Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Place Cards
- Maddy is a Brand and Social Content Manager at Birdy Grey, and was a former associate editor at The Knot.
- Maddy has written for several different publications, including HUM Nutrition, Insider, Bustle, Real Simple and Apartment Therapy.
- Maddy has a Bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and a Master's degree in health, science and environmental reporting (both of which are from Northwestern's Medill School of Journa ...
There are so many things to consider for your wedding reception: the venue , the decor and the food, of course . But a small detail you'll also want to focus on is your wedding place cards. Often overlooked, these little pieces of paper will help guide your wedding guests to their assigned seats (in lieu of a seating chart). Plus, they'll add a personal touch to your table decor and serve as name tags so your guests can get to know each other. Since they're such an important part of your big day, we put together a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about wedding place cards. From what to write on them to where to order them, we have all the information right here. Additionally, we rounded up our favorite shoppable escort cards so you don't have to spend hours scouring the internet for the perfect ones.
Ready to get started? See everything you need to know about wedding place cards, below.
What is a wedding place card?
A wedding place card is a piece of stationery that usually goes on your reception tables to let guests know where they're sitting. Typically, there's one place card at every seat at your reception with a guest's name and their table number. While they're usually made of paper (think: cardstock), they can also be acrylic, chalkboard, glass or any other kind of material. They often come with place card holders as well, but tent cards stand on their own.
What do you write on wedding place cards?
What you write on your wedding place cards is entirely up to you. You definitely need to include the guests' names, but other than that, there are no set rules. If you want to add more information, you can always include the guests' assigned table numbers as well. You can also include a sweet message, like "welcome" or "at last" or any other sort of greeting to get your guests excited. Pro tip: Don't forget to order cards to display table names too.
Do you need name cards at a wedding?
The short answer is no, you don't need name cards at your event. However, wedding place cards can help your guests find their seats easily and remove any confusion at the reception. Additionally, they ensure your guest list is fully accounted for. Because you're using place cards, nobody can add a rogue request for a plus-one at the last minute.
How do you write on wedding place cards?
While you can spend time labeling each wedding place card in hand-written calligraphy, we know you likely don't have too much extra time on your hands. That's why we recommend ordering printed or printable place cards ones online. Sites like The Knot Invitations and Etsy allow you to print all the information you need directly onto the table cards, so all you need to do is set them up on your reception tables.
If you're dreaming of DIY handwritten place cards, we recommend taking a calligraphy course, or simply practicing your print ahead of time. Then, draw on them on a solid, firm surface with a small-tipped pen or marker for sharp, clear lines. Another alternative? Laser cut wedding place cards.
Where to Order Wedding Place Cards
There are so many different places to order wedding place cards. You can always enlist the help of a professional stationer to create custom name cards for your event. Alternatively, you can purchase the materials at a craft store and write them by hand yourself. For a more efficient option, consider purchasing pre-printed place cards off an online retailer. The Knot Invitations carries dozens of different designs to accommodate every kind of theme, color palette, style (like glam or boho) and wedding decor. Psst: The Knot Invitations sells seating cards that will match your wedding stationery (from wedding invitations to rsvp cards) perfectly.
Wedding Place Cards: What to Keep in Mind
Given all of the different wedding place cards available, it's difficult to narrow down your choices. However, there are a few factors to consider when choosing your name cards. First, think about the style of your wedding. If you're hosting a beach-themed wedding, a casual watercolor print will match perfectly. On the other hand, if you're hosting a black-tie soiree, a simple calligraphy design might be best.
You'll also want to consider the height of your wedding place cards to ensure they don't block your guests' views. Additionally, look critically at the dimensions of the cards so they don't take up too much space on the table. Remember: They're not going to be the only things on the table. Account for your centerpieces, place settings, wedding decorations and wedding favors.
Our Favorite Wedding Place Card Ideas
Ready to get shopping? Here are our favorite wedding place card ideas for your special day.
Unique Wedding Place Card
We love these wedding place cards because they're the perfect mix of modern and retro. They'll catch your guests' eyes without overpowering your table setting.
The Knot Invitations Antique Nouveau Place Cards, $99 for 100 place cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
Rustic Wedding Place Card
This pretty wedding place card has a simple line of eucalyptus on it to complement your rustic wedding theme.
