Deciding whether to go with pre-planned seating at your wedding or not doesn’t have to be a difficult choice to make, but it’s important to weigh all of your options first.
After all, having a seating chart doesn’t have to mean a huge bulletin board fastened to the wall, and your guests don’t have to search for their names as if they’re rushing to find out if they made the cut for the high school baseball team.
There are so many seating chart, escort card and place card options out there, all you have to do is find the right style that works for you.
Giving your guests the liberty of finding their own seats may work just fine if you’re planning a smaller, more intimate affair. And if you know for sure there will be no shortage of seats, maybe this is an option you’d want to consider. Not having to figure out a seating plan means less planning and worrying for you
However, most weddings nowadays are fairly extravagant events with guest numbers reaching even as far as 200 or 300 attendees. If that’s the type of party you’re looking to throw then it’s wise to seriously consider creating a seating plan.
Not providing your guests with organized seating may mean total chaos. You don’t want them fighting over chairs, and you definitely don’t want anyone left standing.
Seating Charts vs Escort Cards
Typically, seating charts are large boards divided into table numbers. All of your wedding guests should be accounted for and assigned a seat on the chart. Toward the end of the cocktail hour, they simply find their name and assigned table number and take their seat for the reception.
Seating charts are easy to follow and are common at big weddings.
Another option is to set up a table of escort cards, but I’d only recommend this option for small to medium-sized weddings. Otherwise, you may have trouble finding a table big enough to fit all 200+ cards.
Escort cards — also referred to as table sign cards — provide your guests the same information as seating charts but they give you a little more freedom to create something unique and personalized.
They come in all shapes, sizes and styles, but all typically include the guest’s name and assigned table number. As your guests arrive to the reception venue, they simply find the card with their name and corresponding table number and take a seat.
Here are a few examples of Weddingstar’s escort cards:
There are more than 50 styles of escort cards available at Weddingstar. To view them all, please visit our website.
Don’t be afraid to get creative! Instead of going with traditional escort cards, set up a table of personalized favors that your guests can take home with them. Simply personalize each box or mini chair (as pictured above) with a name and table number, line them up under the table numbers and voila!
This may also help you cut costs because you don’t have dish out cash for escort cards as well as guest favors.
Tip: providing a “Please help yourself” or Please take one” sign beside or behind the table will further help the process along.
Once your guests know their table number, they then need to find out which seat they should take at their table. Again, for bigger weddings you may want to assign your guests specific seats. It’s the job of place cards to do just that. Every place card will have a different name written on them and will be situated on each table setting.
Tip: like escort cards, place cards can also double as the guest favors.
Cute little personalized guest favors such as these mini bird nests, flower vases or cowboy hats are such a creative way to get your guests to their seats. And I absolutely love the idea of a pretty rose card attached to each wine glass. So unique!