As you plan your wedding stationery, you’ll probably need to consider whether you need place cards or escort sets, or, both. But, wait, what’s the difference? The terms all seem to be used interchangeably in today’s global world of weddings. Seating cards, place cards, escort cards, escort sets… ugh! Talk about confusing! Here’s our interpretation, giving a nod to tradition but embracing modern practicality. An escort card escorts guests to their table, while place cards seat guests to their place setting.

Escort cards, seen above and below, are generally grouped together and arranged alphabetically on a lovely focal point table or station located at the entrance to the wedding.  Guests will generally see their first and last names on the front of the card and their assigned table on the inside. An escort set is simply the same concept using a small envelope for the names and an insert card for the table assignment. For most bridal couples, choosing to seat their guests with escort cards or sets is as far as they’ll go in the seating game. It’s just too daunting and time-consuming to also go to the trouble to seat each and every guest to a specific chair.

The styling of the escort cards or sets can be designed by your wedding stationer, like our Creative Partner Ceci New York whose work is shown here, to mirror the overall wedding stationery suite.

As you can see from the photos below, place cards are markers that assign a specific chair or place setting at the table to each guest. Whether that means they’re tied onto a napkin, hand calligraphed on the top of a menu or written on a card placed above the plate is up to the host. However, making sure they are legible in a dimly-lit ballroom or tent should be a priority. Pretty and practical!

Once a traditional and expected practice, providing both escort cards AND place cards isn’t anywhere near as popular in modern weddings. Yet, it’s a personal and elegant touch that every wedding host can use to create interesting conversation and consistent energy at the table. Luckily, as you have seen here with these stunning examples from Ceci New York, there are more and more bridal couples who are choosing to embrace the elegant tradition.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on escort cards and place cards, did we clarify the practice for you? Let us know what you’re planning for your seating arrangements…


Need more tips and planning details about weddings? Check out LadyMarry.



LadyMarry Wedding Planner is the #1 wedding planning App. Download for Android or iOS