The Knot Invitations Eucalyptus Frame Place Cards, $99 for 100 place cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
Beach-Themed Wedding Place Card
We love this wedding place card because it's reminiscent of being on the beach. The pretty greenery, soft calligraphy and watercolor sand will match your theme perfectly.
The Knot Invitations Dusted Calligraphy Place Cards, $99 for 100 cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
Blue Wedding Place Card
This blue wedding place card works for any shade you and your partner have chosen. Plus, it's on-theme without feeling too monochromatic.
The Knot Invitations Modern Brushstroke Place Cards in Blue, $99 for 100 cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
Square Wedding Place Card
Skip traditional rectangular place cards in place of square ones instead. These chic, modern ones will look beautiful on your reception tables.
The Favor Loft Printed Place Cards in Blue, $20 for 24 cards, Etsy.com
Vintage Wedding Place Card
Take your guests back in time with these simple, retro-looking place cards.
The Knot Invitations Vintage Palette Place Cards in Pink, $99 for 100 cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
Fall Wedding Place Card
Your fall wedding place cards don't have to be over-the-top to be on-theme. Consider something simple for your dinner party, like this pretty autumnal flower print.
The Knot Invitations Neutral Greenery Place Cards in Pink, $99 for 100 cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
Gold Wedding Place Card
Is there anything more classic than a gold wedding place card? We're fans of this simple gold foil design because your guests can easily read it.
The Knot Invitations Classic Landscape Place Cards in Gold, $99 for 100 cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
Ivory Wedding Place Card
A modern, minimalistic font is the perfect complement to a pretty ivory color scheme.
The Knot Invitations Modern Photograph Place Cards in Gold, $99 for 100 cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
Tropical Wedding Place Card
This floral place card is a sweet, subtle way to nod to your tropical nuptials.
The Knot Invitations Palm and Protea Place Cards in Gold, $99 for 100 cards, TheKnotInvitations.com
What to Write on Wedding Place Cards
Everything you need to know about writing wedding place cards so that you and your guests can celebrate stress-free!
By Rachel Varina
The First Look ✨
- A wedding place card is a piece of stationery that goes on the reception tables with guests’ names on them to let people know where they're sitting.
- Wait until your seating chart is set before diving into writing your place cards . Typically place cards are ordered a month or two before the wedding.
- Here’s a rundown of the best way to address your guests on their place cards .
What's New: Table Numbers at Zola!
Shop Zola's latest addition to your full suite of day-of wedding paper— Table Numbers! Mix and match your favorite designs with your place cards , menus , and programs , and customize eveything from paper types, colors, fonts, shape, and style to create the ultimate personalized guest experience at your wedding reception.
Whether it's rustic , modern , or vintage , you can add a personal, diy touch to your wedding table, centerpieces, and table setting settings with unique wedding table numbers that stand out. Plus, Zola makes it easy to manage all your Day-of Paper , integrating details from your Guest List, RSPVs and Seating Chart seemlessly into your wedding planning process. Shop Zola's new table numbers today!
Wedding place cards are an incredibly important part of a wedding reception, not only for decor purposes, but also for organizational purposes. Not only can place cards serve a double purpose as favors, but they act as crowd control and a home base for your guests during the after-ceremony festivities. If you’re looking for information about writing your place cards—from how to address them to what font to use—you’re in the right place! We’re breaking down every single thing you need to know about wedding place cards so that you and your guests can celebrate stress-free.
Table of Contents:
Part 1: Wedding Place Cards 101 Part 2: Tips for Writing Your Wedding Place Cards Part 3: Wedding Place Card Ideas
Part 1: Wedding Place Cards 101
Whether you’re here to learn the basics of wedding place cards or you just need a refresher, we’re outlining all the wedding place card details possible. No matter the size, formality, or venue, we’re here to help you make the best wedding place card decisions possible.
What Is a Wedding Place Card?
Traditionally, a wedding place card is a piece of stationery that goes on the reception tables with guests’ names on them to let people know where they're sitting. Typically, there's one place card at every reception seat. This card serves as a way to direct guests to their seats, plus it lets them know where they can expect dinner to be served and which seat they can relax in between busting some moves on the dance floor.
What’s the Purpose of a Wedding Place Card?
Place cards serve as a way to tell guests where to sit. While you might think just providing chairs is all you need, place cards can cut down on confusion and costs. They help ensure that you have the right number of seats so that you don’t pay for extra chairs, and they give your attendees a place to sit back and relax. Place cards can also help facilitate traffic for buffets, and separate any family or friends that need to keep their distance from each other.
