If you’ve scrolled Pinterest recently, you know custom wedding signs are all the rage. From unplugged ceremony signs to seating charts - you could spend a decent chunk of your wedding budget on signs if you got them all! So we’re here to break down which signs you actually need and which are just fun extras to add if you like them.
Signs You Need for Your Wedding
"Reserved" Row Signs
During a wedding ceremony the front row is traditionally saved for parents and other close relatives. While most guests understand this and will avoid sitting in these seats regardless, it’s always a good idea to include small signs on the seats to reserve them. It's most important to reserve seats for anyone processing down the aisle, such as parents.
For couples working with Sleeping Bee Designs, I have a few “Reserved” signs that I’m happy to lend to you if you do not have your own.
Left: Living Radiant Photography. Right: Samantha Zenewicz Photography
Bar Menu & Custom Cocktails Signs
Every wedding guest’s nightmare? A long line at the bar. While it’s important to staff your bar correctly to avoid this, another great tip is having a large and visible bar menu. This will make sure that guests know their options before they reach the front of the line and can be ready to order, making the line move more quickly. A sign is especially important if you have custom cocktails with fun names.
Guestbook Sign with Instructions
Whether you have a traditional guest book, a photo guest book, or an audio guest book, it’s important to include a sign and instructions for your guests. A visible sign will help guests find the guestbook since they often get put on a table that is slightly out of the way of the rest of the party. We’ve found that instructions for the guest book are also important, since there are so many different types and it can be confusing for guests.
Left: Living Radiant Photography Right: Madeline Serio Photography
Gift & Card Table Signs
This is another area where a clear sign is important. The table for gifts and cards is usually in a corner, and too often we see guests miss it entirely. To avoid being handed cards during dinner, make sure you clearly label where gifts and cards should go.
Left: Moxie Muse Photography Right: Samantha Zenewicz Photography
Seating Chart, Escort Cards, or Place Cards
When it comes to reception seating, some type of signage is crucial, but for the most part, it’s up to you which style to use. Do you want to assign people to a specific seat or just to a table? To assign seats at each table, a seating chart can go outside the reception entrance and place cards can be put at the table setting. If you just want to assign guests a table and let them choose their seats, a seating chart or escort cards both work great.
For a plated dinner, it’s best to find out your caterer’s preferences for seating. They might need you to assign people to specific seats and include markers for their meal choice on their place cards. If you're doing a buffet, a place card or escort card isn't necessary, but a seating chart is.
Left: Moments by Moy Right: Georgia Alexzandria Photography
While menus aren’t 100% necessary, I recommend them for any buffet-style food service. Whether that's during cocktail hour, dessert, or dinner, having individual cards or even one large sign explaining the offerings will help guests move through the buffet more quickly. For a seated dinner where guests choose their options ahead of time, a menu at each place setting can be nice, but isn’t needed.
Wedding Signs You Don’t Need
Left: Living Radiant Photography. Right: Moments by Moy
Welcome Sign: These are cute but not functionally necessary.
Unplugged Ceremony Sign: Most guests will breeze past your ceremony signs, so feel free to ask your officiant to make a statement instead.
"Pick a Seat, Not a Side": Older guests generally still choose to sit on their “designated” side, and others will fill in as necessary regardless.
Schedule of Events Sign: Unless you have a very uncommon timeline, this is generally just a decorative piece.
Directional Signs: If your venue has a confusing layout, these can be helpful! But in most venues they’re unnecessary.
Memorial Signs: These are a super sweet touch that some couples like to add if they lost someone important to them, but they’re not necessary to the overall wedding experience.
Favors Sign: Favors in general aren't necessary, however, if you do give out favors I always recommend putting one at each place setting instead of all at one table. This ensures that everyone sees them and you aren’t left with dozens to take home at the end of the night.
Photobooth Sign: Depending on where your photo booth is placed, you may or may not need a sign. If your booth is located in the cocktail hour or reception space, it is usually easy to spot and a sign isn’t necessary.
Signs and decor are a fun part of wedding planning and something I love to chat with my couples about! Still have some questions about what you might need for your big day? Reach out, and let’s set up a call!
Frederick Wedding Planner | Wedding Signage | Wedding Planning Tips