We're Elevate

What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

Display, Signage & Day-of Stationery Inspiration

Here at EEHQ, we are in the thick of wedding season, and finalizing all of the beautiful details for all of our remaining celebrations for the year! As we do so, we had the realization that so many of you are likely doing the same, and may be looking for guidance on how to manage your own celebrations, so we thought: why not put together an inspiration guide on all of the beautiful ways you can communicate your wishes, desires and key words to your own guests?? There is so much amazing Display, Signage & Day-of Stationery Inspiration out there, but we have found many clients who are hard-pressed to find real, straightforward advice when it comes to all of the options available to them (and the logistics to consider as well).

We have been involved in many stunning events, full of gorgeous, intentional details, and wanted to bring to all of YOU some of our favorite display, signage and day-of stationery details from events past to serve as additional information for your own celebrations! Please enjoy, and comment below with any additional thoughts, questions or advice you have learned on your end!

Escort Card Displays

Credits left to right: Cedar & Spice & Bride: Heather C. // Bride: Molly G. // Event Essentials & Bride: Molly S.

Plan to Budget: $1000-$4000

Tradition calls for a table full of tented cards indicating your name, meal choice, and table number. Well we say – do absolutely whatever you desire! We have designed (and have otherwise been a part of) some incredible escort displays, which not only make an amazing design impact as guests arrive – they are also incredibly functional and are one of the FIRST ways you can alert your guests of the overall vibe of the party, as well as communicate exactly what they need to be doing!

Displays are also an intricate detail that tend to require a decent amount of prep and setup time, so be sure to note that as you are considering WHAT you will be preparing, WHO will be setting it up, and HOW MUCH TIME you have to do so. Your venue coordinator and planner/designer can help iron out these specifics! Better yet, hire a full service planner who handles this from start to finish so you don’t have to.

Credits: Cedar & Spice & Elevate Events

One of the many conversations we find ourselves having with our clients is the overall difference between an “escort card” and a “place card.” To put it in the simplest terms: one “escorts” you to your table (i.e., tells you *generally* where you will be sitting), while the other is truly “placed” at each individuals’ seat. Sometimes one or the other is preferred, other times, we utilize a combination.

The beauty in our industry is that: we can really accommodate any and all combinations of any and all of the above! For example, we see many clients opting for a beautiful escort display alone, which will effectively guide guests to their tables (i.e., Mary Wilson is seated at Table 8, and then Mary and her tablemates can take it from there).

Other clients are opting for another beautiful and effective combination: seating chart display (i.e., guiding guests to their table by alphabetized name), and then have expertly placed PLACECARDS available at each seat to give each guest a fully immersive experience AND effectively communicate their meal choices. There is really no ONE right or wrong way – all will depend on the venue, your design desires and budget, and of course, what type of meal service you have selected and the overall experience you wish for your guests.

Credits left to right: Elevate Events & Bride: Tayler B. // Chance Productions, Daffodil Parker, Coqui Paperie // FOB, Donald B., Alyssa Amez Design, Modern Day Collective // Event Essentials & A La Crate

Should you choose to guide your guests to their tables via a large display: remember these details:

  • Keep it simple – start fairly basic, and you can always choose to embellish as you go.
  • Know that you don’t need to list every single guest on their own card (to save space, you can always list couples or groupings per card instead, just be sure that, if they have differing meal selections, you effectively communicate that piece!)
  • Consider the overall delivery and what these individual “gifts” will mean to your guests – what will they physically do with each once they pick them up?

Welcome Signs

Credits left to right: Windswept Design Studio // Lageret // Bride: Tayler B. // The Crafty Peach

Plan to Budget: $150-$500

We love Welcome Signs and here are the basic reasons why:

  • They are a perfect way to “cement” the entrance to your ceremony. Everyone will understand that they are exactly where they need to be, especially guests who may be driving straight to your ceremony location!
  • They are always photo-worthy, and a beautiful way to set the tone of the event!
  • If you have desired hand outs, such as programs or recessional goodies to toss, this is a great way to make those items feel like they “belong” at the base of your aisle or entrance.

Some clients wonder if they will need multiple signs for the entrance of each space or venue throughout the day. Our response: as long as you have a solid planning team, this is an item that can most likely be effectively repurposed for each space!