Do I Need Wedding Place Cards?
Wedding place cards are always a good idea, no matter how elegant or casual your celebration is. Place cards can literally help you plan, as they help your guests feel at ease knowing where to sit and whom to sit by, plus they can even help your vendors when it comes to delivering food/beverages and directing traffic. In general, wedding place cards might be small in size, but they serve a big purpose that can help your celebration run smoothly.
So, why can’t you just allow your guests to choose their seats? People naturally spread out when doing so, which means that you’ll have random chairs in between groups that will cost more, and it might make it so that some people don’t have chairs. This could result in more open seats or lost meals, which can increase your final cost and create frustration. The only instance where you might really be able to skip place cards and seating charts is if you’re having a small celebration, such as in your backyard. Typically, if you’re having over 20 people—especially if you’re mixing groups or renting tables/chairs—a seating chart will come in handy.
That being said, as with everything wedding-related, it’s your day to make your own! While place cards are recommended to make your guests comfortable, help you plan, and manage the crowd, there’s no rule that says you have to have them.
Part 2: Tips for Writing Your Wedding Place Cards
As you’re getting ready to create your place cards, you might be at a loss for what goes on them, how to make them, and how to address your guests. Here’s everything you need to know about actually writing your place cards:
What Should I Write on My Wedding Place Card?
Before placing your order for your wedding place cards, it’s a good idea to not only have your seating chart organized and set, but also check with your vendors to see what information they need to be included on each place card. Sometimes vendors prefer you to include an indication of your guests’ meal choice (such as chicken, beef, or veggie) or any dietary restrictions, while other vendors will adapt with your creative vision. Here’s what you should consider including on your place cards:
- Guest’s name
- A title (if you use titles, ensure that you use them for each guest above the age of 18)
- A symbol or color indicating the guest’s meal preference
- The table number
When Should I Make My Wedding Place Cards?
Creating wedding place cards can be a time-consuming process, but you want to wait until your seating chart is set and you’ve received your RSVPs before diving into the process. This is so you can plan for table numbers, as well as not spend extra cash on cards for guests who RSVP their regrets. Ideally, you want to have your place cards completed about a month before your wedding date, so there’s a little wiggle room for any edits, additions, or replacements needed.
How Should I Address My Wedding Place Cards?
You now know place cards have your guests’ names on them, but you might be wondering how to address everyone. Here’s a rundown of the best way to address your guests on their place cards:
For Married Couples:
When addressing married couples, their last name with "Mr. and Mr.," "Mr. and Mrs.," or "Mrs. and Mrs.," preceding the surname is correct. If more than one couple shares the same last name, include the first name of the spouse whose surname they share, or include each person’s full name. You could also use each person’s full name without a title, especially for less formal celebrations. For married couples with different last names, feel free to either omit the title completely or write out each of their names in full with their respective titles.
For Unmarried Couples or Single Guests With Plus-Ones:
For unmarried couples, you’ll generally follow the same format as married couples with different last names, but instead of “Mrs.,” your female guests will be either Miss. or Ms. While you’ll want to follow the above rules for your invited guests, you might be wondering how to handle their plus-one’s place cards.
While you could address them as “Mr. X’s Guest,” consider asking for full names of guests with your RSVPs, or have a member of the wedding party reach out and get the name of plus-ones ahead of making your place cards, as it’s much more polite.
For Single Guests Without Plus-Ones:
The key with all of your place cards is to be consistent. If you’re titling any group, you must title them all, which is why many guests simply stick to full names when creating wedding place cards. For your friends flying solo, you can either opt for titling each guest or omitting the titles for single guests. Whatever you choose, be consistent (so don’t just address all the men by their names while the single women get Miss. in front of theirs).
All single women can be addressed as “Miss,” but especially those under the age of 13. Additionally, boys under the age of 13 can be addressed as “Master.” That being said, even if you have titles for the rest of your guests, it’s always okay to omit titles for all children under the age of 18.
A Note About Pronouns:
Before deciding to use titles on your wedding place cards, it’s important to ensure that you’re 100 percent confident in all of your guests’ preferred pronouns. You could ask for them when collecting RSVPs, just as you would ask for meal preferences or dietary requests, or have friends reach out. Regardless, if you’re unsure of anyone’s pronouns, it’s best to omit titles for all of your guests. Don’t ever assume someone’s pronouns for the sake of a title.
