6 Ways to Tell your Guests Where to Sit
For most couples, this is the first time you’re planning a wedding! These days, there is more inspiration than you could possibly sort through, but who is there to answer your questions - like, how do I give my guests all the details they need for the weekend? Should I do both escort cards and place cards? How do people usually address the envelopes? Do I really need to do programs? Enter the Insiders Guide to Wedding Stationery, your answers to all things relating to your paper goods and signage. In my 6 years working with couples on their invitations and day-of paper goods, I’ve heard all the questions and seen many of examples of how people have handled unusual situations. I’m here to help you navigate the wedding waters! Let’s get started!
For many people, planning the seating chart can be a super stressful part of wedding planning. It happens in the 11th hour, and there are so many feelings to worry about! Aunt Susie can’t sit near Great Uncle John after last Christmas….Are Sarah and Jenny hanging out again….Cousin Lisa will feel badly if she’s too far in the back…….the concerns go on!
While I can’t help you navigate family drama, I can help you make that seating chart you’ve slaved over beautiful.
First, there are a few things to consider. The number of guests will impact how much space you’ll need to dedicate to this escort display - for a small wedding, you can get really creative! For a larger wedding, you’ll have to determine if you have the space for what you need and want. Space and materials are also a consideration. Do you need a large table for cards to sit on, a bit big (?) wall or board for something to be mounted. Also don’t forget about legibility - it may be beautiful but if guests can’t find their seats, what’s the point?!
There are also functional considerations. Do you want guests to take the card with them to their table? Do they need to indicate a meal selection? Or can they just make a mental note of where they are going and they don’t need a physical card with them?
Here are my favorite ways to tell your guests where to sit, from simple to ornate.
1. Keep it simple with a printed seating chart
This is an economical and simple option, but still can be so beautiful. Layout guests’ names alphabetically and indicate their table number. This can also be done really last minute - just take the art to Kinko’s for same day large scale printing. Put it in an elegant frame, adorn it with greenery and florals, and you have a beautifully simple seating chart.
2. Take a place card
These cards can be calligraphy or printed, on paper or an unusual material, sitting on a table or mounted to a board. Each card has the guests’ name and table number noted. This is a great option if you want these to include a meal choice indicator too and you aren’t doing assigned seating, so guests can take it with them to their seat of choice.
3. Unusual materials
Escort and place cards are the perfect place to add a little texture to your wedding decor by incorporating some unusual materials. Drift wood, agate stone, marble, tiles, wood slices…anything you can write on! This also makes a fun little keepsake for your guests.
4. Incorporate the wedding favor
If you’re doing a cool wedding favor, why not use this as an accent to your escort cards too? Put a cute tag on that jar of honey or bag of homemade candy, put their name in a luggage tag, put a stick with their name in a potted plant or write their names on mini Champagne bottles.
5. Make it edible!
I think everyone can get on board with an edible (or drinkable!) escort card. I’m OBSESSED with these cards stuck in pieces of cheese. And guests certainly won’t be mad about a little sweet treat or drink with their name on it!
6. Statement-making display
If you have the budget and room, this is such a fun place to make a statement! How about those donut walls you see on Pinterest? Or lettering on vases or jugs? Frames hanging from the trees! On your Champagne glass or beer mug! There are so many cool ways to tie in your wedding vibe and this is such a fun place to do it.