Post # 1
I searched for previous topics with this question, but it seems like there are a wide range of opinions. I am putting together my escort cards, and I don’t know if I need to:
-put married couples on one card, or make an individual card for each guest
-put titles before everyone’s name
I would prefer to put each individual person on their own card without a title (example, “Jane Smith” instead of “Mrs. Jane Smith”) because we have a few unmarried couples with children and I can see this all getting complicated while trying to figure out who goes on the same card. Is this too informal? Would people be offended? It seems like there are so many etiquette faux pas that can be made in regards to weddings, so I’m trying to stay on the safe side! What do you think?
Post # 3
We went with a card for everyone, no titles. You may want to check through your guest list, though, for anyone who may be sensitive about the use of their title (some Drs or military rankings, for example). In general, I always went all or nothing for titles (no Ms. = no Drs, either) but I’m not sure of the actual rules. Also depends on formality of the wedding.
Post # 4
Escort cards are a lovely old-fashioned formality, appropriate for large very-highly formal sit-down dinners. Their purpose is to introduce each gentleman to the lady he is expected to “take in” to dinner, since at formal dinners spouses are never seated together. A proper escort card bears only the name of the lady, and optionally the table number if there are multiple tables; and it is placed in a tiny envelope containing the name of the gentleman. A footman (or where there are no liveried servants, a side table) waiting at the door holds the envelopes, and delivers each gentleman his card as he arrives. The gentleman checks to see if he already knows the lady, and if not goes off in search of someone who can introduce him; and he checks the seating chart to find out where he needs to escort her to. Their actual places at the table will be marked with place card. Since they are a high-formal practice, they should of course carry titles and formal names.
Escort cards are not necessary at less formal functions (which would include nearly all modern weddings). Most hostesses who use what they call “escort cards” are using them them instead of a seating chart to tell people what table to go to, especially when they are simply assigning tables and not places. If this is your goal, it makes sense to use one card for the entire party that is likely to arrive together and go find their places as a group at the same time, id est, one card for a whole family group, one card for each couple, and so on. Your use of titles or not should follow the same general style that you are following with invitation addresses, place cards, and so on. You need one place card per person if you are assigning seats and not just tables.
Another option, if you have multiple entrees and are using place cards to signal whom is to be served the chicken and whom the tofu but want only to assign tables and not places, is to place all the place cards in one excort-card envelope, and they can set them out themselves when they claim their chairs at the table to which you have assigned them.
Incidentally, you should (almost) never use “Mrs. Jane Smith” at social occasions or on social correspondence. That is a business name. She would be “Mrs Smith” or “Jane Smith”. If there are multiple Mrs Smiths it gets complicated: the most senior Mrs Smith gets the surname, the junior Mrs Smiths get their husband’s first name if they are old-fashioned or traditional (Mrs John, Mrs Richard) or their own first name with the title Ms if they are modern (Ms Jane, Ms Mary). It is only when you have multiple Ms Janes that you add on the surname to disambiguate the address.
Post # 5
Thanks for your input ladies!
Post # 6
i put married couples on one card. We had a sit down so I had their meal choice on the same card as well. I just did it to save the hassle of writing extra cards
Post # 7
Thank you! Anyone else care to share what they did?