Do you really need wedding escort cards and place cards? What is the difference between the two?

If you’re planning your wedding and wondering the difference between escort cards vs. place cards and wondering if you need both, you’ll find out in this blog post. Read on to see what makes these table cards different, which one(s) you need, and why.

Bride-to-be Kellie writes to us asking, “Do I need escort cards AND place cards at my wedding?”

Kellie says that her fiancé, Tim, thinks, “having both seems like overkill”, but Kellie wants to know if it’s the norm to have both at a wedding. She wants to know the difference between escort cards vs. place cards, and we’re here to tackle it. Read on to find out which one you really need — and whether you need to have both escort cards and place cards at your wedding.

First, let’s tackle the difference between both types of cards so you can decide if you need both.

Escort Cards vs Place Cards

To know the difference, let’s discuss what each card’s role is in the wedding so you can make an informed decision.

What Are Escort Cards?

An escort card tells your guests at which TABLE they will sit.

Your escort cards are placed at the front of your wedding near the entryway of the reception. Escort cards are typically folded tent cards made of paper, but they can be a variety of styles. The escort card will include the guest’s name and their table number.

by pixel and hank

The escort cards are set up in alphabetical order on a table so they’re easy for guests to find and take to their seats.

• An escort card is REQUIRED if you are having assigned seating (which is highly encouraged).

READ: Should I Assign Seats at a Wedding Reception?

Women's Dresses

Alternative to Escort Cards: A Seating Chart

If you’re not a fan of escort cards and want an all-in-one design, accomplish the same goal of showing guests to their seats with a seating chart.

It fulfills the same role as an escort card, but rather than placing 50-100+ cards in alphabetical order — and having enough space to do so — you can display a seating chart poster or sign in a frame instead. Set it on an easel at the entryway to your wedding reception or lean it against a wall on a table at the door where it is visible to your guests.

by jessica corliss

What Are Place Cards?

A place card tells your guests at which SEAT they will sit once they find their table.

Place cards are set at tables in front of individual seats, as a part of your place setting decor. Most of the time, a place card ties into your theme and decor in some way through colors or motifs, but you can go with a minimalist design and keep it simple, if you’d like.

• A place card IS REQUIRED when you’re having plated entree meals for dinner.

A plated meal is where servers bring individual, entrees for your guests selected ahead of time [on your RSVP card]. The place card will denote a guest’s meal so your servers can bring the appropriate dish to the proper person.

You can print the meal choice on the card itself or add meal choices to place cards in an instant with these adorable meal choice stickers.

by ark creation inc

• A place card is NOT REQUIRED for buffet or family-style meals.

However, some couples prefer to have place cards in order to have certain guests seated together, facing a particular angle (for a better view), or easier access towards an area of the room.

If you aren’t having plated meals and don’t want to seat guests at individual chairs, no problem! You can skip place cards altogether and allow guests to simply choose where they wish to seat at their particular assigned table.

via here

by amy kross

by hooray creative

Now that you know the difference between escort cards vs. place cards, you probably realize what you need for your wedding. While sourcing your cards, don’t forget you’ll need table numbers so guests can easily locate their table.

Where to Buy Table Place Cards

The best place to buy place cards and escort cards for your wedding that look stylish and complement your theme is Minted. They even offer free name printing available, which is extremely helpful! Instead of typing each guest’s name (and making mistakes), you can upload your guest list and use the manager to import the list of guest names to the cards.

by maria hilas-louie

by susan moyal

by sumak studio

Each card is like a little work of art. The back of the card can even include a design to complement your theme.


In addition, it’s easy to edit your wedding place cards with ease and find coordinating day-of stationery.

If you’re looking for a seating chart, you can easily find a template you love and edit with the names and colors you need.

by rebecca durflinger

• Browse seating chart styles here and place card/escort card designs here.

Further Reading:

Check out these gold mirror place cards for a fun twist, these gold leaf cards.

You’ll also like these 31 Most Creative Displays for escort cards chock-full of really fun and creative ideas.

And… now you know the difference between an escort card vs. place card, and whether you really need to have both! See? It’s easy, really. 🙂

→ Next up: do you really need wedding menus? Read to find out!

Do you have any other questions? If so, leave them in the comment box below!

This is a sponsored post.


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