Updated: Sep 25, 2019
You’ve finally finished mapping out your reception table assignments. A congratulations is in order! Now it’s time to help your guests find that seat you worked so hard to select for them. Will you need a framed seating chart or individual cards? And what is the difference between escort cards and place cards? Read on as we breakdown the meaning of it all and help you determine which items are best for your big day.
When seating friends and family at specific tables you’ll need to identify each guest with their name and their table number. You can easily do this with a seating chart or individual escort cards. Your choice to do a seating chart or escort cards may come down to the room you have for your display or specific design ideas that you may have in mind.
Simply put, seating charts are larger poster-size signage that list all guest names, usually alphabetically, along with the table number where they’ll be seated. Typically, all guests can fit on one seating chart (usually 24x36 in size), however a small party of less than 75 guests may fit on a smaller sign while larger parties of over 200 may require several charts. Seating charts are often designed using the event branding and motifs and can be produced as a framed paper poster or on acrylic or a mirror.
Escort cards, similar to a seating charts, identify the guests with their table number. They can be written per person or per couple. Escort cards can be as simple as tented cards placed alphabetically on a table. However, party stylists and stationers are getting more and more creative with their displays whether pinning flat cards to beautiful display boards, adding wax seals or even pairing with leafy stems, fruit or other natural accoutrements.
Whether you choose to guide your guests with a seating chart or with escort cards you will also need table numbers to indicate which table is which. As implied, table numbers simply have a number (or sometimes a custom name) listed or written out on the card and are typically placed in an easy-to-see spot on the table. Table numbers could be tented cards that stand on their own, a flat card that can slip into a frame or custom numbers that can be rented from a local stationer. Paper Daisies Stationery rents frames and custom table numbers for our local Georgia weddings!
At this point you may decide to let your guests find their own seat at the table, but if you’d like to place each guest at a specific seat then you’ll need a place card for each guest! Place cards may look similar to escort cards but they only show the name of the individual guest. Their main purpose is to guide each guest to a specific seat at their table. Place cards are often small tented cards that stand or lay on their own.
Learn more about seating options or download our Excel chart and/or Excel card templates to get started creating your own. If you’re ready to shop we invite you to view our seating charts, escort cards, table numbers and place cards in our online shop.