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wedding planner & stationer

Wedding Guest Seating

Planning Advice, Stationery, Trends


You want to have wedding guest seating assignments, but what exactly is the difference between a Seating Chart, Escort Cards and Place Cards? Do I need to tell my guests where to sit? In short, yes! People in situations that they are not familiar with need to be guided. At a wedding, no matter how formal or informal, I always recommend wedding guest seating assignments to ensure a quality guest experience. No matter which guest seating arrangement style you choose, all guest tables should be numbered numerically for ease in guests getting seated and a seamless dinner service. Guest tables named after cities, famous sites, etc. can be very confusing for guests to find their tables quickly and for wait staff delivering meals in a timely fashion.

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Seating Chart

A Seating Chart is organized board that lists your guests with a corresponding table number. This can be displayed in a variety of ways such as acrylic with calligraphy, windowpanes or printed and framed on an easel.

Things to consider when creating your seating chart:

  • List Names Alphabetically: Guests can find their names best when they are listed alphabetically vs. under a table number!
  • Ease of Reading: Large type that is easily readable is best. If your seating chart is going to be in the dim candlelight, consider adding some lighting nearby so guests can see their seat assignment.

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Escort Card

Escort Cards are typically displayed alphabetically in the cocktail hour location. These cards display your guests names and the table that they are assigned to. Essentially, they “escort” your guests to the table in which they are assigned to.

If a plated meal with various entrees will be served, escort cards can also be used as place cards. Therefore, a symbol of the various entree will be listed on the escort card. If this is the case, each guest should have their own place card. Combining two guests on one place card can create confusion for wait staff and ultimately make for a longer dinner service. Occasionally, guests will place their cards in their pocket or leave their card on a cocktail table. Your service staff should have a copy of seating assignments and menu selections.

Things to consider when created your escort cards:

  • Alphabetical Order: Ensure whomever is placing your cards places them in an organized, alphabetical fashion. If a stationer has provided you with the cards prior to wedding day, consider alphabetizing the cards for the coordinator that will be placing the cards.
  • Separate Guests: If using escort cards as place cards, each guest needs their own place card.
  • Service Staff: Ensure your service staff has a copy of guest seating placement and entree options should a place card become misplaced.

Place Card

Place cards are placed on the tables where guests have been assigned to seat and include the guest’s name and their entree selection. If guests have pre-selected their entree, I recommend a Seating Chart or Escort Cards with place cards. This aids service staff should a place card go missing between cocktail hour and dinner service.

Wedding Guest Seating | Nellie Sparkman Events and Stationery Studio


  1. […] is social distant guest seating and seating guests with their “circles.”  Creative seating charts or escort card displays can serve a dual purpose by adding a decor element and functionality to your guest experience.  If […]

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