As you plan your wedding, you’ll most definitely come across some wedding verbiage that may be unfamiliar to you. Like any industry, the wedding world has some terminology that isn’t always super clear.
For example, do you know the difference between place cards and escort cards?
Despite what a lot of people may think, place cards and escort cards are not the same. They may look the same, but they serve very different purposes.
So, what’s the difference between place cards and escort cards?
Escort cards are meant to direct your guests to the appropriate table where they should be seated. Escort cards should have two key pieces of information: the guest’s name and the table number or name that they should be seated at.
Place cards are placed on the table, at the exact seat where they should be seated. Generally, place cards also have two pieces of information: the guest’s name and their selected meal so that the service staff knows which plate to serve that guest. There are many ways to discreetly indicate a meal choice to the service staff: it can be a color code system, or even indicating the meal choice on the inside of the place card. Be sure to work this out with the caterer before you have the place cards made so that you can work out a system that works for your catering team.
Do I need both place cards and escort cards?
Typically, no. Most couples choose one or the other. If you are comfortable with your guests choosing their own seat at a specific table, then a simple escort card display is perfect. If you’d rather have your guests seated at specific seats, then place cards are the way to go. In order to direct your guests to the appropriate table, you’ll either need to do a set of escort cards as well, or you can do a larger display listing all guests and the table they should be seated at. Popular options for this include poster size prints, or wooden signage.
Should I do place cards or escort cards at my wedding?
The choice is up to you! Generally, place cards have a little more of a formal feel, so if you’re planning a black tie wedding, or want the atmosphere to be elegant, place cards are a great choice to help set the mood. If you like the idea of place cards, but don’t want it to be so formal, then pair the place cards with a more casual escort card option, like a large display of all guest names and coordinating tables.
If you’d rather your wedding have a more casual, relaxed feel, then choosing escort cards and allowing guests to select their own seats at a specific table is the way to go.
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