Escort Cards vs. Place Cards

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Escort Cards vs. Place Cards

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The phrases “escort cards” and “place cards” are often used interchangeably, but actually they’re quite different. In this article, we’ll define each of these terms to help make your reception planning a breeze!

This is everything you need to know about escort and place cards.

What are the differences between escort cards and place cards?

Escort cards tell each guest their reception table assignment. These cards are usually displayed near the entryway of the reception space so that they can be easily seen by guests. Some couples choose to display seating charts rather than escort cards, but the purpose of the two is the same—to direct guests to their tables.

Place cards provide a specific seating assignment at the reception table. So if you’d like your guests to sit in predetermined seats at their reception tables, place cards are the way to go.

Which one(s) do I need at my wedding?

Most weddings assign guests to specific tables—it’s a lot easier than having guests wander around looking for a table to sit out, school cafeteria-style. Therefore, most wedding receptions do have escort cards—or seating charts.

Place cards are optional, however. For couples hosting a plated dinner, place cards often make it easier for the serving staff to bring the correct meals to the guests—the place card can be marked with their entrée choice. Place cards are also an indication of formality and are almost always a part of a formal or black-tie event.

Oftentimes formal weddings, the couple will have both place cards and escort cards. If you’re going to have place cards, it is recommended that you also have escort cards. You don’t want your guests to have to awkwardly wander from table to table trying to find their name. The only exception would be if you’re having a small wedding with just one large table—then your guests will just need to know their place to sit at the table.

If your wedding is a less formal affair, you may want to skip the place cards and go with just escort cards. Your guests will pick up their escort card when they enter the venue, make their way to the table, and be able to choose any open seat.

Do escort cards and place cards have to be actual cards?

No! As we mentioned, a seating chart can replace escort cards. You can also find a variety of creative escort card ideas and place card ideas that are more unique than actual paper cards. Feel free to be creative and find something that truly matches your wedding’s personality and style.