The terms escort cards and place cards are often used interchangeably. But there IS a difference. Here’s how they work:
Escort cards are usually placed at or near the entrance to the dining room to “escort” your guests to their tables. They include the name of each of your guests and their table assignment.
Place cards greet guests at their assigned seat and designate your guest’s “place” at their table. These days, most brides don’t dictate which seats they’d like their guests to park themselves–except for perhaps the head table where it can be helpful to identify the bride and groom’s seats and the seats of their honored guests. Place cards are also helpful to ensure the servers deliver the correct meal for plated dinners.
Some brides forgo the formality and expense of escort cards and use a seating chart instead with their guests’ names organized alphabetically or by table. This method can be a grand way to greet guests while tying the design into the theme of the wedding. After the event, framed seating charts make a nice keepsake, too.