Escort Cards and Place Names
Have you ever thought about why you need escort cards and place names?
Why are escort cards and place names needed?
To begin with, why do I think escort cards and place names are essential to any successful event, be it a wedding, small elopement or simply an evening out with friends? If you don’t have escort cards and place names available and your guests are mismatched in seating arrangements, it could be a looming disaster. If your guests are not sitting next to their close friends, people they know well and people that they love, the experience can really be quite a frustrating one.
It could ultimately leave your guests feeling that it would have been better had they not come to your event. A good experience is essential and feelings are all too quickly hurt. Avoid resentment. Plan your guests seating arrangements accordingly. Don’t be lazy!
When you design your wedding or event escort cards or place names, make sure they match the aesthetics of your invitations or event. A talented stationery designer should easily be able to offer you complimentary designs. Make sure you ask what options are available.
Here is my own personal experience with the lack of escort cards and place names.
Recently, I went to what I thought was going to be a small intimate event. Or so I thought.
Yet when I arrived and realised that the event had been planned in a banquet hall. To my dismay it began to dawn on me that about 50 – 70 guests were starting to arrive. Guess what? I hardly knew anyone there.
I felt awful. Naturally I really dislike large crowds and if I had known this event would have thrust 50 strangers in my face, I would have definitely sat it out. I was waiting all by myself in a corner for the few people who knew me to arrive. When they did I was pretty let down and disappointed at the seating arrangements.
By that, I mean that there were no escort cards and no place names.
It was embarrassing.
I really wanted to run out of there and kept frantically texting my husband to ask when we could leave. Not only was I standing in the corner like some lost child but there were so many tables that I ended up sitting on my own.
The few people that I did know well ( by that I mean that I knew these friends well enough to invite them to my home) all sat together on one small table. I saw an empty spot on that table. To my horror when I bravely asked if I could take the seat there, I was told someone’s aunt will be sitting there.
It could all have been a much better experience. Had there only been some sort or organised seating arrangement. Was it so hard to offer place names or escort cards? So I have personally experienced how much upset can be felt from such situations.
These were some of my – so I thought closest friends. Yet I came out of that evening, really annoyed that I had been cast out, so to speak. If only escort cards and place names could have been organised for me to be able to sit next to 2 or 3 friends that I was close to, the whole evening would have been such a pleasant one.
So yes, do consider having some escort cards and place names to be made for your next event.
What is the difference between escort cards and place names?
When you arrive at an event, wedding or small party, there should be a large display or area where escort cards are waiting for you. They will display your name and the table that you will be sitting at. You take the take in hand and let it “escort you”, hence the name escort card to the table that you have been allocated to sit at.
What size are escort cards?
Normally escort cards are an A6 size, or the size of a business card, approximately 4 x 3 inches or about that. I recently created some escort cards for a wedding. I was limited to the size due to the type of display. The wedding escort cards were displayed in a bicycle’s basket area. I had to be careful not to cover up too many of the flowers. Therefore I had to make escort cards that were a small business card size.
However, this really is not always the case. Escort card displays are changing all the time and conventional sizes are being changed all the time. Many more creative alternatives are popping up all the time.
Before I switch over to speaking about place names….
How do you display escort cards at a wedding?
This area should be immediately visible to your guests. Alongside this remember not to clog the room up. What do I mean by that? Don’t place all of your escort cards in one area that blocks up entry into a room. You will cause a large queue. Let’s face it, your guests won’t want to wait in line for thirty minutes and then have to hunt their names down. Either the escort card display area should be a long one, or break the areas up into lots of smaller areas.
Have a look at the example below.
Below is an escort card table. The artist / stationery designer, Rubana at Crimson Letters, is making a bold statement out of the escort card tables. You can easily have four – eight tables set up in different areas. That way you keep your guests buy for a while while they need to walk around to find their seat. A vast improvement on your guests waiting in one area or in a long line.
When you arrive at your table (you should have your table numbered / labelled clearly to avoid confusion) your guest will still have their escort cards in their hands. When they arrive at their designated table, they can then find the place name which shows them their exact seat. You should only have one person’s name per seat and not a couple’s name on one card.
Position the place names in the exact place that they should be sitting. Believe me, when the right guests sit together you will not regret it. It will add so much more to the overall experience when guests sit next to their friends and close family that they love.
Make sure you do a little research in advance to the run up to your wedding. Who likes who?
How are place cards different to escort cards?
Place cards only display your guest’s name. Whereas escort cards can have a single guest, or a couple’s name with the table number as well. So again, for the place name, it’s only the guest’s name and that’s all. It can be the first name, or the first and second name. You could add Mr or Mrs if you wish, it depends on how formal, or casual your wedding is.
Flat place name cards versus tent cards?
There are a vast array of place name cards available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The tent card is the more conventional type of card that has been used over the past decade or so.
Many designers and brides are interested in more personal, fine art styles featuring calligraphy and gold foil leaf as in the wedding below. Weddings and particularly the type of paper suites that bride’s choose are becoming more than just practical stationery.
Now they are expressions of identity.
Wedding stationery, including place names are becoming a part of your personality and style. This wedding (below) is a destination wedding in Portugal. It shows how the bride has a passion for fine art style.
If you have enough space to put your place names do this.
If space is limited for your event and you don’t have huge tables, why not consider adding place names directly onto your menu design. You can keep them firmly attached with a wax seal stamp incase they might fly off with any passing breezes (outdoor events, or if your placed near a large opening).
Why not opt for creative place names?
As you can see (below) I created some illustrated, hand painted place names with a special baroque twist, inspired by Briar Rose.
Escort cards and place names really don’t have to break the bank. Simple ones are quite affordable.
If you’d like to splurge and invest in some luxurious place names to elevate the tone of your event and make it really special, then perhaps invest in some more beautiful designs.
If you are having a wedding, it is likely that you will continue to see some of the same people afterwards. Why not collect them in and use them after your main event?
Place cards and escort cards are an investment that you can continue to use. Party after party!
If you’d like to create some bespoke wedding stationery for an intimate event why not reach out and get in touch. Email me at email@example.com or get in touch here.
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If you’d like to learn more about wedding invitation terminology read this Glossary here.
Perhaps you might like some wedding wording suggestions? Read this article.
Take a look at this article for a look behind the scenes at how I create bespoke wedding stationery and the process involved.
Are you up for some French inspiration? Look here at how I designed a custom wedding suite for a client with a destination wedding in Paris.
If you’d like to discover or look through more design, visit my Portfolio page.