Place cards and escort cards are probably two of the most important directional signs your wedding (or formal event) should have and while both feature the name of the guests and each have a logistical benefit their purpose is slightly different .
Escort Cards, when used alone, are a little more informal but still identify each guest, by name, and the table at which they can be seated. Set them atop a beautifully decorated table located directly outside of your event entrance and once the card is retrieved and the guest finds his or her table, they may seat themselves wherever they like. If you’re considering a larger number of guests or are hosting a more formal event, such as a wedding, you may also want to strongly consider using a place card.
Remember to ALPHABETIZE YOUR ESCORT CARDS! I cannot stress enough how important it is that your escort cards be pre-sorted by last name of the guest and NOT sorted by table. And if your escort cards are something completely untraditional such as sea shells, picture frames, biodegradable seed packets, (I think you get where I’m going with this), sort them (by LAST NAME) into small, manageable groupings and clearly label them as such, “A – F, G – M, N – T, U – Z”. Your catering manager or event coordinator will love you for it!
Place Cards also identify each guest by name but are generally located at the table setting at the guests table. It’s looked upon as the more formal of the seating considerations – a personal Welcome to the event. I like to think of it as carefully assigned seating.