Place Card Etiquette ?

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Place Card Etiquette ?
Posted: Jun 13, 2010 11:34 PM

I'm working on the place cards for the reception and am clueless on how to go about names! I know one of you ladies would probably be able to help me with the issues I've been coming across!

I was going to put "Mr. & Mrs John Doe" for married couples (giving one place card per married couple), but what about married couples that won't be seated together? We have one married person in our party who will be sitting at the head table. Do I put on hers "Mrs. John Doe" or do I put her first name since they won't be sitting together? Another question is for children, would I include them on the parents placecard, or give them there own?

Also, would it probably be better if I just gave everyone there own place card, as Mr. John Doe, Mrs. Jane Doe? I'm trying to do everything very formal and proper, but with the guests I'm having I highly doubt anyone would even blink an eye if I didn't do it the formal way.


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Place Card Etiquette ?
Posted: Jun 14, 2010 6:58 AM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

If you want to do it formally, then the correct way is 'Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.' I would keep it to one place card per couple rather than giving everyone their own - it takes long enough for people to find and pick up their place cards anyway. As for spouses of the WP who will be seated separately, give them their own place card. You should keep everything consistent and still use 'Mrs. John Doe' even if she is not seated with her husband. As for children, that's up to you. It would probably be easier for the parents if everyone is on one place card, but most kids would be delighted to have their very own - either way is fine.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Place Card Etiquette ?
Posted: Jun 14, 2010 9:48 AM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Dear Mrs L,

I vote for each person getting their own placecard, spouses and children included.

Question: Are you talking about placecards, which are in front of each person's place at their table? Or, are you talking about tablecards, which are (typically) on a table just outside the door to the reception room?

Placecards (on the table) should be in front of each and every place setting.

Tablecards may be done in groups ("Mr and Mrs Homer Simpson and Family / Table 12"), but you may run into some confusion if, as you said, some married couples are seated separately. How is Jane supposed to know that she has a tablecard separate from John's, if most of the married couples and families are on the same tablecard? John might just pick up his own, then say "Hey, Jane, we're at Table 5".

As for names, you run into the exact same conumdrum as you did when addressing invitations. Some women are highly insulted with the "Mrs John Doe" type name ("I'm NOT an appendage of my husband.") and others are highly insulted with the "Mrs Jane Doe" type name ("Don't you know that Mrs should not be used with a woman's first name?").

In other words, you can't win. Then, you have situations such as married couples who do not use the same last name (me) and females with Dr type titles. "Mr and Dr John Smith" is wrong, no matter how you slice it.

Thus, my best suggestion, is to ask the ladies who are important to you how they prefer to see their name, then use your best guess on the others. If you give each person their very own placecard and/or tablecard, then you can absoultely avoid the "Mr and Mrs John Smith" type names.


Would I, a married woman who uses her maiden name, be insulted if I saw "Dr and Mrs Homer Simpson"? Yes, I would. Maybe not so much insulted, but a realization that the party hosts were clueless idiots. If they were to say "But, that's Proper Etiquette", my reply would be "Proper Etiquette is that you address a person by their actual name. Mrs Homer Simpson is not my actual name. It's not up to you to change my name for me. What next? You 'correct' the spelling of awkward names? Mr Smythe becomes Mr Smith? Coco Chanel is 'corrected' to Gabrielle Chanel, a name she despised?"


cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Place Card Etiquette ?
Posted: Jun 14, 2010 12:17 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

My SIL, who had a formal wedding, did exactly as AOTB suggested, and that is my vote. As far as names go, as far as possible use what they use. Still, you won't be able to satisfy everyone. So just do your best to be accurate, like based on the same names/titles you used for the invites.

 Proud Member of P.O.O.P.,  People Offended by Offended People


walkertiffany618 Posts : 26 Registered: 8/13/12
Re: Place Card Etiquette ?
Posted: Sep 20, 2012 11:13 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Your instincts are correct: Dates are people too, so make the effort to learn their names. One way to

solve this is to leave room on the reply cards for single wedding guests to write in their dates’

names. If you’re beyond this stage in the planning process, though, you’ll have to call or email

each single wedding guest to ask the full name of his or her date. Once you have a list of the names

of each person attending, create a place card for each individual wedding guest (this goes for

married couples too—Mr. and Mrs. should get their own cards), rather than printing both names on the

same one.


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