What's the difference between place and escort cards?

escort cards place cards seating charts

Escort cards? 
Place cards? 
Seating arrangements?! 

What do you actually need or want? It can all get a little overwhelming, amen?

Today, I’m demystifying a few of these reception paper goodies for you and hopefully help you figure out what you want in order to make your wedding beautifully you.  


Escort Cards by  Paper Dainty

Escort Cards by Paper Dainty

So, first - escort cards. 

Escort cards escort your guests to their seats. You’ll put these at the entrance of your reception so guests can grab and find their spot. If you go for this option, you’ll need table numbers too (but no worries - I've got some free printable ones for you here.)  

This is an excellent option if you’re in a formal setting and don’t want to seat every single person. Simply assign them a table and they can figure out where exactly to sit. 


Place cards. 

Place cards take much more planning and work, but can make a stunning statement. These are pre-plated on the table so guests know which seat is theirs. Your friends and family will have found their table with a seating arrangement or escort cards at the front. 

This is also perfect for formal weddings and allows you to control who sits with who if that’s a concern for you. Because it does take quite a bit of work, however, I’d suggest doing this for smaller, more intimate weddings or perhaps rehearsal dinner. 


Seating chart via  De Alma e Coracao

Seating chart via De Alma e Coracao

Seating arrangements. 

These are similar to escort cards, but all of the information is in one location. Guests won’t take them to their tables. This is usually about the same amount of work or price, so deciding between a seating arrangement or escort cards is more a decision of aesthetics. 


No matter which you choose, the options are endless! You could put guest’s seating arrangements on a globe and name each table after a country. Or, hire a calligrapher to letter a gorgeous seating arrangement. 

Of course, if all of these options are daunting to you, then throw them all out the window! You can still have a gorgeous, classy wedding with unassigned seating. It’s far less stress for you and allows your guests to mix and mingle. I did that for my wedding and I totally didn't regret it! 

If you’d like more help with your wedding paper, download this wedding paper checklist
to make sure you get it all!