding signs?
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But there are so many options when it comes to wedding signs.
In simple terms, they give directions to your guests. They tell them the ceremony is over here. They tell them the order of the day. Or they can be very detailed telling them your wishes for an unplugged ceremony.
That’s just a few examples but in addition to that they can be made out of various materials. Wood, acrylic, and card are popular choices and the one you pick will really depend on the vibe of your day.
For instance, a wooden sign with an italic style font works brilliantly for an outdoor wedding. Whereas a bold and graphic design is much better suited for an indoor ballroom style of a soiree.
As we’ve already touched on, they can really set the tone for your wedding stylistically. They can tie in multiple elements making your whole day feel cohesive and look blinking fab!
Do you really need wedding signage?
We’re quietly confident that you will have seen wedding signs before. Whether that’s in your favorite Story Amour real wedding post, at weddings you’ve been to, or from browsing Instagram or Pinterest.
Only you will know if you really need wedding signage but we do believe it has a place as a wedding staple. They are of course not a requirement and you can choose to forgo them if you wish.
However, by doing so you might have a lot of guests standing around not knowing what to do with themselves. At the same time they can look great in photos (have we mentioned this yet?) well they can, particularly if you get personalized ones for your ceremony.
In our opinion, there’s a reason almost every wedding we’ve ever photographed has them. We can only vouch for them and say get some wedding signs for your celebration.
Must have signs at your wedding
You probably already know this but you can get a sign for pretty much anything to do with a wedding.
However, there are some must-have ones that we think you should consider. We’ll explain some of the benefits of each below.
We’ve put them nicely in order of the day for you for easy viewing.
Pretty self explanatory really but don’t underestimate them. They let your guests know they’re in the right place. A simple message such as “Welcome to the wedding of Jane and Colin 08.21.23”.
They’re particularly useful if you’re not having ushers to welcome your guests. However, they work equally well as a decorative element to tie in the themes and style of your wedding.
These can be something as simple as a directional cue like an arrow or something a little more specific “Ceremony this way”.
They’re especially essential at big venues and it saves your guests from constantly asking for directions to the restrooms.
A venue might have its own directional signs but you can choose to have your own to add your unique personal touch.
Cards, Gifts, and Guestbook sign
If you’re having a gift table it’s great to have signs letting your guest know what you want them to do. A post box to store cards is something we see a lot at weddings. A simple sign saying “Cards here please” makes it easier for your guests.
Equally, if you want your guests to leave nice messages in your guestbook tell them that’s what you want. A sign saying “Please sign our guestbook” is a subtle but effective cue.
Order of the day sign
These signs can let your guests know what is happening and when. A typical order of the day sign will contain the following information.
- 1pm – We say “I do”
- 2pm – Cocktail hour and photos
- 3:30pm – Speeches
- 4:30pm – Wedding breakfast
- 7:30pm – First Dance and live band
- 8:30pm – Cake cut
- 8:35pm – Buffet
- 11:30pm – Sparkler send off
If you’re not having ushers hand out the order of service you could use a sign instead.
“Please take a program for the ceremony”. The program will let your guest know of any songs or readings you’ve chosen. It can also list the names of your bridal party.
Pick your seat ceremony signs
A simple yet effective sign to tell your guests where you want them to sit for the ceremony. A popular option is something like “Today two families become one. Please pick a seat and not a side. Elena and Carl.”
As simple as it sounds! This is a sign that simply reads “Reserved”. You can use these to keep your front row for your nearest and dearest. Or you could go for a more personal touch with the sign reading something like “Seat reserved for the mother of the bride”
Ceremony carry signs
These are the cute and often humorous signs you’ve seen the children walking down the aisle with at weddings.
Something sweet like “Uncle Ryan here comes your bride” always goes down a treat. Or you could opt for something like “Last chance to run!”. It will really come down to your own personal preference and sense of humor on this one.
With every man and his dog thinking they’re a professional photographer with their iPhone you might choose to have an unplugged ceremony.
This is where you ask everyone to turn their phones off or place them in a box. It ensures everyone is solely focused on the moment. You’ll probably have someone announce this but the addition of a sign can work well.
Just have it read something such as “Welcome to our unplugged ceremony. Please turn off cell phones, cameras, and any other devices. We want you to enjoy this special moment with us. Thank you!”
Ceremony backdrop name signs
These usually display the first names of the couple, their surnames, or simply their initials.
