our wedding signage
I have to be honest; I can’t remember exactly how it started. I think partly it was that I had just got a new iPad that I was trying to learn to draw on and partly that my sleep during lockdown was terrible; I needed a 4am project. And it was just going to be ‘practice’ at first, but at around 10 people in (clearly not thinking about the 75 or so left to go), I felt like I had made a commitment and I was going to carry on.
I already knew I wanted our seating plan to look a little differentfrom ‘normal’. I wanted to take every opportunity to add more colour into our day and to go slightly against traditional wedding signage where there tends to be so much text on display (which of course makes sense). We also wanted everything art-related, from the original invites to these signs on the day, to feel cohesive. We found that cohesion in a few ways, tying everything together with flowers, both hand drawn and real, muted colour tones, and an ‘us-ness’ that I am not sure I can out into words. In the end (and a few mood boards and doodles later) I had the idea that we would use wooden boards for all our signs and that the seating plan would be an ombre green. It would be covered in rows of tiny paper pockets, which would start dark forest green at the top and work their way to a light olive colour at the bottom. Each pocket would be labelled with the guests’ names alphabetically and inside would be their picture with a small table illustrating where they were sat on the back.
the process The idea in my head was one thing; the execution was another. Finding photos of people without asking was harder than I anticipated, especially for older generations who don’t have social media. On top of drawing each guest I had to make sure it would work logistically. I made a life-size draft on the back of a paper shopping bag (the only thing I could find big enough), and measured the distance needed between each ‘pocket’ to make sure they would all fit on. When it came to making the board I sanded and stained massive pieces of ply, and drew the lettering on in pencil before painting using an acrylic pen (something I had NO idea about and had to try 4 before finding one - by Molotow - that worked). I needed to find card in the right colour to create the ombré effect (which was also much harder than I expected). It also needed to be thick enough to hold the illustrations. I found what I needed online at 'PDA Card'. I cut these all to the size of the pockets I had drafted and stuck them down. When I finally finished the faces, only 2 weeks pre wedding - about a year from starting, I had them printed by a local printer and then I cut them down to size. Finally I drew a small table on the back of each to explain where that guest was sitting, and slotted them into place.
the other boards I loved the other boards just as much, but don’t have quite as much to say about making them, as it was no where near as labour-some! Just as with the seating plan I cut, sanded and stained wooden boards. But this time I only had to paint them. I designed each sign on my iPad first - I’ve never been good at just winging things - and then drew them in white pencil (for the same reason that I drafted them all) before completing them by going over the pencil in the same Molotow acrylic paint pen.
The boards were one of my favourite things I created. And I KNOW the faces took a long time... I was close to giving in many, many times. But it was worth it. They ALL felt very unique, very special, and very 'us'.
In the next blog post we are going to chat about the other 'on-the-day' things I created (including something I showed you a sneak peak of on Instagram but never even got round to using!)