Part 3: Wedding Place Card Ideas
As you’re narrowing down your place card options, Zola has options for every wedding preference, whether it’s formal, casual, vintage, or classic. The best part is, whatever option you choose can easily be matched to the rest of your paper suite. Check out some of our favorite options below:
Modern-Themed Place Cards
Think clean lines, marble backing, clean fonts, and textured paper when selecting place cards for your modern wedding. Here are a few modern options we adore:
Formal-Themed Place Cards
A formal wedding provides the chance to lean into the drama, so don’t be afraid of fancy calligraphy, jewel tones, sparkles, and glamour when choosing your formal or vintage-themed cards.
Place Cards for Outdoor Venues
Feel free to lean into the vibe of your outdoor venue for your place cards, but just make sure that they are sturdy enough so that they don’t blow away! It’s a good idea to consider using something other than paper for outdoor wedding place cards.
More About Making Wedding Place Cards
What’s the difference between wedding place cards, escort cards, and a seating chart.
You might not have realized that there’s a difference between wedding place cards, escort cards, and a seating chart, but knowing how they differ is essential to know what tool(s) are best for your celebration.
Wedding place cards are placed on the table in front of each place setting so that guests know which seat is theirs. Escort cards , however, help guests know which table to go to when entering the reception venue. Wedding place cards simply feature the guest’s name (and sometimes food options) and they are already placed at the tables; whereas escort cards usually include the table number and are arranged on a table or display at the entrance of the reception.
A seating chart , as the name suggests, is a chart that outlines where everyone at your wedding will sit and be served dinner. This is a very important planning tool as it will determine the number of tables and chairs you need, as well as help the caterer serve meals and help you pair (or separate) different groups of people. A seating chart is like the overall seating map, while the place card is like a marker for a person. The escort card is a reflection of the seating chart, but is person-specific as opposed to an overview of the entire reception floor.
Do I Need a Wedding Seating Chart?
Most venues and celebrations use seating charts to stay organized. Unless you have a very small and casual event, a seating chart will both save you money and relax your guests. Additionally, some venues and caterers require a seating chart, so check with your pros before omitting the project. If you do plan to omit the chart, make sure that you have extra seating available and a plan in place so that all of your guests get served.
When to Order Your Place Cards
While you’ll want to ensure that you have plenty of time to receive your place card order, plus some wiggle room in case you need to reorder any, this isn’t a task that you can accomplish way in advance. However, it’s a good idea to order the cards as soon as your RSVPs and seating chart are confirmed, so that you have time to adjust, if needed. Typically, this happens about a month or two before the wedding, but you’ll want to hire your calligrapher, if you’re using one, at least four to six months before your big day, since they’ll need time to create all of the place cards and you’ll want to pad in some time to give any feedback or view corrections.
Where to Order Your Place Cards
Luckily, depending on your preferred style and budget, there are so many options when it comes to ordering place cards, and Zola is here to help no matter your vision or budget. Zola’s place card settings are not only of the highest quality and come with fast shipping, but they’re also easy to match and incorporate with the rest of Zola’s paper goods. As part of the “Day Of” suite, Zola’s place settings can be ordered to match your menus, invitations, thank you notes, and additional paper details.
With five different paper options—including smooth, eggshell, linen, pearlescent, and felt—as well as a huge variety of fonts and styles, there’s something for everyone. Additionally, with Zola’s one-time export, you can easily check everyone off of your guest list for printing place cards without stressing about missing anyone or spelling a name incorrectly.
Can I DIY My Wedding Place Cards?
While you can absolutely DIY your place cards, writing them by hand is not only tricky—even if you have artistic talent—but time-consuming too. If you’re considering making your own, do a few trials to see how much time and resources they take before committing to creating them all yourself. There are lots of resources out there that can teach you how to create stunning lettering, as well as offer lessons that you can take either online or in person.
What to Do After Receiving Your Place Cards
After placing and receiving—or finishing your DIYing—your place cards, keeping them clean and safe until it’s wedding time is vital. Store your wedding place cards in a cool, dry place where there’s no risk of them getting spilled on or messed up. Additionally, you’ll want to have a plan for how the place cards will get to the venue for the wedding, who will place them on the tables, and when they’ll be placed on the tables to avoid any confusion or in-the-moment scrambling. Chat with your planner or coordinator to make sure that you have a plan for not only creating the place cards but utilizing them too.
