Sep
29

Place Cards vs. Escort Cards: What are The Differences?

What is the Difference between Place Cards and Escort Cards?

When we attend well-planned events such as wedding or milestone occasions, one common element is a seating assignment of one form or another. I found that most of my clients from my past event business did not know the differences when it came to the table and seating assignments.

Most often we see a table full of cards. Either on there own or attached to a guest gift. After cocktail hour, we saunter over to the table ladened with carefully placed stationary and try to locate our name(s) like a crazy game of “Where’s Waldo” without the benefit of a striped sweater and hat to alert us of its whereabouts. I digress… The point: we need to find our seats.

The Mistake

Many often refer to the card displayed on the table just outside the dining area as “place cards” when they are “escort cards.”

bride's place setting with place card
Bride’s place setting with place card.

The Place Card Use

A place card assigns your guest’s particular seat at the dining table. The card is actually placed at their seat that the host selected for them as shown, at left.

Below is another example of a place card. Only instead of having multiple stationary items at each place setting, you can combine them with the menu for a “greener” approach, saving paper and costs by creating personalized menus.

place card and menu combination
Place Card; Menu Combination. Photo Credit: Philip Gabriel Photography, Event Design: Petah Bashano

The Escort Card

As shown below, the escort card awaits the guest before entering the dining area. This example is an envelope with the guest’s name (or couple’s name). Inside is the table number assigned to the guest(s) for dinner. So they can be escorted to their table. (I will spare the details here about the particulars as this is not a history of stationary at formal function article.) When at the table a place card awaits (or not depending on the planning) of an assigned seat.

wedding escort cards displayed on silver trays
Escort cards envelope and table assignment Card within. Photo Credit: Philip Gabriel Photography, Event Design: Petah Bashano

And there you have it…

That is the simple difference between an escort card and a place card.

Look for an upcoming article on the multiple creative ways guests can find their table assignment. Stay tuned.

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