(Closed) escort card….

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m doing escort cards that tell guests what table numbers they’re seated at, but then the guests can choose where they’d like to sit at the table (so there aren’t assigned seats at the tables themselves).  I’m doing one card per couple (and a few of the guests are bringing children, so in those cases I was going to do one card per family).  Our escort cards are slightly larger so they can accommodate more writing on them, which is the main reason I chose to do it this way.

As for the Ms. vs Miss thing, I usually reserve the term “Miss” for children under 18 years old and all other unmarried adult women get “Ms.”.

Post # 4
1693 posts
Bumble bee

At a wedding dinner, guests are often given a card as they come through the door, informing them of the table number where they are meant to sit. These cards are being called “escort cards” because they are similar to the escort cards used at true formal dinner functions. But, true formal escort cards are used a little differently. So, since you are just borrowing the name, you don’t really have to worry about following the correct etiquette: you can choose to or not. But it does help if you KNOW what the correct form is, before you try choosing!

At a fully formal meal, married couples are not seated together. An “escort card” is handed to each gentleman to let him know what lady he should “escort” in to supper. The lady’s formal name, title and surname only, is written in script on the card: “Miss Phipps”. The card is placed inside a tiny envelope, and the gentleman’s formal name is written on the outside of the envelope: “Mr MacDonald”. At slightly-less-formal events where there are multiple tables (a strictly formal dinner sits all thirty-six guests at a single board) and not enough staff to direct each couple discreetly to their places (one footman per five guests at the very least) a table number may be written discreetly on the card beneath the lady’s name.

So when you adapt the correct form to the less rigid etiquette followed at weddings, good general rules would be to use one card for each couple or family group that you intend to seat together, and use titles on the cards.

As for what title to use, the general rule is that you use the title that your guest uses for herself. It’s supposed to be her choice, not someone else’s. Most younger unmarried women are fine with “Ms”, but women who are in their fifties or older will remember when “Ms” designated a particular political leaning and may prefer the older and more conservative “Miss”. I am in my sixties and did my share of marching for women’s rights, but I gave up the “Ms” battle in the late eighties. It always seemed put-on, and none of my parents’ friends had ever had their consciousness raised enough to use it. I finally became resigned to “Miss”, and frankly I’ve finally become rather used to it — and prefer it. But I have colleagues only a couple of years younger who cannot stand it. Try to find out what each guest prefers.

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