Table numbers, place cards, escort cards and those little signs on side tables help guests navigate their way around the reception, (not to mention finding their seats) but they also add personality to your wedding and enhance your wedding theme.
Here are some tips and tricks for incorporating reception stationery into your wedding.
Place Cards and Escort Cards
First, let’s start with the difference between an escort card and a place card:
An escort card (sometimes referred to as a seating card) guides your guests to their assigned tables. Write the guest’s first and last name and the table number they are assigned to on each card. You may write the names of a couple on one card. Titles, such as Mr. Mrs. and Dr. are optional and are most appropriate for formal weddings. Arrange escort cards in alphabetical order by last name near the entrance of the reception hall.
A place card shows a guest where to sit at her assigned table. Write the guest’s first and last name and place it at the guests’ place setting. If you;re not using a tented card or a holder, put the place card on top of the napkin or plate where it will be visible.
Hot tip for place cards: Write the guest’s name on the front and back of the tented card, helping your guests remember each other’s names.
7 Creative ways to display Escort Cards
- Cut small grooves into a small log or branch and slide escort card in for a simple and rustic look. via Seattle Bride Mag
- Fill a tray with coffee beans, dried peas, marbles, jelly beans or other small objects and nest escort cards in. via Mod Wedding
- Hang gold-tipped feathers hanging from string or twine. Cut a slit into escort cards and pierce with feather and hang. via Bella Paris Designs
- Use fortune cookies as an escort card vehicle. via Adorn Magazine
- Spray paint succulents or pinecones gold and tuck escort cards in. Or, don't paint the succulents or pinecones at all for a more natural look. via Wedding Chicks
- Tie escort cards to mix-and-match tea cup handles and hang on a wooden board. Perfect for casual vintage weddings. via Unknown.
- Champagne escorts cards. Attach escort card to a champagne glass or signature drink to have your cocktail hour do double duty. via June Bug Weddings
You can also opt to do a cute seating chart in lieu of escort cards. Your seating chart should support your theme, be legible, have lettering big enough for everyone to see easily, including grandma, and be organized by guest’s last name.
Hot tip for seating charts: Ask a member of the wedding party or your wedding planning staff to be on hand near the chart to help guests find their tables. It will only take 15 minutes or so and will help mitigate bottlenecks and slow downs as guests try and find their assignments.
5 creative seating chart ideas
- Print your seating chart on a canvas. via Oh So Beautiful Paper
- Write seating chart in white sharpie or chalkboard ink on a vintage window. Use each pane for a different table. via Re-inspired Bride
- Create a seating chart with pretty frames. Surround them with vintage wedding photos of your family for an heirloom-inspired touch. via Ten Feet of Beale
- Tap into a passion or profession. This periodic table is perfect for scientists. via Adorn Magazine
- Wrap bottles of wine with your seating chart. Use one bottle of wine for each table. Insert a classic rose bud for an elegant look. via Elizabeth Ann Designs
When it comes to table numbers, think outside of the box and name your tables instead of using numbers.
You can also use objects, either found or meaningful to use instead of the standard card in a standard metal holder. Place your table number on lanterns, vintage tea pots, wooden rounds, Wine bottles or anything else that supports your theme or tells you story. You can paint, glue print or decoupage a table number (or name) on almost any object. (Wooden and Brass table number via Style Me Pretty; golden table number via Better Off Wed on Etsy.)
11 Fresh Table Number Ideas
- Paint or adhere a table number on vintage plates for a rustic vintage look. via
- Use vintage books or favorite classics as table numbers. Draw, paint or adhere numbers on to books, opened or closed. via Artfully Wed
- Set vintage clocks to a certain time to indicate table numbers (tables 1-12). via Bridal Guide
- Tell the story of your relationship through pictures. Personalize further by adding fun facts associated with each number. For example, table #1 could say: “1: Number of Dates Before First Kiss.” via Wedding Bells
- Wrap greenery around wire fashioned into numbers for a pretty and whimsical look. via
- Opt for a gold picture frame and remove cardboard backing to reveal just the glass. Draw or paint your table number on the glass. via Frosted Petticoat
- Attach a wooden number onto a wooden block and spray paint gold. via Elizabeth Anne Designs
- Take paper or an object that's meaningful, like sheet music, a record, a ski trail map, a hiking trail map, or a page from a favorite book. Attach to chipboard to reinforce it and draw or paint your table number on it. via Style Me Pretty
- I love the look of line drawings. If you're an artist or know one, have her create custom line hand-lettered and line drawing table numbers for you. You can also design something like this on your computer and print them out on sturdy card stock. via Ruffled Blog
- Take mini canvases and hand paint pretty numbers on them in your color palette. via Ruffled Blog
- Print, stencil, draw or paint the table number on the ends of your table runners. via The Pretty Blog
Check out more fresh table number ideas for mountain brides.
Table Stationery Timeline:
- 6 months before: Order your escort, placing menu cards when you order your invitations. The seating and place cards should not have any names on them. You will write, print or have them calligraphed once you get your RSVPs in.
- 1 month before: Start any DIY projects, such as your guest book or if you’re printing out menu, place or escort cards.
- 2 weeks before: All the RSVPs should be in so you can start working on your seating plan.
- 1 week before: Write, print or calligraphy the place and escort cards.
- Day before: Give all of the table stationery to whomever will set it up at the reception.