Have you been confused by the difference between an escort card and a place card? When I first started out in the business I had no idea and thought they could be used interchangeably! Boy, was I wrong! Here’s the etiquette breakdown.
Place cards are actually considered more formal than escort cards and are placed at each guest’s place setting and are usually used with plated service. If there is a choice in entree, the place card indicates what the guest will be having….chicken, fish, vegetarian, etc. You can indicate either by color-coding the card, or my favorite is to use these adorable stickers (I typically choose the metallic versions) that I found on Etsy! They have everything from a cow to indicate beef, a fish, a cute carrot for vegetarians or even GF for gluten-free! It helps remind your guests of what they chose to eat on their reply card and also is a tremendous help to the catering staff to seamlessly know which entree goes where without having to ask the guests.
Escort cards on the other hand are used more at semi-formal events and are used to indicate which table your guest is assigned to. Typically they are at a table near the entrance of the reception space.
For large weddings, or really anything where there is more than one table, place cards will be accompanied by the escort table. You can also do a seating chart sign which will list each table and who is assigned to that table. You can either alphabetize the guests by last name and then list their assigned table or list each numbered table with the guests name written below.
Often place cards and escort cards are an area that gets overlooked and it’s a real shame to not incorporate the theme of your wedding into the seating charts and place cards! There are so many amazing options out there that go beyond the typical framed signed with guests table assignments and the standard tented card with the guests name written on it placed at their place setting. I love innovative options such as tequila shots at the Mexican Destination Wedding we did, quirky feathered arrows on a bullseye, and even synchronized swimmers with custom beach balls!
Check out the options below for some amazing inspiration that really goes outside the box and makes a statement at your wedding!