Those little papers tented on side tables and hovering atop plates help you organize your reception. But they also add plenty of personality to the party. Here's what you need to know about the sweetest stationery of all.

Seating Card (left)

Purpose: To direct a guest to his or her assigned dining table.
What to write on it: The guest's first and last name (titles such as "Mr." and "Mrs." are optional) and the table number; for a couple, write just one card.
Where to put it: In alphabetical order (by last name) on a table near the reception entrance, where the guest can easily access it.
What else? A seating card is also called an "escort card."

Place Card (right)

Purpose: To direct a guest to a seat at his or her assigned table.
What to write on it: The guest's first and last name; at a very informal wedding, you can get away with just first names.
Where to put it: At the guest's place setting. If the card isn't tented or placed in a holder, position it on top of the napkin or dish, where it will be visible.
What else? To help everyone get to know one another, write the guest's name on the back of the card, too, so his or her table mates can read it.

"Bright Event" cards, $8.95 for six, Orange Art

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