6 Types of Place Cards to Wow Your Wedding Guests

First of all, I get this question all the time: What’s the difference between escort cards and place cards?

I see these two phrases used interchangeably, so here’s a little bit of wedding stationery education for you.

Escort cards:

  • Indicate the table number the guest is sitting
  • Usually displayed at a table in the entry area of the venue
  • Guests will find their card, see which table they're sitting at, and set off to find their assigned table

Place cards:

  • Usually displayed at the specific seat the guest will be sitting
  • Only the name of the guest is written on the card because there is no need to add a table number on there.

For the sake of this post, I’m going to use the term “place cards." But keep in mind that you can use these ideas as either escort cards or place cards!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to the fun stuff! In my opinion, wedding place cards are often overlooked and underappreciated. Wedding place cards are traditionally printed on cardstock and folded to create a little tent that stands up. It has more of a functional use than anything. So why am I such a big advocate for place cards? Why should you invest a little more in them?

Because place cards are individual to each guest, it’s a great way to create something special for each of them! I love getting place card orders because I get to create something beautiful not only for the bride and groom, but for each of the guests as well. There's a few ways you can make your place cards stand out. One is to kill two birds with one stone and combine your wedding favor and place card into one. (See some of my options below.) You can also find ways to incorporate your wedding theme, or something that represents both of your personalities. Even on a tight budget, there are ways to get creative with your place cards and impress your guests!

I’ve compiled 6 different place card options here that are sure to stand out and make an impression on your guests. If you've been following my work, you know that I LOVE working with other mediums beyond paper. So even though I’ve included some paper options, the majority of this list are actually non-paper options for you to consider.

1. Handmade paper

Using handmade paper instantly brings a touch of romance and elegance to your wedding. If your wedding style is more vintage, fine art, dreamy, and romantic, handmade paper is for you! You can print or letter on handmade paper, depending on what look you’d like to go for. I personally love the look of black or metallic gold calligraphy on white handmade paper. You can also choose to add embellishments such as a piece of ribbon or twine, or a wax seal. The handmade paper can also be tied to a wedding favor.

2. Vellum

Vellum is a translucent type of paper. Like handmade paper, you can print or letter on vellum. Because of its unique translucent look, it's most suitable for weddings that are more minimal or modern in theme. Unlike the rougher, deckled edges of handmade paper, vellum is very smooth and creates a very clean look. Vellum is also easy to layer with other pieces. For extra oomph, you can layer vellum over handmade paper or card stock. . The result is a very modern, yet soft and romantic look. The best of both worlds!

3. Acrylic

Speaking of modern and minimal, acrylic has become wildly popular as a medium to use in weddings. I usually only use clear acrylic (occasionally I’ll use black too!), but it comes in a variety of colors so you can pick one to easily match your theme. You can also get it cut in different sizes or shapes. I typically only write on acrylic, especially when it comes to place cards. But you can also apply vinyl decals or etch directly on it for something more detailed. Acrylic place cards stand out on their own, but you can also dress them up with ribbon or string. They can double as gift tags for your wedding favors, ornaments for a holiday wedding, or a keepsake keychain. These options will definitely require a little more time and money, but you open yourself up to a lot of possibilities with acrylic as a medium.

4. Marble

If you’ve been on Pinterest or Instagram searching for wedding ideas, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen beautiful marble tiles pop up at some point. The combination of marble tile with calligraphy is so beautiful and while some say that it's not as "trendy" anymore, I still personally think it's a lovely option. Marble tiles do come at a higher price point, but the great thing about them is that they can double as a wedding favor. They make great coasters and they already come customized with the guest's name! If you’re looking for a stunning place card + wedding favor option, this one definitely takes the cake.

5. Fruit

Yup, you read that right. Fruit. Maybe a type of fruit holds a special meaning for you two. Or you’re going for a seasonal/local food kind of theme. Or maybe you just want to incorporate some unique details in your wedding. This is definitely a fun way to go! One way to do this is to have the guests’ names written directly on the fruit. I love this idea, but I would definitely suggest using an edible marker so that the fruits remain edible. While lettering with a paint pen might look a little prettier because you have so many more colors at hand, it would be a waste to letter on 100 apples and render them inedible. The thought of them all ending up in the trash would definitely make me feel guilty! So go the edible pen route if you can. Another option is to have the names written on a little piece of paper and tie them onto the stem of the fruit. Or tape it to a toothpick and stick the toothpick in the fruit. (These options will depend on the fruit you’re using.) This way, you can still incorporate something different, but without wasting food. I would suggest fruits that are sturdier and have a tougher rind/skin. (Pomegranates, citrus, apples, and pears are all great options!)

6. Leather

Leather is my current favorite material to work with! (It’s also probably the most masculine material on this list, if that makes a difference to you!) If you’re doing a travel-themed/destination wedding, or want to incorporate some vintage or rustic feels into your wedding, leather place cards can be a great option! I love writing on leather luggage tags. They already come with a hole so you can put some string or leather lace in them and tie them to something else. Personalized leather luggage tags would also come in handy the next time your guest goes on a trip. You can also find leather in other shapes/sizes. For example, circle shapes would make great coasters. Bigger leather pieces can also be used for menus, programs, etc. if you want to incorporate more leather into your wedding.

At the very least, I hope that these place card options are helpful to your wedding/event planning process. If you'd like to order one of these options for your wedding or event, I'd love to chat with you and discuss the details! If you have another idea that you'd like to see come to life, let me know! Odds are, we can make it happen!