Whether you are having a backyard clambake or a black tie affair, arranging seating for your guests can be time consuming. Believe it or not, the process begins as early as the invitation planning if your wedding menu is a choice. Here are answers to some common questions about making seating choices and tips to help make sure you have all of the information you need!
Do I need to assign seating?
Assigned seating is a big assist in sticking to a timeline. Your guests only have to find their escort card and table number, and possibly a place card to know where they should end up for dinner. If you are planning a station style party, hosting a small event (30 or less) or have lots extra time in your wedding timeline, you can choose to forgo assigning seating but, if you do we recommend having extra chairs and place settings if you are having a buffet, family style or sit down dinner. This way, parties that know each other won’t have to split up if there aren't enough chairs available at a particular table.
What information should I have for my seating?
Your reply card will have all of the information you need...not just the number and names of the guests attending your wedding! For sit down dinners with a choice, requesting your guests initial their dinner selection is a simple and clear way to capture the information you need. For all other dinner styles, requesting any dietary restrictions on your reply card can be helpful for your caterer and listing this information on the escort card for these guests can alert the server of any guests with special requests. Remember, double check with your planner about how many guests comfortably fit at the style tables you are planning.
What is the difference between an "escort card" and a "place card"?
A lot of our clients ask us the difference between an escort card and a place card and if they need both. An "escort card" is something that your guest pick up on their way into the reception with their name and table assignment on it - "Jamie Bohlin, Table 2". You can also use a table chart in lieu of escort cards (see below). "Place cards" are used to show the guests place at the table. So when your guest arrives to the table they have an assigned seat. Place cards are typically used at more formal weddings, but also come in handy to help the catering staff identify meal choices and dietary restrictions if they already know where the guest is seated. You definitely need an escort card or table chart, but place cards are optional.
Escort Cards or Table Chart?
We love a fun escort card display or a statement making table chart! Choosing one or the other is usually dictated by the size of your wedding and the style of your wedding. Planning a very large wedding? A table chart can save on budget and it’s also a great way to show off your wedding style by using a mirror, chalkboard, acrylic, window pane, frame or wine bottles. Bonus, your guests won’t have to keep track of a small piece of paper or carry an item with them. Extra tip, table charts that are alphabetical versus by table make it easier for your guests to locate their names so they can get back to the party! If you have a choice menu, escort cards or a table chart with place cards at the table are great options! Escort cards tell the guest the table number where they are seated and remind the guest of their meal choice. They are also a great way to quickly inform the server of the guest’s choice by color coding or a letter or icon on them. They can also act as or be attached to favors for your guests.
Should I use place cards?
Place cards can be used along with a table chart for extra elegance at a black tie affair and assist the catering staff with food service. We also LOVE personalized menu cards. A beautiful option to greet your guest at their table and functional as well! (This saves on budget by eliminating the place card!)
There many ways to design your seating and ways to make them work for the size and style of your wedding. Your planner can help point you in the right direction!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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