This post from celebrity party planner Mindy Weiss is certainly worth sharing…
Wedding escort cards are a small detail, but they can make a big difference to your wedding day in both practical and design terms! In fact, if you’re having assigned seating, some form of escort card display (or seating chart) is a must. Unlike place cards, which are placed directly on the tables to let guests know which chair to sit in, escort cards direct them to their table. They are usually found in a single display at the entrance to your venue. With a bit of creativity, they can be a fun way to welcome your guests and also significantly speed up the seating process.
HERE ARE A FEW DOS AND DON’TS TO CONSIDER.
DO work with your wedding stationer 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 keeping 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 make it easy for guests to read their names. You don’t want to create a bottleneck by making it hard 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.
DO get creative with your presentation. The escort card display is one of the first things guests will see as they enter your reception. 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 having 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 using 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 last-minute changes.