Place cards are an easy way to help your wedding reception run more smoothly, since they guide your guests to their seats. They may also serve a decorative function if you choose to get creative with colour, shape and texture. For example, if your wedding reception is held near the ocean, consider buying seashells or a similar item from a crafts store and printing names and table numbers either directly on the item or on an attached card. Place cards can be as traditional or modern as you wish; the choice is up to you.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Guest list
- Seating chart
- Writing instrument or electronic printing method of your choice
- Place cards coordinated with your wedding reception theme and colour
Decide how formal you would like your place cards to be. Traditionally, a place card will include each guest's table number, his or her title (e.g. Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms.), and full first name and last name. However, depending on your own personal style, you may choose to use a more casual form for the names on your place cards (e.g. "Liz Jones", rather than "Ms. Elizabeth Jones"). Typically, "Miss" is used for a young, unmarried woman. "Ms." is acceptable for older, unmarried women or for women who do not wish to use the title "Mrs." such as a married woman who uses her own maiden name.
Consult your guest list and seating chart to ensure that you have all necessary information before preparing your place cards. Determine ahead of time which guests prefer to use their married or maiden names, or perhaps a hyphenated version. Including a response card with your wedding invitation can help in this regard as guests will write their names on the card according to their preference. For guests invited with a date, you may decide to include the date's name, rather than the more impersonal, "Mr. John Smith and Guest".
Determine whether you will have a separate place card for each guest. Traditionally, married couples, or couples in long-term relationships share a place card (e.g. "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" or "John Doe and Jane Jones").
Organise your completed place cards for easy retrieval. Consider alphabetising your placecards and storing them in a container for quick transport to the reception.
Tips and warnings
- The term "place cards" is often used synonymously with "table cards" (also known as "escort cards") but they serve different functions. Table, or escort, cards list guest names and their corresponding table number. Typically, these cards are arranged alphabetically on a table and guests pick them up on their way into the reception area. Guests are then free to choose their own seats at a given table. Place cards may be left at each plate if you want to choose specific seats for your guests. However you refer to them or decide to utilise them, the general rules for writing out the cards are the same.
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