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Place Cards, Escort Cards, Seating Assignments – Traditional Options

Photo by Out of the Ordinary Photography

Whether you have 5 guests or 500 you will need to provide some sort of guide to tell everyone where they need to sit at your reception. There are many ways to go about relaying this information – a traditional tented paper card that lists the guests’ names and table assignment, an individualized marking at each seat where guests can walk from table to table to find their spot, or a board or poster mounted at the entrance to the reception room listing out each guest and their table. As the bride and groom you can choose to keep your place cards as basic as you want or as elaborate as you can imagine. Here are some examples to show you options for your perfect place cards.

Traditional Place Cards

The most traditional and basic way of doing a place card is by using the tented paper cards where you list the guests’ name on one side and the table they are sitting at on the inside or the back of the card. Use a standard table with linen and line up all of these cards on the top with the guests’ names facing out. It is important to list these in alphabetical order and not in table order or you will have each guest searching for several minutes trying to find their card. When it comes to adding the information on you can either utilize the help of someone with very neat handwriting, you can find cards that come in sheets that can be run through a home printer, or you can hire a calligrapher who will write out the information in beautiful calligraphy. Please see below (and the picture at the top of this post) for examples of each.

Photo 1 – Tracey Buyce Photography
Photo 2 – Rob Spring Photography
Photo 3 – Jill Kaiser Photography
Photo 4 – Finer Image Photography

You can even fancy your cards up by adding accents that are fun and colorful. The first picture below had a daisy theme so the bride added tiny adhesive daisies to the corner of each card. The picture below that had a strong green theme and the small green ribbons helped bring another aspect of color to their event.

Photo 1 – Ilana Ben Harav
Photo 2 – Bob Donlon Photography
Another fun way to spice up the traditional place card is to find a fun way to display them. The two photos below used boards to hang their cards on. The top photo shows a couple who brought out their wedding colors of chocolate brown and orange by using covering the board in a dark brown fabric and using bright orange cards instead of the traditional white or ecru ones. The photo below it shows several different color ribbons run across the board that the cards were tucked in to. This gave a nice organic look and feel to the card placement.

Photo 1 – Tracey Buyce Photography
Photo 2 – Emma Dodge Hanson

And finally here are some of your standard place cards but instead of being displayed in bulk on a separate table these were addressed to each individual guest and were set up at each individual place setting. This method is the most time consuming and sometimes the most difficult to work through because instead of telling 8 or 10 people to work out their own arrangement at a table you are telling people they need to sit in a specific spot that has been preselected for them. This works best with small weddings of 50 guests or less because there will be less settings for guests to need to search through when they are looking for their own. If you want to do this with a larger group then it is best to have a list at the reception room entrance listing each guest and the table they are seated at, and then when they get to their table they find their personalized card on a specific setting.

Photo 1 – Belathee Photography
Photo 2 – Tracey Buyce Photography


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