So you've been to a bunch of weddings already – that's a good start! However, sometimes when planning your own you tend to forget some of those little details. For example, wedding signage!
There are key things your guests need to know, and some they just want to. We'll dive into the top 5 of each here:
What your guests NEED to know:
1. Whose wedding they're at.
Although you know the venue, times, and every other tiny detail of your wedding, your guests probably do not. Especially if you're at a venue that caters to more than one wedding at once, you're having an outdoor wedding, or it's a little difficult to get to.
With a large "Welcome to the wedding of ______ & ______" your guests can breathe a little sigh of relief knowing they won't need to bolt awkwardly if they sat at the wrong place!
2. Where they are sitting for dinner.
Unless you're having an open-concept free-for-all mingling party, your guests need to know where you want their pretty butts to sit for dinner. You can achieve this with a.... <drumroll>... seating chart! However, there's more to a seating chart than just names and numbers... see number 2 in the next list...
3. What can they drink (and what it will cost).
Whether you're having an open bar, a twoonie cash bar, or selling tickets - let your guests know as soon as possible. Not only announce it before cocktail hour, but ample signage goes a long way!
4. The schedule
Having an itinerary both displayed and announced allows your guests to plan accordingly. If they have to make a quick call or spring to the washroom, letting them know how much time they have and when things will begin takes a load off - so they can get back to having fun!
5. How to get there.
Hand-in-hand with the welcome signage, directional signs are key – especially for outdoor venues, venues with many rooms, or places that are off the beaten path... a simple arrow or two makes a huge difference. Not to mention is a fail-safe for those guests who are prone to getting lost (and showing up right when you're going down the aisle!) It's best to have your wedding directions fool-proof!
What your guests WANT to know:
1. Where they are sitting at the ceremony.
It's a little uncommon now for guests to sit on the side of the venue for the ceremony. Back in the day, you were to sit on either the bride's side or the groom. Nowadays that's not the case in most modern weddings. You guests want to know where they are to sit to avoid embarrassment (and to not take away from YOUR day!)
2. Who they're sitting with at dinner.
Guests also want to know who they're sitting with. Is it next to your awkward Uncle Merle? Or their best friend? Having seating charts arranged by table rather than alphabetically by name lets your guests know what kind of fun they're about to have and with whom :) A small detail, maybe. But isn't it all in the details? ;)
3. What's for dinner.
With today's dietary restrictions, preferences, allergies, etc., having your menu displayed helps your guests and prepares them for your delicious meal. Put yourself in their shoes – if they fill up on the pate appetizer not remembering there's a decadent chocolate mousse dessert, it may mean more waste for you!
4. If there are any special rules.
What is SUPER popular right now (and super smart) is politely asking your guests to keep their cell phones in the pocket or purse during your ceremony. Why? Because you don't want your professional photographer to grab shots with everyone's arm sticking out taking blurry photos of you! Having this as an announcement and some prevalent signage goes a long way. And don't forget to be polite!
5. How to share their photos.
In the land of instagram, facebook, snapchat, and all the rest – gathering up those photos can be daunting, not to mention the desire to have every little candid shot after the day. The beauty part is that this is so easy to achieve – invent your own hashtag! Make it as unique as possible, adding in your year or something clever - that way it's unlikely anyone else will be using it (hashtags are public and anyone can use them). We suggest staying away from "#mikeandjen" and go for something like "MMtiestheknot2016". That kind of thing!
And how to get the word out? Announce it as well as placing hashtag signage in a few places at your venue - close to the photo booth, near the washrooms, or as part of your welcome sign. The sky's the limit!
There you have it. Let your guests know what they need to. Tell them what they want to know too. It's your day – but they'll be happier with these small considerations. Good luck!
(As a final note, it's always nice to have your signage match - match to your theme, your colours, your fonts, your choice of words, and match it to all other signs. OH - and don't forget to make it YOU. ;)