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Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Write Escort Cards and Place Cards

This may be one of the most common mistakes I hear on a regular basis, so I thought I'd dedicate a blog post to explaining the difference between escort cards and place cards, and the proper way to address your guests on each card.

While most people just refer to all name cards as "place cards", there is a distinct difference between the two. It's important to know the difference when you're ordering for your wedding, especially if you're ordering online!

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Escort Cards are generally at the entrance to the reception or at cocktail hour. These are very important, as they welcome your guests and tell them where to be seated. If this isn't done in an organized fashion, the guests can become frustrated immediately upon arriving at your reception, and that's the last thing you want!

Guests names on the front of the escort card, assigned table numbers on the inside.
Moulin Rouge themed wedding in Sandusky, OH
(Note: These are informally addressed escort cards that don't include titles.)
Escort cards by Amy Nixon Events

Formally, these cards should say the guests name and what table they are seated at. "Mr. & Mrs. John Smith, Table 12" or "Dr. Tom Jones, Table 2". If small children are attending, they should be included on the card "Mr. & Mrs. John Smith and Family",  and any children over 10 should have their own card with their own name.

Wine Cork Escort Cards for a Vineyard Wedding at Mon Ami Winery in Port Clinton, OH
Escort Cards by Amy Nixon Events

It's best to sort and display these alphabetically by last name (not by table). This way, the guests can easily find their names and spend less time in line at the table searching. Names should be addressed formally, same as the invitation. Include titles such as Dr., Mr. & Mrs, and military rankings (Colonel, Captain, Major, etc.. - military titles should never be abbreviated when addressing formally).

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Place Cards are at each place setting at each dining table. The place card at the table can be less formal if you wish, but titles should still be used. Each card has a guest's name, and that designates which seat the guest should sit at. Place cards can also contain a marker of some sort to let the catering staff know which dinner to serve to that guest (vegetarian, chicken, beef, etc...).

Moulin Rouge themed wedding in Sandusky, OH
Hand Folded Eiffel Tower Place Cards by Amy Nixon Events

Standard Tent Cards with Meal Markers for a 
Tented Tropical Wedding at Catawba Island Club in Port Clinton, OH
(These show markers for the catering staff signifying 
whether the guests meal should be beef, fish or vegetarian.)

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