It’s a good idea to have a seating plan at your wedding- especially if your guest list is over 15. Many couples stress about the seating plan as they’re afraid they might upset family and friends. As long as everyone gets a seat, no real disasters are likely to occur. The seating plan should be finalised when you submit final numbers to your caterer however, the reality is that seating plans will not be completely finalised until the actual wedding day. Guests fall ill, unexpected guests show and Uncle Joe insists on sitting at table 8.
You may have heard or seen the words “Escort Cards” thrown around but what exactly are these and what’s the difference between Escort Cards and Table Plans? The escort card is a more modern approach to assigning a table to your guests, the trend starting in American weddings. These are generally handed out at the cocktail reception and assign guests to a specific table for the meal. Once they find their table they will have a place card and seat waiting for them. Escort cards are a great ice breaker as guests tend to walk around with a card in hand asking other guests what table they’re sitting at! They make beautiful decorations as well- see below.
A table plan is mounted onto an easel and visually shows guests which table they will be seated at. They can look beautiful but the flaw with the table plan is that you will need to cross guests off the board who didn’t show up and you will need to add names for those unexpected guests. It’s not something I would recommend if you are a perfectionist. You can create additional escort cards for unexpected cards, or pull them for those that did not show, which is a much cleaner look.