Where Should I Put My Wedding Place Cards and Wedding Escort Cards?
Wedding place cards go at the place setting where you’d like each guest to sit. Sometimes the cards are placed in holders and sometimes they’re placed on the actual setting. Either way, make sure that it’s clear which card goes to which seat to cut down on confusion.
If you’re assigned your guests’ specific seats at specific tables (or just specific tables where they can choose their own seats) escort cards are a must. These help get your guests from the entrance of the reception area to their seats. Place the escort cards in alphabetic order in an obvious place at the entrance of the reception area, such as a table in front of the reception hall. You’ll also want to ensure that your table numbers (which are usually on the center of each table) are visible so that your friends and family can easily find the table(s) they’re looking for.
Finally, if you decide to just have place cards (which are already placed at each setting) instead of escort cards, make sure to have a large diagram of some sort so that your guests can figure out which table to go toward. This can either be done by listing each table number and the names of the guests assigned to that table below, or by listing all the guests’ names in alphabetical order with each person’s table number written next to their names.
Zola: The One-Stop-Shop for All Your Wedding Place Card Needs
Whether you opt for simple place cards or options that double as decor, finding cohesive and cost-effective options for your paper goods is a game-changer, and that’s where Zola comes in. Not only can you simply select your favorite place cards from our site, but you can also coordinate all your other paper goods so that everything complements each other seamlessly. Plus, you can get everything printed at once to cut down on coordinating with multiple vendors and potential errors in spelling or consistency.
From creating the design to printing your place cards, let Zola do the work so that you can spend less time stressing and more time celebrating.
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The 16 Best Wedding Place Cards to Wow Your Guests
Kate is a senior editor covering home, registry, and wedding décor. She has been with Brides since 2015.
Brides / Lecia Landis
It's the little things that tie a cohesive wedding design scheme together, and there's no better example than escort or place cards . They both serve a very functional purpose (after all, guests need to know where to sit), while also providing a beautiful decor moment that really plays off the overall theme or vibe of your big day.
When deciding on what wedding place cards are right for your reception, look for options that match well with your wedding venue and menu. For example, if you have an outside wedding, you need something that will stand up to the elements rather than traditional paper cards. Meanwhile, the font and color scheme should match or compliment your wedding menu since they will likely be placed next to each other on the table. Also, consider the overall aesthetic and setting to efficiently narrow down your options.
“If you are outside and the threat of wind and rain could arise, then doing a really creative board, whether printed on foam core or something more custom on plexiglass with calligraphy, would be better than individual cards," says Sarah Miller, an event director with Paulette Wolf Events.
To help you find the perfect place cards for your wedding, we researched various options with these features in mind. For unique, stand-out style, we love the ZCreativeGiftsStudio Laser Cut Wedding Place Cards . Looking for a classic and chic design? You can't go wrong with the BrownFoxCreative Wedding Escort Cards With Wax Seal and the CalligraphyByDeanna Calligraphy Place Cards .
While the two terms are interchangeable, there is a difference between escort cards and place cards. Escort cards tell people which table they will be sitting at, whereas place cards indicate where specifically they should sit at the table. These days, most couples choose to forgo assigned seats, but place cards are sometimes used for formal or black-tie affairs.
Read on for the best wedding place cards.
What to Look for in a Wedding Place Card
Why trust brides, calligraphybydeanna calligraphy place cards.
Few things are more classic than hand-calligraphed place cards. Case in point: These sophisticated ones are basically begging to be used at a black-tie wedding . Still, you can keep the overall look fresh and modern by choosing from either tented or flat cards, 12 different font styles, 30 paper colors, and eight different ink shades. If you had guests pre-select their entree, you can also add a meal sticker in the bottom corner of the card. They're cut from durable, high-quality cardstock, but we'd still recommend using them for indoor weddings or outdoor weddings that have a covering over the dining area.
Price at time of publish: $2
EngravedSensations Laser Cut Names Dinner Place Card Napkin Holder
Place cards can in fact be both pretty and practical, and these are proof. The personalized, ring-shaped napkin holders come in a variety of finishes—three different wood options and four metallic/mirrored options—to pair with various wedding themes and color palettes. The shop also offers custom orders if you want something specific. Since they're crafted from wood or durable plastic, they're ideal for indoor and outdoor weddings. You could also order a set for your home since they would look great on a holiday table, too.
