(Closed) Escort cards

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
585 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I went to a wedding in fall where they tied our cards to pumpkins. Fiance and I had one pumpkin with 2 cards. I thought that was nice. I envy that setup. I don’t like the idea of putting cards in alphabetical order and separating people’s cards from their dates. It just seems…inconsiderate (in the most insignificant way). I’m probably going to do it anyway though, because I don’t have cool pumpkins I have regular folding cards. 

Post # 3
3366 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
msweddingbee :  putting two people together on one card presents a logistical challenge: cards are usually arranged alphabetically to make it easy for people to find. if people have different names, it becomes tricky to have them on one card: whose name do you use? also, even if you’ve made that choice, it can then trip up others who are looking for their name to see out of order names.

another consideration: if you’re not doing place cards (that is, you’re only assigning tables and not places), then escort cards can also function as place savers at a table. guests sometimes will take their escort card and place it at their table as a way of choosing their seat – it’s a nice signal to others that someone has chosen that spot.

i guess what i don’t understand here is how doubling up actually saves you time if your place cards are not favors. if they’re just plain cards, you still have to write both names (which is the most time consuming part). it takes just seconds to pull out a separate card. and if they’re not plain cards, but something more elaborate, then chances are guests might see them as favors – in which case, you’d want to make sure each guest has their own.

Post # 4
1605 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I’ve been to weddings that have done it both ways, and it worked out just fine either way.

Post # 5
11517 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

All of my escort cards for married couples involved one card. All of my unmarried guests each had their own card.

Post # 6
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Are escort cards like place cards? I’ve only seen one per person at the signed seat

Post # 7
9522 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

it depends.  i did individual because the guests food selection was on it.

but if it is strictly to tell the table, then doing the couple together is perfectly fine.

Post # 8
2623 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I like having one card per person.  I’ve only been to one wedding where DH and I shared a card, and I thought it was wierd.  It was pretty obvious they just ran out of cards so they stuck us on the same one (other couples at our table had seperate cards).  The card is supposed to be a place holder for your spot when you get up from your table.

Post # 9
13548 posts
Honey Beekeeper

In practice I’ve never once seen married couples split up on escort cards. Traditionally, though I’ve never seen this actually done, place cards would be at individual seats. 

Post # 10
338 posts
Helper bee

I thought this was a great idea until I realized that it won’t really work to put them in front of place settings- they will have to go in between which could get confusing?

Post # 11
1494 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

We did both names on one card.

Post # 12
1350 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek

Everyone is getting their own at our wedding for 3 reasons:

  1. We don’t have too many guests (52 people)
  2. Not everyone in a family/unit shares the same last name (i.e., children from previous marriages, unmarried couples, married couples where the woman didn’t take the man’s last name)
  3. Our cards are small, and there wouldn’t be enough room to write more than one name on them (unless we made the font teeny tiny)
Post # 13
1692 posts
Bumble bee

Place cards and escort cards are two different things.

Place cards indicate the place at the table where each individual guest should sit. Assuming the two members of a couple do not eat from the same plate, you will need one place card per guest. Many modern hostesses do not really care where each individual sits, and just group their guests by table, presumably having chosen each group to be compatible in all combinations and expecting that everyone will chat merrily across and around the table. Those hostesses do not need place-cards. Old-fashioned experienced hostesses; especially those whose social group includes a plentiful handful of guests who are “on the spectrum”, are bores, are hard of hearing, and so on; actually design the detailed seating at each table: so that Auntie Aspasia who is getting rather deaf is the one sitting next to Uncle Aloysius who talks too much, and cousin George who is obsessive about model trains is next to cousin Leonora who shares his obsession, much to the relief of Mrs George who for a change gets to discuss contract bridge with old Mr Goren instead of indulging her husband. We always use place-cards, carefully set at each place centered above the plate before the guests arrive, and we keep a steely eye out for rakish young gentlemen who dare to swap place-cards in order to bag a seat next to attractive fashionable Cousin Arianna.

Escort cards, on the other hand, traditionally tell the gentlemen where they should escort their dinner partner to, and — get this! — who their dinner partner is to be. At a formal dinner where there are two to eight guests — Samuel Johnson’s “perfect number” for a dinnner which is never “less than the graces nor more than the muses” — then escort cards are not needed, as the hostess can easily say “Aloysius, you are here on my right; and Lysander, you and Leonora are there on Nestor’s right” and so on. But if you have multiple tables it’s only fair to give Aloysius and Lysander a hint as to which table number they should search at to find their place cards, so the escort cards are handed to them as they enter, and bear the table-number at which they are to sit. In addition, since at a truly formal dinner (which most wedding breakfasts are not) spouses are never seated together, the hostess having made her seating plan with everyone arranged according to social status and shared interests, and then having paired each gentleman with the lady who will sit on his right; at truly formal dinners the escort card bears the name of that lady. Whether the escort cards bear just the table number, or the table number and the lady’s name, or (as at Windsor where there is one single table that seats 160 people!) just the lady’s name, the escort card is placed inside a little matching envelope with the gentleman’s name written on the envelope. A gentleman who discovers that he will be sitting next to a lady he doesn’t know, goes straightway to his hostess and asks her to introduce him to the lady. He will escort that lady to the table and pull out her chair for her and pour her wine for her.

TLDR: If you want to assign tables only, use escort cards with no placecards, and put all members of a family group that will sit together, on the same card. If you want to assign seats and not just tables, use placecards and set one for each place at the table. If your guestlist is huge and you have more than ten or so tables, use escort cards as well even if you ARE using individual placecards. If your guestlist is intimate and you can easily direct everyone where to sit, don’t use either.

Post # 14
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

View original reply
msweddingbee :  We did one for each individual, because we had a lot of unmarried couples attending (we were the first of our friends to get married) + a handful of married guests who don’t have the same last name and didn’t want to confuse anyone, as they were lined up alphabetically.


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