Today's Bride

The Importance of Seating Charts and Escort Cards

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Seating arrangements at your wedding can be tricky business for your guests! Where can they sit? Where should they sit? Assigned seating seems strict, but it’s the best way to appease everyone at your wedding. Show them where to sit with a seating chart or escort card!

Are They Really Necessary?

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In school, you probably hated it when your teacher announced there’d be assigned seating. You wanted to sit next to your friends! At a wedding reception, though, most of your guests will hope for a specific place to sit. You don’t want your guests to panic about sitting next to someone they don’t know or find an open seat when the hall is nearly full. You should seat people together who already know each other or who you know would hit it off. This is the perfect opportunity to seat people together that you think would get along or have wanted to introduce to one another! Seating arrangements encourage mingling and interaction, but don’t stress over creating the perfect seating chart too much; they’ll most likely only be seated during the dinner service and toasts.

Telling your Guests Where to Sit

There are two ways of assigning seats for your reception: seating charts and escort cards. Both options are a fun way to get creative when finalizing the details of your wedding. Your seating chart or escort cards can be one of the last decor items designed – as you’ll need to wait for RSVPs to come in – so the design should match the theme, colors, and overall atmosphere of your reception. If you’re throwing a vintage chic celebration, consider an antique window. While a sea shell escort card wouldn’t fit in at a vineyard wedding, it would be perfect for a waterfront venue!

Immediate family should be seated at the table closest to the head table, so assigning seats at your reception guarantees that the table will be open for them to claim after family photos. Plus, you’ll avoid any awkward conversations asking a colleague or friend to move to a different table.

There are different benefits to each option, and choosing which one is best for you involve many factors like the number of guests, your budget, and available space.

Escort Cards

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While escort cards may seem more expensive because you have to buy one for each guest, they can also double as favors – think engraved glasses or flower seeds. There are two common ways of displaying escort cards. One way is to set up a table near the entrance with rows of names and table numbers that guests take to their seats. Because handwritten calligraphy is so popular this wedding season, we suggest hiring a professional. They can design cards that reflect the design of your invitations or personalize each card with a custom font. The second way is by placing escort cards on each plate and displaying a seating chart near the entrance.

Seating Charts

Of course, you don’t need to use name cards to have a seating chart. These functional decor pieces are perfect for a more flexible arrangement where guests are assigned a table but can choose whichever seat they’d like. Though escort cards are a great opportunity to double as a favor, seating charts are great ways to incorporate your theme into your reception venue. If you are allowed to hang art on your walls, mismatching frames or a painted tapestry would make a gorgeous addition. However, wooden planks, printed canvases, or mirrors can be propped onto a table or easel if your venue restricts wall art or if your celebration is outdoors.


Keep in mind that the majority of your guests will spend the night on the dance floor rather than in their seats. However, it’s still important to clearly indicate where your guests should sit to avoid any awkward situations.

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