What Is An Escort Card

When it comes to planning a wedding or a formal event, there are many details to consider, and one of those details is the escort card. But what is an escort card and why is it important?


What are escort cards

Wedding escort cards are individual cards that display your guests’ names and the table number they’re assigned to. You can choose separate escort cards for each guest or group of couples or families on the same card.

This system directs your guest to an allocated table rather than having a specific seat and allows them freedom in which seat to take at their assigned table. This makes them an ideal option for a more informal wedding day.

Escort cards are the way to go if you don’t want to spend a lot of time deciding who is best seated directly next to whom.

Closeup of table place cards or seating cards for wedding reception

Adding a seating chart

You can also choose to pair escort cards with a wedding seating chart. Unlike a seating chart used for directing guests to an exact seat, your seating chart would direct your guests to the location of their table. This chart would display where each specific table is located within the room.

Or you may have your tables visibly numbered so guests can make their way to their assigned tables. Ensure there is some way for your guests to know the table assignment and where their table is located.

Pro tip – Make the whole experience a little more interesting for your guests by giving a table name to each table to fit your wedding theme. Perhaps use the names of places you have visited as a couple or your favorite cocktails. Something to get your guests talking. An icebreaker subject if they need one.

seating chart for wedding.

The escort card display

The Escort display should be prominent when guests enter the lobby or reception area, and the guest’s first and last name should be legible.

Writing your guest’s name and table number on the escort card in beautifully hand-written calligraphy is common, but make sure it is clear enough to read. Arranging them alphabetically allows guests to quickly and easily find their names. You don’t want too many people crowding around the escort card display.

Create a system that helps them find their name card and move into the reception area. Cocktail hour is great for guests to wander around and find their own escort card and table. Allowing your guests access to the reception space during cocktail hour will reduce the odds of a traffic jam while your guests are all trying to find their names.

Why are escort cards a good idea?

Deciding if escort cards are the right option for your wedding will come down to a few factors. While it’s possible not to have escort cards for your big day, letting your guests choose their seating arrangements may end up with you requiring more seating overall.

Your guests will likely sit unevenly when left without direction, requiring more tables. This takes up more space and requires more decorating, centerpieces, and lining, which all add up. However, a completely informal wedding is possible.

One where your guest can choose their seat. It is advised that escort cards are used for a reception held in a venue for a sit-down meal. No one wants wedding photos of guests sitting at half-full tables. And guests don’t want the confusion of not knowing where they are sitting.

Escort cards vs. wedding place cards

As discussed above, escort cards are a great way to direct your guests to their assigned tables without the confinement of deciding exactly where they must sit.

Wedding placement cards are an excellent option for formal weddings. A seating plan directs guests to their particular table and place setting at the table, which will display their name tag. This indicates to the guest that this is their seat for the duration of the wedding.

During a sit-down meal, the venue’s catering staff need a subtle way of remembering who ordered which meal (see what questions to ask wedding caterers). Guests changing seats adds confusion, so place cards are a great way to keep people in their original seats. Place card holders are a customizable way of displaying each guest’s name, showing them where they will sit.

Escort cards and place cards can be purchased simultaneously as your other wedding stationery to ensure they fit your chosen theme.

Read more here about ‘What’s the difference between escort cards and place cards

Table set for an event party or wedding reception

Fun ways to display your escort cards

There are many fun ideas you could consider when choosing how to display your escort cards. Depending on your budget and theme, the possibilities for designing your escort card display are endless.

Here are some fun options for a great escort card display and adds a personal touch:

  • A wall of hanging wine glasses with your guest’s escort cards tied around the glass’s neck.
  • A welcome table at the entrance of the reception venue where the cards can be displayed is a practical option.
  • Writing your guests’ names on leaves and pinning them to the escort card display board is an excellent option for an outdoor wedding.
  • A large display board surrounded by vines and flowers, like the table’s centerpieces.
  • Displaying the escort card in a small pot plant for guests to take home as their wedding favors at the end of the special day.
  • A more subtle option is displaying the name cards on an escort card table.
  • If you’re having a fun, informal outdoor wedding, you could display your escort cards on thermoses filled with wine to enjoy with a picnic lunch.
  • Marble tiles as your escort cards displaying each guest’s name is a fun keepsake your guests can take home with them.

Final thoughts

Whether or not to use escort cards comes down to personal preference. If you are hosting an informal wedding, escort cards are a great option to direct guests to their assigned tables.

If you are having a more formal sit-down or buffet-style wedding reception dinner, placement cards may be a better option. Whether your budget stretches from tent cards made from pieces of paper or you want to go all out and display your escort cards on individual engraved crystals.

The idea is to get your guests to their assigned table; any form of escort card will do this.

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