The Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Escort Cards
In a post-COVID world, it’s more important than ever to have assigned seating at your wedding. So let’s talk wedding escort cards! This detail may be a small one, but did you know that escort cards can make a big difference in both practical and design terms? Unlike place cards, which are placed directly on the tables to let guests know which chair to sit in (and are just as important for social distancing), wedding escort cards direct them to their table. And, while you can keep things simple and classic, why not add a bit of flair? With a bit of creativity, your escort display can be a fun way to welcome your guests, speed up the seating process, and make a great impression!
Here are a few dos and don’ts to consider.
DO let guests access seating assignments during cocktail hour. In the past, seating displays were often set up at the entrance to the reception space. However, this can lead to crowding that’s anything but social distancing-friendly. Instead, give guests plenty of time to find their seating assignment during the cocktail hour, instead of all at once.
DON’T create a bottleneck. Another way to stop people from bunching up at the escort cards is to set up multiple tables or displays, spaced well apart. Be sure to allow enough flowers or decorations to make them all pretty, and provide clear signage so guests know where to find their card.
DO make it easy for guests to read their names. Another way to prevent crowding is by making it easy for guests to read their names. Make sure the font or writing on your wedding escort cards is legible as well as pretty. If you are placing them on a table, lay them at a 45-degree angle. Also, ensure the lighting in the escort card table area is good by using a spotlight or lots of candles.
DON’T group them by table number. One of the biggest mistakes couples make is to organize their wedding escort cards by table name or number, instead of alphabetically. Unless you have a tiny guest list, this makes it nearly impossible for guests to locate their name. So, for example, if you have multiple escort card tables, you could split them by guest surnames A through H, I through P, and so on.
DO work with your wedding stationery designer or calligrapher to keep the look cohesive. While an escort card display can stand as a design feature on its own, it should be in theme with the overall look and feel of your wedding.
DON’T have more wedding escort cards than you need. While you need one place card per guest, you can have one escort card per couple or family. Of course, if you’re attaching escort cards to favors, you may want them to be individual, but otherwise, there’s no need to create more waste than necessary.
DO get creative with your presentation. The escort card display is something all your guests will interact with, so why not make it memorable? Have fun, and make it a real feature! Draw inspiration from your wedding theme or your love story. Think big and bold, and incorporate fun floral elements or hanging installations. You can also incorporate non-traditional objects and favors, like fruit, shells, plants, candy… the options are endless!
DON’T forget to decorate the table (if you’re using one). Even if you’re opting for a more traditional tented escort card display, be sure to decorate the table. Add florals or props like hurricane candles, and create visual interest with containers placed at different heights. Even just adding a beautiful linen on the table can really make it pop.
DO get organized to save yourself stress. Before the wedding, sort the cards alphabetically and clip them together in groups, or place them into ziplock bags. If you don’t have a wedding planner, choose someone who can set up the display for you and give them a clear diagram. You should also have some blank cards on hand to allow for any late changes.
DON’T wait until the last minute. Leaving your escort cards until the last minute is a recipe for stress! Don’t procrastinate. Give yourself plenty of time by starting about three weeks ahead of the wedding. You’ll be so glad you did! Just make sure all of your RSVP’s are in first!
Put these tips into action and your wedding escort cards will be a pleasure rather than a chore.
Image by Jose Villa