Price at time of publish: $3
goldenhourpaperco Stone Place Cards With Gold Calligraphy
Another beautiful choice that pulls double-duty as both a place card and place setting, these smooth stones are topped with hand-painted calligraphy in your choice of gold, copper, rose gold, or silver ink. They’re also ideal for anyone who doesn’t want everything to be so matchy-matchy since the stones vary in size and color because of the natural variation. We imagine these for a tranquil outdoor garden wedding. We also love that they're a great sustainable pick and can be used as a keepsake for your guests to take home after the wedding.
WishfulPaperie Greenery Place Card Template
A greenery illustration coupled with simple black fonts makes this an option that works with almost any style or decor aesthetic. They come in a digital download, making these great for couples on a budget. And since you're printing them on your own, it's incredibly easy to make any last-minute changes should they pop up. They work great for indoor weddings or outdoor weddings with a covering to deter any weather mishaps.
Price at time of publish: $4
BrownFoxCreative Wedding Escort Cards Cards With Wax Seal
Courtesy of Etsy
Hand-torn edges plus a wax seal make for the perfect combination of elegance and romance in these escort cards–they remind us of something straight out of a Jane Austen novel. You get up to three rounds of digital proofs before they’re printed, and once the final product comes, you put the wax seal on yourself. You can also hole punch the cards and add a delicate ribbon for an extra special effect. Designed with navy font, this is great for those who have a blue wedding color scheme. Since they're paper, they're ideal for indoor weddings or outdoor weddings with a cover.
MonSherriInk Luxury Wedding Tassel Place Cards
Is there anything more glamorous than the gold tassel on these stunning place cards? We think not. Choose from a black or white circular card, accented by this glam touch. If you don’t love gold, there are also black, pink, and burgundy options to choose from, as well as two different thicknesses of the tassel. We see these as an ideal option for those going after a Great Gatsby-type vibe . They're printed on high-quality, heavy cardstock, so they're durable enough to last the entire night—although since it is on paper, we do recommend them for indoor weddings.
TheSunshineGarden Lemon Place Cards
Simple and fun, this digital download works for either flat or folded styles. They feature a rustic, hand-painted lemon and greenery design, which complements the black script font. You can also add meal icons if you so choose. You can fully customize the font color and style to your liking and print them as many times as you need on your choice of paper. We imagine these at a simple backyard or barn wedding in the spring.
Price at time of publish: $6
SplendidMoment Minimalist Modern Wedding Place Cards
If you have a sleek, modern, and minimalist wedding theme, look no further than these rectangular place cards. They come in a digital download, so you can choose what paper to print them on, and they have easy-cut lines to cut them out. Their streamlined shape adds dimension when laid across any type of table setting. You can also purchase a matching menu from the same Etsy shop. In terms of customization, you have the option of tweaking the font, font color, and background color to match your wedding color scheme. Overall, these are a great choice for an indoor wedding.
Price at time of publish: $8
MaPaParties Lemon Place Cards
When life hands you lemons, make these fun place cards. While you’ll need to provide the lemons (or another fruit of choice) and pin, these small place cards are the perfect accent. You can choose your card stock color (we say go with green to accentuate a natural leaf effect), font style, and ink shade. Just one look at these and we’re instantly transported to the Amalfi Coast—an ideal pick for an Italian-inspired wedding .
Price at time of publish: $16 for 20 blank
ZCreativeGiftsStudio Laser Cut Wedding Place Cards
These laser-cut, wooden place cards double as a personalized keepsake for each guest. You can choose from eight different fonts and 18 different colors, so there’s something to go with any type of wedding decor and menu theme. But if you can't find a color that matches your wedding color palette, you can order the unpainted wood option and paint them yourself. They look beautiful laid out on top of a napkin at each place setting and are durable enough to withstand indoor and outdoor weddings.
Price at time of publish: $1
papercasestudio Fresh Magnolia Leaf Place Card
Magnolia leaves are the epitome of Southern charm, so we love these cards for any type of Southern nuptials or for couples looking to bring some more organic or earthy elements into their big day. The sturdy, deep green leaves are hand-painted with your guests’ names in either white or gold and can last up to three weeks if they’re stored properly and refrigerated. Not to mention, this is a great sustainable choice for those looking to minimize their environmental impact.
