Guide to Wedding Seating Terminology

Are you considering assigning your wedding guests to a table? Or going even further and assigning them a specific seat? Are you struggling with how to let guests know where to sit? If so, I'm sure you've heard words like escort cards, place cards, seating charts, etc. thrown around, but what do they all really mean? Well, I'm here to explain all the terminology you may have heard so you understand your options and order the correct items!

Escort Cards: These have each guests' name and table number on the card and are displayed on a table when guests walk into the reception so they can grab their card and take it to the designated table on their card to pick a seat.

Place Cards: These have each guests' name on the card and are placed at the table you have assigned them to. They do not need to have the table number listed on the card as it will already be placed on the table for the guests.

If you are having a plated dinner you will want a way to designate which meal each guest has chosen. The samples above {both escort cards and place cards} show how you can incorporate a symbol onto the card to signify which meal the guest has chosen. TIP: Don't forget to explain to your caterer/reception venue which meal correlates with which symbol so they can let the servers know.

Seating Chart: This can be a large sign that you place on an easel or inside a frame so guests see it as they walk into the reception. It will list each guest and what table they are to sit at. It can be arranged by the guests' last name or by the table number. TIP: Arranging by the guests' last name is easier for guests to locate their name.

Table Numbers: These can be a tented style, placed in a holder or frame, or displayed however else you choose! These are also a place where you can have some fun. You can incorporate photos of yourselves throughout your relationship or from your birth until you met one another {make sure your significant other is on board with this option before asking their family for baby photos}. You can tie in places you may have visited as a couple. Or if you are both from the same city or state, you can tie in landmarks that your guests would know. Have fun with it if numbers are just a bit too formal for your liking!

How to Send Your Files to Your Designer: This is probably the easiest thing to make more difficult for your designer! Most designers will want an Excel spreadsheet with the guests name in one column, the table number in another column, and then meal choice in another column. It's not hard, but I'm not going to lie ... somehow I have had couples not understand this so here is a visual to show you what works best. The two tables below show how I can use this one table and organize it two different ways. The one on the left is organized by last name which works perfect for seating charts organized by last name. The middle one is organized by meal choice which works perfect for escort or place cards with the meal choice symbol. The one on the right is organized by table number which works perfect for seating charts organized by table number.

I hope this quick guide has helped! If you have any further questions, as always, don't hesitate to reach out. I'd be happy to help.