Stationery 101: Escort Cards vs Place Cards

Do you know that there's a difference between an escort card and a place card? If you did, kudos! The words are often used interchangeably, but in reality an escort card and a place card are two very different things.

So what's the difference between an escort card and a place card? I'm so glad you asked! It's a pretty simple difference, and today's Stationery 101 topic!

Simply put, an escort card is the card that "escorts" guests to their table, while a place card is set at each place setting, letting guests know exactly which seat they are to take.

photography by brklyn view photography

Escort cards are a bit more popular than place cards. It's easier to assign guests to a table, rather than to a table and to a specific seat. Escort cards are typically displayed all together in one location, at the entrance of the reception., allowing guests to find their tables. Once at their table, guests can sit in any seat of their choice.

There are really ingenious, innovative, beautiful ways for you to set up your escort card display. The cards may be simply folded and spread over a table covered with candles and flowers, or you can really have fun tying in the theme of your wedding. In this English Prep shoot, I used vintage horse ribbons as escort cards by attaching small circles with each guest's name and table number. For my own wedding, shown below, I wrote each guests name on clear glass ornaments. Side note, my wedding escort install was a DIY fail, but that's another story.

photography by be creative photography

Place cards are used when you are assigning each guest to a specific seat. The place card with the guest's name would be placed on the place setting, or just next to the dinner plate. They're often used when the reception involves banquet seating or a large number of people at each table. Escort cards may be used together with place cards, where the escort card will greet guests at the reception and guide them to their table, and once they're at their table, they will sit at the setting with their place card.

photography by (counter clockwise, starting at top) Charlie Juliet, Marietta Leung, Mikkel Paige. ccalligraphy by Everly Calligraphy

I truly love calligraphy for escort or place cards, they're so gorgeous that guests often take them home as mementos!

So there you have it! The difference between escort cards and place cards. I hope you learned something new today for this Stationery 101 topic! Don't forget to catch up on past Stationery 101 topics here, such as Letterpress 101, Foil Stamping 101, and Engraving 101.