Drink Menus

Credits left to right: The Crafty Peach // Bride: Tayler B. // Windswept Design Studio // Coqui Paperie

Plan to Budget: $5-20 per sign (not including cost of frames)

Of course, many catering and bartender services can absolutely print out a simple menu to translate your offerings to your guests, but why not kick the party off right with a perfectly “branded” bar sign that fully outlines YOU and what YOU like, as a couple!?

We have seen many beautiful watercolor options, which infuse both style and function, as well as wonderfully stylish signage which fully encompasses the overall wedding design via just one image. Think about it this way: you spend SO much time thinking about that non-negotiable hosted bar for your guests… why not make it effortlessly stylish to boot???

Table Numbers

Credits left to right: Bride, Tayler B. // Sugar Pear Design // Minted // Bride: Nikki M.

Plan to Budget: $2-10 per number (not including cost of stands/frames)

Table Numbers – seem like such a minor, inconsequential detail, right??

But even these minor details can make a MAJOR impact on your overall table design. Take the images above, for example – can’t you just feel the overall aesthetic in each? Something seemingly so simple can have a very incredible impact on the design!

Seating Charts

Credits left to right: Bride: Nikki M. // Jane Duffey Art // The Crafty Peach // Coqui Paperie

Plan to Budget: $500-2500

As we mentioned above, seating charts are a wonderful alternative to the typically crowded escort card table. Serving as both an effective pillar for your wedding design, each of these examples show the various ways you can display these pieces and guide your individual guests to their respective dinner seats. If you are prepared for a significant amount of both detail AND design, definitely explore this option with your stationer or planning team!


Credits left to right: Minted / Minted / Sugar Pear Design / For Your Party

Plan to Budget: $.50 to $1.50 per napkin

If you have been following for any amount of time, you all know that weaving each couples’ story into their special day is one of the pillars of the Elevate Experience! And as such, though this detail may seem small: one of our most favorite ways to infuse that personalization into an overall event experience is: COCKTAIL NAPKINS!

While an overall small and seemingly trivial piece of the overall wedding day details, we firmly believe that a solid cocktail napkin can be one of your guests’ very FIRST experiences into your new union. Cocktail hour is typically one of the very first events where your special guests have the opportunity to mingle and discuss who YOU are as a couple – so a well thought-out napkin can be one of their very first windows into how you plan to present yourself as the newly married duo, as well as provide a good laugh or two, if desired! As for quantity, plan on at least 2 napkins per guest, if you can.


Credits from left to right: Bride: Tayler B. / Plume Calligraphy / Paper Envy / Minted / Alyssa Amez Design/ Coqui Paperie

Plan to Budget: $1-10 per menu (depending on embellishments)

We’ll be honest here: a well-done dinner menu is one of our absolute favorite elements of an overall wedding design. While it could be categorized as a fairly inconsequential piece of the many special elements in an overall wedding day, we believe that your guests’ most immersive wedding experiences happen during, you guessed it… DINNER!

Dinner is the moment where you may be having the first real opportunity to communicate with your loved ones. Whether it is via toasts, formal speeches, and of course…your DINNER MENU, this is one of the first opportunities where everyone gets to sit down, gather their collective breath, and simply ENJOY the experience of being surrounded by your love and your story. Why WOULDN’T you want to celebrate that with a super special wedding dinner menu??

Food & Favor Displays

Credits left to right: Elevate Events / Sugar Pear Design & Blossom Bay Design / Elevate Events / Elevate Events & FOB, Don B.

Plan to Budget: $250-$3,000

Displays can also house so much more than simply paper goods. If the opportunity arises, we also always love a chance to display things like Signature Cocktails, party favors and dessert options! Each of the displays presented above was such a special window into the rest of the event and the couple themselves – can’t you already envision the rest of the party after laying eyes on these awesome displays?

We hope this outline of some of our favorite display, signage and day-of items proves helpful as you consider your own event. If any of these ideas sound interesting to you, but are perhaps just a bit more detailed than you’d like, be sure to bring up the Signage & Day-of Stationery Inspiration with your planner or stationer – we are here to guide and assist to ensure that your day fully encapsulates YOU and your personal love story. Cheers!