placecards…do I really need to have them?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Skittles131:  We aren’t doing placecards! It’s more money and more difficulty! What we are doing instead is getting a beautifully framed board with our guests’s names and what table they are at (in alphabetical order). Way cheaper and less of a hassle. We are still going to place our guests at certain tables based on who we think would get along with each other, but I don’t want to have to deal with 100+ little cards. 

Post # 4
1604 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m probably the less popular opion here, but I think place cards are a total waste of time, effort, money, and paper lol.

If you are having a casual wedding like you said, do you even WANT to do assigned seating? It’s not necessary if you really don’t want to bother.

Just do one of those cute “pick a seat, not a side” signs outside of the reception area to let people know that they can sit where ever they want.

If you DO want to have assigned seating, you can still do a “seating chart” and not have place cards (this is what we did).

We had about 200 guests and in order to organize the assigned seating, I got a huge piece of posterboard and a packet of post it notes. I wrote each guests name on a post it and then drew big circles on the posterboard to represent tables. That way I could organize/easily move people/tables around until I had everything “set in stone.”

Then I made an alphabetical list on my lap top with all the guests’ names and which table they’d be at, printed it in fancy font and on fancy paper and placed it on a fancy easel at the reception hall.

So there were assigned seats but no place cards. I think a list is totally fine if you absolutley want to do assigned seating. 

Or if you are going that casual (which is totally fine) don’t worry about either of these things at all.


Post # 5
16 posts
  • Wedding: June 2014

So here is what I’m thinking about doing.  Ive gone to weddings with placescards, without them, and with a postertype board that had the table assignments.

I think i feel like you do about the whole thing and my plan is my little gift that Im giving everyone will have their name on it with their table number to kinda kill two birds with one stone.

Post # 6
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I did assigned tables, no assigned seating.

I did place cards you pick up at the reception entrance on the posterboard that had names of people/their plus one /their kid and the table number. Then I just had numbers on the table. I did mine cheap–went to hobby lobby, bought some cute gift tags that were about the size of my hand and wrote the guests names and table number in gold (one of my colors) and put a cute bracket at the top. Very simple and it got the job done. Don’t stress out about it because (in my experience) no one really cared. 

Post # 7
6457 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Skittles131:  so if you don’t have place cards will you still have a seating plan? I personally hate walking into weddingS without a seating plan.

Also, are you having a plated dinner? If yes, how will you communicate to the waiters what that meal is?

Post # 8
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I don’t think you need placecards…but I do think you need assigned seating. I HATE going to weddings without it. I feel like I have to block off a table for my friends and constantly telling people “no, those seats are taken” makes me feel like a bitch. The other option is to just sit and let whomever wants to sit, but then you end up at a table where you don’t know anyone, or with people who make you uncomfortable. If you have a family there is a risk of being split up if you don’t get in the room at the beginning.

It’s just a nightmare to me as a guest. I dread being at a wedding without assigned seating. You don’t need the placecards or escort cards though. Just a poster with names and table numbers.

Post # 9
1266 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

You are confusing/combining place cards and escort cards.

Escort cards are the cards that are at a central location and have the person’s name and table on them.

Place cards are at the table and designate the specific seat a person is assigned.

In my opinion, escort cards (or a seating chart) are definitely necessary, but place cards you can take or leave.  Planning what tables your guests will sit at will ensure that couples stay together, friends can sit together, no one has to sit at a table with no one they know because the table they want is filled, etc. You don’t need to do cards for everyone; I’ve seen tons of cute charts written on chalk boards, old windows, etc.

Post # 10
42166 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It usually works much better to have some sort of assigned seating, even if that is a seating plan with only assigned tables, not exact seats.

If you don’t assign tables, you may end up with a situation where you have one empty seat at 4 different tables and two couples looking for  place to sit, or a family of six spread themselves out at a table for eight, leaving two empty seats at their table, but not together ( yes, it has happened).

You can choose:

escort cards which you pick these up at the entrance- they indicate your table assignment. You can still use placecards if you want to assign specific seating. Escort cards can also be combined with a favor if you choose.

a seating plan- which is posted at the entrance which can indicate table assignment only, or table and specific seat.

placecards only- not great for your guests, as they have to wander the whole room and look at each setting till they find their name

Post # 11
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think you should assign tables not not seats. If you don’t want to do a place card display, set up an easel with a seating chart.

I’ve been to 3 weddings where there wasn’t assigned tables. It was a free for all for 2 of them – several couples wanted to sit together so they’d drag chairs from the table next to them – leaving 5 chairs at one table and squeezing in 15 chairs at another. And there was one table that had 3 people sitting at it…..felt sorry for them.

One wedding, it worked out great and there were no problems at all.

Post # 13
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Just have escort cards and assign guests to tables not necessarily specific seats.

Post # 15
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

pic is huge – sorry



Post # 16
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@Skittles131:  I don’t think you need to assign seats, but unless you have a LOT of empty chairs, it’s nice to assign tables.  It sucks to go somewhere and have all your friends have already sat at one table, or get split up from your SO, etc.

We did names on old windows, which would fit in really well with your theme.  It’s even cuter when you find those windows with the little squares of windows, but I couldn’t find any and I certainly wasn’t going to pay $50 each for them from Etsy!



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