A comprehensive guide to place cards, escort cards, tent cards vs. flat cards, place card holders, and other related concepts.
You can learn everything you need to know about our product, place cards, in this tutorial—and maybe even more!
We have made an effort to make this guide as impartial, useful, and comprehensive as possible, even though we think that utilizing our free printable place card designer is the best approach to create place cards.
What precisely are place cards then?
A place card is a slip of paper used to designate a guest’s seat at an occasion, like a wedding or banquet.
In addition to the guest’s name and table number, place cards frequently have a stylish design.
Do I really need place cards for my wedding?
Not every wedding uses place cards. Here is how to decide if you require them for yours.
Do you, first of all, have assigned seating? If not, place cards are almost certainly not necessary. You’ve just checked another item off your list of wedding program tasks, so stop reading right now and go party!
Place cards are not necessary, even if your guests have reserved seats. Another choice to consider is a seating diagram.
This is a simple piece of paper that lists all of your tables along with the guests seated at each one.
If you don’t have any excuses not to use them, seating charts can be a great substitute for place cards because they’re frequently cheaper and simpler to make.
Place cards or escort cards will probably be needed if you have reserved seats and don’t want to use a seating place card. What do escort cards actually do? To find out, keep reading.
Place cards versus escort cards
You can send your wedding guests to their tables in a variety of ways. Place cards and escort cards are your two choices if you want to use individual cards with names.
What makes the difference? A place card, according to brides.com, “directs each guest to his or her precise seat at the table in addition to directing them to the table where they will sit throughout the reception.”
In actuality, this means that if you want to use escort cards, you will put them all together somewhere (often on a table, but you may get creative), and your guests will pick them up and carry them to their tables.
On the other hand, place cards are frequently already on the tables. Place cards typically come with a seating map since you don’t want your guests wandering from table to table looking for their names.
It’s confusing how “place” and “escort” cards are phrased, but it doesn’t really matter.
The phrases are sometimes used synonymously in online resources, while “place card” is a more all-encompassing term that is frequently used to refer to both types of cards.
Flat cards versus tent cards
Most likely, your place cards will be either flat or tent-shaped. Place card holders are typically used in conjunction with flat place cards, which are just that—flat.
On the other hand, tent cards are designed to be folded in half and stood alone. Other names for them include folding cards (at least by us).
Tent cards’ key benefit is that they can be set up on a table without the need for additional holding materials because they are self-contained.
If you have the time and resources to be more creative with your place cards, however, place card holders are a fantastic way to add some flair to your event!
Do something incredibly unusual as a third option in the flat vs. tent card discussion!
If you already know how to do it, know someone who does, or just like the handwritten touch, calligraphy is a fantastic alternative for your cards.
Most stationery stores and websites sell blank cards that can be scrawled on.
While hiring a calligrapher is still a possibility, doing them yourself or with a friend will be less expensive. Expect to pay $1 or more each card to get them correctly done because prices vary substantially.
You can search for local calligraphers using Google or Etsy, which is a great online resource.
Templates for place cards
You typically use a template that you have manufactured, bought, or designed yourself when making printable place cards.
Once more, Etsy is a great place to purchase templates, but you can also find free ones on Google.
On our website, we also offer a number of templates that are both free and paid for. These templates enable advanced font and color customization in addition to automatic layout and creation of your cards using our automatic place card maker.
If you don’t use our site, you’ll have to manually type the names into the template or, if you know how, use mail merge.
Affix cards to paper
The last alternative is to order printed place cards; typically, you mail in your guest list and wait for the cards to arrive.
Because printed cards must be sent to you, they are frequently more expensive than digital cards, so you must plan ahead (or pay a large shipping premium).
Printed cards can, however, have better all-around quality; you just have to pay more for it.
There are many well-known printing websites, with minted.com, Michaels, and printed.com being the three most well-known.
You can probably choose based on the template/price combination you want since they all have a good selection of templates and cards.
Place card sizes
There are numerous forms and sizes for place cards and place card layouts. However, based on our experience, the simplest and most adaptable layout is one that uses six tent cards (or twelve flat cards) per standard letter-sized page.
If you choose this design, your finished cards will be roughly business-card size (about 2 x 3.5 in or 5.5 x 8.5 cm). This size is also used by many templates, calligraphers, and print products.