Did you know that there is a difference between escort cards and place cards? Many people use the two terms interchangeably, but they are actually 2 very different little cards. Then of course there's the seating chart option instead of escort cards or place cards, so what is the difference between them all, and which is best for your event? Escort Cards Escort cards are probably our most popular seating choice for weddings - these are the little cards that guests pick up on the way into the reception venue or room. They are usually arranged in alphabetical order on a table or other receptacle, and typically say the guest's name and what table they are seated at. Escort cards also allow for a lot of creativity as well, allowing the couple to make it a bit personal, or at least unique to their wedding. Probably the most seen and most used style of escort card are the tiny tented ones, or flat cards that have a holder such as a wine cork,
Pros - you get to choose where everyone sits (which could also be a con depending upon how you look at it!) - they are easy for the guest to find (because they are usually alphabetical) - they are easy to display and are all in one place - they are simple for anyone to arrange on the day of your wedding because they are alphabetical, even if the person arranging them isn't familiar with the people or seating assignments - they allow you to add some creativity to your event, with the use of unique table names, a special holder or way of displaying them, or even by attaching them to a favor or beverage! - they allow you to specify a meal choice by different colors, emblems, shapes, or some other differentiation
Cons - it can sometimes be stressful to try and map out where everyone sits, and then there is the worry that they won't like where they are sitting or who they are sitting with! - they can be quite time consuming if you are making them yourself, or if you are having a calligrapher do them
Place Cards Place cards have your guests' names on them, and are generally found at the location of where you are indicating that they sit, their "place" at the table, if you will. If there are no seating assignments, sometimes place cards may be used to allow the guest to "reserve" their seat, by picking up their card and placing it at their chosen chair. Many times these may be used in combination with escort cards or seating charts.
Pros - they allow you to specify exactly which seat your guests will sit in, and exactly who will sit next to them - they can be used in unison with escort cards or seating charts for added seating security or a unique touch - just like escort cards, they allow you to add some creativity to your event with the use of special holders, or even by attaching them to a favor or beverage! - they allow you to specify a meal choice by different colors, emblems, shapes, or some other differentiation - they are great for smaller events Cons - they force your guests to walk around searching for where their seat is, which could be a bit difficult, especially if the event is large - they require more slightly more difficulty setting them up, since either you have to do it yourself, or have someone follow a diagram or list - just like with escort cards, it can sometimes be stressful to try and map out where everyone sits, and then there is the worry that they won't like where they are sitting or who they are sitting with! - they can also be quite time consuming if you are making them yourself, or if you are having a calligrapher do them
Seating Charts Seating charts are one large printed list, usually alphabetical or by table, of your guests' names and table assignments. Most of the time they are displayed in one large frame, or multiple smaller ones, and are displayed in a prominent area at the entry of your reception space. Your guest will find their name and their table assignment, and then set off to find their seat. Sometimes place cards at the actual table may be used in conjunction with seating charts to further specify where guests will sit. Seating charts are usually the least difficult and least expensive method of displaying seating assignments. This is because it is one large item being printed and displayed versus quite a lot, sometimes hundreds, of little pieces being printed or written on and then displayed somehow.
Pros - your guests will not have to carry any little pieces of paper to their seat - very easy to display - usually sits on a large easel, or on a tabletop- it can double as a keepsake that you can hang up later if you wanted to - usually less expensive than escort or place cards (unless you go crazy on the framing!)
Cons - your guests will not have a personalized keepsake card to take home from your special day (other than the favor of course, and not everyone keeps escort or place cards anyway!) - if everyone arrives to the reception at once, there can sometimes be a line to look at the chart and guests may have to wait
Check out our Pinterest page for more inspiration and ideas!