ScriptedEverAfter Acrylic Place Cards
Modern and glam, these acrylic place cards can be hand-painted with your choice of the background color (painted on in an abstract-style swoop) or left blank and finished with your preferred text font and color. They can easily go from more abstract to full-on dramatic, and their sturdy weight ensures you never have to worry about them getting blown away in the wind. You also have the option of adding just your guests' names, their names and meal choice, names and table number, or names, meal choice, and table number on the card.
Minted Plain Paint Placecards by Phrosne Ras
These escort cards are a great way to add a subtle touch of color without it being too in your face. A painterly, almost marble background is available in eight subdued hues accented by crisp white text. Choose from flat or folded and three different paper stocks, including a pearlescent option that adds a beautiful sheen and a recyclable paper choice. You can also add on matching accessories, including menus and more. We recommend using these for an indoor wedding to avoid them being ruined or lost by the weather.
Price at time of publish: $13 for set of 5
Design Lotus Signature Style Placecards
If you have a black-and-white wedding, try these abstract escort cards from Minted. They add an artistic and fun touch and are available in folded or flat card options. If you aren't partial to black and white, you can choose from several other color schemes, including cabernet, coral, and more. They are available in three different paper stocks and have matching accessories like menus and place cards to go with them. Use them for a modern indoor wedding.
Minted I Do Placecards by Creo Study
These delicate cards are an excellent finishing touch to a floral-filled table. Available in classic green along with a range of other muted hues, they're ideal for an indoor or covered outdoor garden party reception. You can choose between flat and folded cards and three different paper types, and you can add on matching menu cards, wedding table numbers, and wedding programs for a fully cohesive look.
Redwood & Vine Black & White Ampersand Monogram Wedding Place Card
These sleek black and white cards are an excellent choice for a minimalist indoor wedding. They're utterly timeless and easily adaptable to work with any decor scheme. You can choose from six different paper stocks and can add on envelopes for an additional cost. Make sure you or your spouse have good handwriting if you go with this pick since it’s on you to write in the names and table numbers .
Price at time of publish: $14
Meet the Expert
Sarah Miller is an Event Director with Paulette Wolf Events in Chicago. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Miller works with both the corporate division and high-end social division, producing a wide array of events, weddings included.
Consider the setting of your wedding
This holds true if you need to consider the weather, says Miller. “If you are outside and the threat of wind and rain could arise then doing a really creative board, whether printed on foam core or something more custom on plexiglass with calligraphy would be better than individual cards."
Considering your setting also helps you determine the aesthetic or theme of your place cards. Throwing an elegant black-tie affair? Opt for a classic black-and-white option with a calligraphy font, such as the CalligraphyByDeanna Calligraphy Place Cards . If you're hosting a garden wedding, get creative with natural and durable elements to add a unique pop to each table. We love the Papercasestudio Fresh Magnolia Leaf Place Card .
Consider the rest of your stationery suite
Ideally, you want the font to match, or at least be cohesive with the menu and program, says Miller, particularly if you are going with place cards that will be placed on the table right near the menu. Coordinating the styles will help create a cohesive feel and look for your reception.
The option of "place cards" vs. "escort cards"
While the two terms are used interchangeably, place cards are used to indicate exactly where at the table a guest should sit, whereas escort cards simply tell them which table they’re sitting at. Many couples choose to go the more casual route, allowing guests to choose any seat at their assigned table, but specific place cards are great for an extra personal touch or for more formal affairs.
“Keep in mind that there are lots of trends and you can really get as trendy or as classic as you want,” says Miller. If you want to use them as a decor element, one idea is to get a flower wall that matches your decor and pin the cards to the wall as a focal piece, she suggests.
Wax seals are always fun, as is laser cutting, she adds. And if you want to really up the ante, you can have an origami artist create a custom origami design for each person featuring their table information, she adds.
Notoriously one of the more taxing pre-wedding tasks, start by organizing your guests by groups: family, friends, and co-workers, advises Miller. “Try to seat those individuals together, and ask your parents for help seating family members and their guests,” she says.
It's also important to keep the layout of the venue in mind so that you’re not placing older guests right by the band or DJ, where it’s going to be very loud, she adds. Finally, it's important for family members, such as grandparents, to be seated close to your or your parents, Miller says.
Brides contributor Melanie Rud has nearly 15 years of journalism experience covering the beauty and lifestyle space for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She’s also a bride-to-be, currently in the process of choosing escort cards for her own upcoming wedding.
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