As engaged couples begin to tackle the tasks of guest lists and seating many couples get very confused with the two terms Escort Card and Place Card.
They are actually two very different things and understanding how and why to use them can help clear some of the clutter as you tackle seating family and friends for your wedding.
The term alone seems old fashioned, and for that reason, alone many people default to saying place card. It sounds like it tells you who the woman will be escorted by and makes some people uncomfortable.
It’s actually entirely different. An Escort Card is designed to ‘escort’ or show you to your table.
It’s pretty simple, guests name and table number. It should match the table they are assigned to inside the wedding reception.
Think formal dinner party where your parents wanted specific people to sit next to another person so they can get to know each other or because they have something in common.
The same thing at a wedding, you are assigning specific seats at each guest table, so people sit next to a particular person.
In The Beginning
Most weddings actually have Escort Cards, or seating charts, it is something guests will pick up during the cocktail hour and then find their table when entering the wedding reception.
If they are arranged on a table, they are displayed in alphabetical order, by the last name, so guests can easily find their card.
When designing a seating chart, names are also listed alphabetically by the last name! You have no idea what table you are assigned to and searching their twenty table groups to find your name is annoying!
Do We Or Don’t We
The next question becomes, do we need place cards or not?
Place cards are fantastic if you have a dinner party of twelve people, it becomes a lot more complicated when you have two hundred guests.
Who can sit next to who? Will they actually sit in that seat? Does it really matter? And, it not only means buying a second set of cards but it takes a lot of time. So most people don’t.
There are exceptions to every rule. If guests have selected a choice of entrée in advance, a place card may be used, so the caterer knows who gets which entrée.
It is also something you might do just for your wedding party, it pairs them up or places them where you want them if you have a head table.
And another excellent case is to reserve specific seats at a table for parents. Many times parents are the last ones in the room, whether it is because they are chatting with guests or because they are introduced into the room with the wedding party.
It’s a nice touch to reserve a specific seat for them so they can see, and be seen.
And, if you are not being seated at a sweetheart table or head table and have chosen to sit at a guest table with parents, or friends; you absolutely want cards for the two of you.
Don’t get caught with the last two seats and your back to your guests! It’s uncomfortable for the two of you and often makes for horrible pictures.