Here's the Difference Between Wedding Place Cards and Escort Cards
Updated: Jan 13
Did you know that escort cards and wedding place cards are two different things? Here's everything you need to know about them—plus ideas to copy for your big day.
Escort cards and wedding place cards are not the same thing, but not everyone can spot their differences at first. Both are equally important for your big day, which is why we’re breaking down the details of these wedding seating cards—what they're for and where they're displayed—so you know exactly how to incorporate them into your reception when the time comes. Here's what you need to know about these wedding stationery essentials before reaching out to your invitation designer.
Wedding Escort Cards
Escort cards, which are sometimes known as table cards or wedding seating cards, are individual cards that correspond to your wedding seating chart and specify the assigned table for each guest. You'll need one for every guest, or at least every family or couple, and you can base the wording on how you addressed your invites. If you’re only providing one escort card per family or couple, you'll still need a place card for each person at their assigned table (more on that later).
The escort cards should be displayed near the entrance of your reception venue so that they’re plainly visible to guests upon arrival. Arrange the cards alphabetically to make it super easy (and quick) for people to find their names—and to avoid a bottleneck at the reception entrance. Create a welcome table by displaying the escort cards along with your guest book, card box, and other decor. Feeling creative? Design an elaborate escort card display that matches your wedding style.
Alternatively, you can provide a seating chart sign for your guests. Instead of individual escort cards, the seating chart sign lists guests by name or table, depending on where they are seated. A custom seating chart sign made by a professional calligrapher can be a fun opportunity to spruce up your decor. Keep reading for some of our favorite wedding escort card ideas.
Wedding Place Cards
Wedding place cards differ from escort cards by indicating not just the table, but the exact seat assigned to each guest. These cards are displayed at every place setting, either on the plate or just in front of it. This option provides the most straightforward approach to your reception seating, especially if you have a very large guest list that you'd like to keep under control.
Place cards ensure that your VIP guests (parents, close relatives, etc.) have the best seats when they arrive to their assigned tables. They’ll also prevent guests from ending up at the wrong table, whether it was accidental, or because someone showed up unannounced or decided to rebel against the seating chart. Hey, it happens!
If you’re having place cards, you’ll need to provide one for every guest, even for those who don't have their own escort card. This includes plus-ones, young adults, and children (babies and infants are exceptions). This eliminates any confusion about whether or not families and couples are seated together.
Wedding place cards also come in handy if you’re having a plated meal. If you asked guests to make their menu selections ahead of the wedding, you can color-code the place cards or add small icons or letters (“C” for chicken, “B” for beef, etc.) for the corresponding entrées. When it's time to eat, your catering staff will know exactly who ordered what.