A seating chart shows each guest at which table he or she is seated. Whether you prefer a seating chart or escort cards is a matter of personal preference. Seating charts are easier to display and can also be signed by your guests and framed to make a nice memento of the occasion. The seating chart may either list guests by the table, or alphabetically by name. Listing by guest name makes it a little easier to find your table, especially at large events. Listing by the table shows who else is at the same table.
Escort card shows the number or name of the table at which a guest is seated. They are usually put inside a small envelope with the guest’s name written on the outside. You can also use a blank business card and write the name on one side and the table number on the other. Escort cards can be changed at the last minute, whereas a seating chart may need to be printed days or weeks in advance. Escort cards are normally placed on a table, in alphabetical order, at the entrance to the venue.
Table number cards
Table number cards are placed on tables to display the name or number of that table. They should be large enough to read without having to walk right up to the table. The cards are usually large tent-fold cards or flat cards in a holder. Make sure they aren’t so tall that they prevent guests seeing each other over the table.
Table name cards
If you are feeling creative, you can give tables names instead of numbers. Numbered tables are less work and easier to find if they are laid out logically. Named tables can add a bit more atmosphere.
Place cards are placed at each place setting to ensure that guests sit in their designated seats. They are only required if you have assigned guests to seats (rather than tables). If you are using tent-fold cards, print the guest’s name on both sides, so that other guests on the table can read it.The names should usually be in the format “Mr. John Smith”, but you can also use “John Smith” or “Mr. J. Smith”, depending on the level of formality of the event.