When you receive your calligraphy, realize that anyone carrying food or drinks, or who has been eating may accidentally ruin your certificate unless you take precautions to protect it!
MAKE SURE to keep the certificate covered, except where the people are signing it – don’t let anyone touch it with their bare hands (grease from food, or liquids spells disaster!). I have enclosed your document in waterproof plastic wrap, which you can open at the bottom, and just the bottom sides. That way, the top part will still be completely visible, but protected from getting soiled. I would suggest that you have someone assign people where the sign, for balance sake. A rollerball, felt tip (not dried out), or any other pens should be fine. I’ll enclose a scrap piece for people to get their pen started, or practice their signature. Have some paper towels for people to rest their hand while they’re signing. Natural oils from the skin can make the area where they rest their hand below their signature difficult for a pen to write on! This advice is from a calligrapher, who has learned lessons the hard way.
Perhaps, you will want to save the top lines for your sets of parents, grandparents (if you’re lucky, you still have them!), and close friends & relatives. Then below, you can have people sign across, rather than straight down columns. That way, if you don’t fill in all the names, it won’t look lopsided. You might want to provide different color ink pens – or keep it all black – blue is more likely to fade.
When the document is completed, your framer will know that they should not put their bare hands onto the paper. In fact, they may have a fixative spray that will keep the certificate protected.
Your calligraphy wedding certificate, or other award is a document that you will treasure. Taking precautions will preserve it’s beauty and make it last.