They look great in photos provided they’re at the right height. We’ve shot loads of weddings where this hasn’t been considered and it’s cut off from view for the entire ceremony.
Just a quick shout to David Lindsley Photography that provided the photo for this article. His wedding photos at Priory Cottages are simply stunning and well worth a look.
Seating plan for the reception
We’ve seen homemade versions of these over the years as well as professionally designed ones. They’re great at letting your guests know where they’re sitting for the wedding breakfast and speeches.
They can find their names on the seating plan and then easily find which table they’re sitting at. It will likely take you ages to plan out the perfect seating plan so it’s quite essential that your guests adhere to your sign.
Table names or numbers
Table names and numbers go hand in hand with the seating plan. They’re simple visual cues for your guests to easily identify where you have designated them to sit.
They allow you to add personalization in the names you choose for the table. Maybe it’s the names of all the countries you’ve visited together or your favorite bands. Whatever, you choose!
You want your guests to take their favors with them, don’t you? Well, tell them with a sign. This can be placed on each table to tell them what you want them to do. Otherwise, your guests may feel uneasy and leave your favors behind.
Dessert table sign
Did somebody say dessert? Well, if you’re having a “help yourself” dessert table you’ll need to let your guests know that that’s the case.
At weddings, we’ve photographed guests who have contributed multiple homemade cakes. It’s a good idea to have a sign for each stating what it is and alerting people to any potentially problematic ingredients.
Bar rules sign
“No drinks for the best man until after the speeches” only joking! But you could think about having a sign letting your guests know the score if you’re having a free bar.
Specialty cocktails sign
In a similar vein to the bar rules sign, one for any special drinks could be cool. This will let your guests know what’s on the menu at the bar.
If you’ve got some specialty cocktails or are having a mixologist it can be good to make your guests aware. “Our mixologist can make you any cocktail you want” or a sign displaying the cocktails they have on offer.
Photo Booths are great fun for guests and guarantee more pics of guests for you to look back on.
You could go for something very simple such as “Photobooth” or something a little more detailed “5 person limit, grab some pals and snap a photo” or “Pick some props and then grab a piccy!”
This sign could equally offer instructions on how to use the photobooth if it’s a self service machine.
Directional signs will likely lead your guests to the restrooms but you can also get creative here as well if you want. Keep it simple with “Ladies” and “Gents” or go with something like “Does” and “Bucks” whatever suits the vibe of your wedding.
Equally, you could think about having toiletries to allow your guests to freshen up. A sign saying something like “Please help yourself, compliments of the newlyweds” in the restroom works a treat.
Big initials sign
Signs that literally make a big impression are the huge initials signs at weddings. They add that sense of personalization to your wedding and look great in photos.
These are usually lit up so really work to draw the eye and compliment the vibe of your day.
Dance Floor rules sign
Always a good bit of fun is some rules for your dancefloor. This will hopefully encourage your guests to get up and have a good old boogie.
They’ll usually say something like “5 dancefloor rules from Mr. and Mrs. Mcneilson. 1 – All ages and abilities welcome. 2 – Dad dancing will be applauded. As will the robot and wrapping ties around heads. 3 – Dance off should be regular. 4. Lunges are encouraged. 5 Please wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care and dance!”
Dancing shoes sign
Having a collection of flip flops for guests can be a nice touch. Especially for those ladies who have been sporting heels all day.
Let them know that they’re free to use them for dancing in with a sign. “Please take a pair as a little treat for your dancing feet” usually works and will have everybody moving and shaking.
In loving memory signs
If you’re having a dedication table of photos of relatives that have passed away an “In loving memory” sign is a lovely touch.
It draws attention to that section of the wedding and shows your guests that these people are in your thoughts. It also makes them a part of your special day despite them not being there.
The last wedding sign that you might need is one for your grand exit. Maybe you’re having sparklers or a bubble tunnel?
Whatever you have planned you should let your guests know the protocol so that they can get involved. Without the sign, they might not participate and the more people you get involved the better your photos will look.
Types of wedding signs to have at your wedding
Right, now you know about the different types of messages you can tell your guests it’s time to look at the different types of wedding sign materials.
What is good is that there are plenty of choices and something that’s suitable for every budget.
Let’s take a look!
DIY wedding signs
Ideal for those backyard or outdoor weddings but are also versatile enough to work for most occasions. They can help create that boho and handmade feel to your event.
