Should I use Escort cards or Place cards for my wedding?

I get many questions on custom wedding invitations but often the harder questions posed are ones such as, “what should I do for the day of wedding paper products?” There are so many options to choose from which will determine what best suits you and the needs of your guests. Good questions frequently asked are  “what is the difference between escort cards and place cards? Which are better?”   The answers begin with, “It all depends…”

It is common to have confusion on the difference between the escort cards or place cards and often couples will think they are one in the same. The truth is each of them have a very different and specific purpose. Below is a list of pros and cons for these custom printed cards.  They are each some of the many wedding stationery pieces that can help you organize your wedding details like a professional.


ESCORT CARDS:

 
 

 

  • Inform your guests of which table they are sitting at for dinner
  • Cards are usually displayed for your guests prior to entering the reception area for dinner
  • Commonly will list your guest names with a table number or table name assigning their seats
  • May include your guest’s food selection as an easy indicator for your wedding catering services  

Escort card displays can be a very unique and fun way for your guests to be interactive and to create a great opportunity for your guests to start the fun of your wedding. This can be a beautiful display that looks like a piece of artwork, a unique detail that matches the theme of your wedding/love story, or the escort cards can be attached to your custom wedding favors. They are yet another element that makes your wedding your own and the possibilities are endless.

Pros of Escort cards:

  • You have complete control of whom your guests sit with

Cons of Escort cards:

  • They take some organizing. I recommend a planner or a trusted member of the wedding party or even a family member to help minimize the stress.
  • Sometimes guests can’t find their names easily

PLACE CARDS:

 
Photo credit: Courtney Elizabeth Media
 

 

  • Inform your guests of which seat is theirs for dinner
  • They are displayed on the dining table at each place setting
  • Often are used for smaller weddings (fewer tables)
  • For a larger wedding may be used in addition to escort cards
  • May include your guest’s food selection as an easy indicator for your wedding catering services  

Similar to escort cards, place cards can provide  some fun and unique ways for  design and display. Since they are directly on the tables, there may be opportunities to incorporate them with the tablescapes and centerpieces. Place cards have a more intimate feeling and help  guests feel like they are being treated like a VIP in smaller settings.

Pros of Place cards:

  • You have complete control on where exactly your guests will sit and whom they sit next to
  • They can be used in addition to Escort cards

Cons of Place cards (some of the same stresses as escort cards):

  • They take some organizing. I recommend a planner or a trusted member of the wedding party or even a family member to can help minimize the stress.  
  • Sometimes guests can’t find their names easily

Using both escort cards and place cards:

Pros of both:

  • Complete control over every guest's seat in your reception

Cons of both:

  • Twice as much work to organize
  • More printing, more paper, end result is likely more expensive

In terms of choosing which would be better, it completely depends on the couple's preferences.  These are things to consider when making a decision on escort cards verses places cards or when to use both:

  1. Location of the reception (indoor or outdoor)
  2. Size of the wedding (large scale or intimate)
  3. Caterer or wait staff requirements (buffet or plated meal)
  4. Family dynamics

*Note “Opt to have place cards for the head table ONLY to assign the wedding party to a specific seat.”

When it comes down to it, you should choose to use whatever wedding paper options will work for YOU and your guests to easily direct them to seating during your reception. Knowing the pros and cons of each option, you are better equipped to determine what is best for your wedding guests utilizing your own know how.

 

Lauren Myers1 Comment