Paperia | February 2014
Q: What is the difference between an escort card and a place card? Do I need both?
A: While many people use the terms interchangeably, these items serve two different purposes: an escort card takes a guest to his table, while a place card shows him to a specific seat.
For a large, special occasion, like a wedding, the host typically makes seating arrangements in advance, so that their guests feel comfortable and enjoy themselves. Grouping guests into tables guarantees that they can sit with close friends or relatives – or at least with a similar age group. Escort cards are used to communicate the table assignments to guests and are usually displayed in a highly-visible area, like at the entrance or near the bar.
Place cards, on the other hand, indicate a guest’s exact seat at the table. Place cards are far less common than escort cards, but in certain situations, they can be very useful. For example, if your venue has several visual obstructions (like columns), you want to ensure that Grandma can see all the action from her seat; or, if there are strained relationships among guests you want to ensure that certain people are not visible to others. Place cards are usually located at the top of each guest’s dinner setting or on their napkin/plate.
And – if you’re taking time to do all this planning – you might as well have a little fun! So, get creative! Escort and place cards are not only functional – they can also contribute to your decor and personalize your event. For example, if hosting a wedding at a winery, you might consider displaying escort cards in hollowed-out corks and naming each table a different type of wine. Or, if you and your fiancé are extensive travelers, you might display escort cards on a large map and name each table a city you’ve visited together with a framed picture of you in that location. The possibilities are endless . . .!
What creative escort and place card ideas have you encountered?