At the same time, they’re a budget friendly way to add your own personality and design. It’s probably best not to tackle this if you’re not very arty though. That could be a recipe for disaster. If you can replicate or be inspired by what you’ve seen on Instagram or Pinterest though it can be a great option.
Wood is another material that is very versatile. It can create a handmade feel even if the text is very graphic. They can look classy and neat in this heavyweight material.
Wooden signs are great for things like the order of the day and can be a real statement piece to your wedding.
Having a fabric sign can be a great way to add texture to your wedding. Perhaps you match the material to the elements of the table settings.
The only drawback we’ve found is that they tend to move a lot with even the slightest breeze. So maybe more suited to indoor occasions.
Neon wedding signs
If you really want to stand out from the crowd you could opt for a neon wedding sign. These are great for name and initial signs and we’re particularly fond of the “Til death do us party” neon.
They also work well for indoor weddings where the lighting is subdued. A candlelit wedding reception would be ideal for these to really pop!
Luckily we’ve already come up with a list of the best neon wedding signs around to help you out. You’re welcome.
Related Reading: Best Neon Signs for Your Wedding Day
If you’re having a contemporary wedding then a clear acrylic sign might be the best option for you.
Please bear in mind though that these don’t photograph particularly well. We once had a complaint about this and there was nothing we could do. They had clear text engraved on clear acrylic. They looked great in hand but the camera couldn’t see anything!
Our recommendation is to use vinyl lettering in a darker color and they’ll look fab. They’re a popular choice for seating plans as well as welcome signs.
Paper or cardboard signs
One of the most popular choices is paper or cardboard signs. Paper in frames works particularly well as lots can be done yourself if you know how.
Popping your table names in nice frames for example gives a wonderfully homemade vibe without too much effort.
Equally, cardboard signs are an inexpensive way to achieve a big impact. We often see these rested on easels to welcome guests to the ceremony or used for creative seating plans. They’re also super lightweight compared to some of the other options so it’s really practical.
Mirrored wedding signs
You can add a touch of glamor to your wedding by having your message printed onto a mirror. In a similar fashion to the perspex sign, these are a bit of a nightmare to photograph but can look good in person.
We’ve seen these work well for outdoor weddings but also at hotel weddings to add a hint of luxury. You can choose any mirror you want to, you could go for one with a classy gold frame or something more contemporary.
You can easily make a chalkboard yourself or purchase one. The difficulty is one of artistic ability again. It might be worth hiring a professional so that your chalkboard sign looks Pinterest worthy.
They can plan it out and use their artistic license to really make you something unique.
What to do with your wedding signs after the wedding
We’re sorry to say but the wedding day will be over at some point. That’s when you’ll need to start thinking about what to do with the various items you’ve purchased for your big day.
Here are some of the options for what to do with your wedding signs.
If you’ve chosen some bespoke like a “Mr. and Mrs. Robinson” neon sign repurposing it is a no brainer. Simply pop it on the wall in your living room and it’s job done.
You might have a trickier time though re-purposing something like “Please sign our guest book” but you could put anything you want around your home as a nice reminder of your special day.
Sell them on
This brings us nicely to signs you can sell. Anything that hasn’t got a personal touch is fair game for an online listing.
People are always on the search for bargains to keep their wedding budget in check. Signs like “wedding ceremony this way” or “Mr and Mrs” can easily be listed on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Kerching!
If you can’t be bothered with the hassle of selling your wedding signs you could donate them. Maybe your friend is getting married soon and she can adopt them from you.
You could also list them for free on Facebook Marketplace to watch them disappear in seconds. Or donate them to a charity. It’s really up to you.
So, there you have it, you’ll no longer have to ask yourself what wedding signs you need for your wedding.
We hope that this post has provided you with some inspiration for the types of wedding sign messaging to choose from. At the same time, it’s hopefully helped you to consider which material of sign might be best for your event.
Equally, there’s also the re-usability factor. A neon wedding sign is a great piece of art in its own right so would look perfect in the homes of most couples.
Whatever you choose you should make sure that it suits the theme of your wedding. Choose wedding signs that you’ll love and try to pick classic designs that will be timeless.
You also don’t need to have a sign for absolutely everything. Our suggestions are just that and you should pick the ones that will help the flow of your day the best.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start ordering your wedding signs!