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You Can’t Sit With Us: Your Guide to Seating Charts, Escort Cards, and Place Cards

Escort cards, place cards, and seating charts- oh my! If you’re like most couples, you’re probably wondering what these things are and whether you need them for your wedding. Well, wonder no more! In this blog post, we will explain the purpose of each of these items and give you a guide to deciding which ones are right for your wedding.

First up are escort cards, which are used to designate seating assignments for each guest. These are usually printed pieces with the guest’s name and table number on it. Escort cards can be displayed in many ways, such as on a table, wall of frames, or even hung from ribbons, and they are an excellent way to bring your reception theme into your cocktail hour.

Next up is the seating chart. This is a larger version of escort cards and it usually displays all the guests’ names and table assignments in one place. Seating charts are great for helping guests find their tables quickly (read: no need to search for their names among items), and it is often a more cost-effective way to instruct guests on where to go to find their seat.

Last up is the place card, which is a name card that is placed directly on the guest’s table setting, and may also indicate the guest’s choice of entrée if you are having a plated meal. Place cards are particularly important if you plan to use the popular farm or rectangular style tables, as it is not immediately clear to guests whether couples should sit next to or across from each other.


So, which of these items do you need for your wedding? The answer will depend on budget, table style, party size, and personal preference. We always recommend having either a seating chart or an escort card display. Without them, guests may feel stressed about where and with whom they are going to sit, and may feel a rush to “claim seats” as soon as the reception opens. Between escort cards and seating charts, it is normally a matter of budget and design. Your seating chart is an item that most guests will only interact with for one to two minutes at most. Accordingly, it is reasonable de-prioritize it in the budget.

Whether to have place cards is another matter entirely. Place cards are particularly useful if you have tables in any shape other than round, if you want VIPs to have a particular view of the dance floor, or if you would like to keep quarrelling guests out of eyesight from each other. They also represent another wonderful way to reinforce your design choices and theme. If you do choose to have place cards, however, we highly recommend that you hire a wedding manager to set up your displays. Place cards are time consuming to arrange, and you will not want to spend time doing it on your wedding morning. Book a consult and thank us later!

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts!

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meet the planner carmen

Hi, I’m Carmen! I’m a wedding planner in Northern Virginia with a love of high-impact design details, well-executed timelines, and seamless event execution. I’m also a lawyer, a wife, a mother, an excellent cookbook recipe follower, and a cat foster mama!

Sound like your cup of tea? Let’s chat!

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