Escort Cards and Place Cards!

La Fete recently had the pleasure of planning a wedding at one of our favorite venues – The Carolina Inn! Our bride and groom, Rainy and Dave, chose very classic décor with tones of peach, black and gold, beautiful candelabra centerpieces for each table, and my favorite detail: place cards held by wine corks.

Escort cards and place cards are always a great way to make your wedding unique. These two small but important details serve as directions to your guests so they know which table and seat to take.  We are often asked the difference in escort cards and place cards and if both are necessary.  An escort card is typically set up in the cocktail hour space and is the way to inform your guests of their table assignment.  You may provide one escort card per couple or family if they are seated at the same table.  A place card, on the other hand, assigns your guest to an actual seat at the assigned table.  Although not every couple chooses to have these at their reception, they can be very helpful in ensuring guests know where to sit and thus eliminating any unnecessary chaos the night of the reception.  Place cards are almost always necessary (and required by your venue) when you have given your guests entree options.  The place card allows the waitstaff to know which guest has ordered what meal.

Escort cards don’t necessarily have to be individual cards.  For Rainy and Dave’s wedding, they chose to have a display of ornate vintage frames on display outside at their cocktail hour. Each frame represented a table and listed the guests who would be sitting there during dinner. At each seat we put a place card printed with the guest’s name inserted into a wine cork. This simple, unique idea was a big hit and added a lovely personal detail.

carolina inn wedding     Carolina Inn Wedding

Another fun idea we love from Martha Stewart is tags printed to a cork board with each tag displaying the guests name, table number and also a fabric detail. The table settings would vary so no table has more than one type of fabric napkin thus guests would know which seat to take based on their escort card fabric sample. This type of escort card is great for a more casual, colorful wedding and for a couple who loves to mix and match!


Escort cards can still be used if you would like your guests to be assigned a table but not a seat, especially if your food service is station style or buffet (not plated).   We love to do escort card displays with individual bud vases – the guests can then take the flower and vase home with them as a favor!  Below is an example of a recent wedding we designed and used the bud vases.  The lovely display makes a great focal point for cocktail hour as well!


What other ideas have you seen for escort cards and place cards?  What did you use for your wedding?