Gracious Events Blog

To place, to escort or to seat…that is the question?

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

In all honesty most people have no idea that there is a difference between a place card or escort card.  And unless you’re an event planner, or stationer, why would you even care? That being said though most every wedding will utilize one or the other so it can’t hurt for you to be educated on your choices – and it honestly carries into business settings and other social occasions you plan.

So here’s a quick explanation on different seating card options:

{PLACE CARD} a small decorated card inscribed with the name of a guest and set at the place he/she is to occupy at the dinner table.

{ESCORT CARD} a small card {not found at the table} that instructs your guests to sit at a specific table at your wedding reception.

{SEATING CHART} a large list where guests will find their name organized alphabetically under the table number in which they will be sitting.

Our clients are always challenging us to figure out unique ways to display their seating options – gone are the days of white or ecru folded cards.  We’ve hung escort cards from gorgeous full sized trees, stamped names on library cards, made handmade wine labels adhered to vintage bottles and attached cards to a starfish  Note to self, if ordering starfish make sure they are not alive because they smell like a barn full of horses!

So, just a few illustrations on each choice, starting with the seating chart.  The best thing about using a seating chart instead of individual cards is it saves you money (how nice is it that you can actually save money some where) as you use less paper!  Our bride’s wedding was “Rustic Chic” and took place in a beautiful New England Barn, the mother of the bride found an antique door at Flukes and Finds, a favorite Newburyport store.  Our stationer, BeeCustom Design, then created individual seating cards using the brides colors (hot pink and brown). The numbers were glittered (never can have enough glitter) and and held in place by old horse shoes the bride’s father created for luck.

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Next, is the place card since this card will be set at the table usually in front of each place setting, most brides are now coordinating them with the overall look of the wedding by matching it to the table number and menu cards.  This is your wedding, think outside the box!  Below are some FABULOUS inspiration via our favorite site PINTEREST.

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Last up is the escort card often confused with the place card, but as you now know there is a difference. Since escort cards are usually placed outside the reception room there is plenty of room for creativity.  Display is key here and how brides are choosing to display their escort cards is starting to take on a life of it’s own.

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Whatever you choose, go above and beyond.  Look at your space and see how you can utilize it to the best of it’s ability – there is no excuse for boring seating cards anymore so don’t be lazy.  If you need some ideas check out Gracious Events inspiration boards on Pinterest that we have created specifically for place cards, escort cards and table numbers!

Have fun with it!



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Weddings, Wedding VenuesGracious Events Management, Best Wedding Planners in Boston - 2013 Bride's Choice Award Winner