Place Cards....are they necessary?

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FutureMrsKeo Posts : 5 Registered: 6/2/10
Place Cards....are they necessary?
Posted: Jun 15, 2010 2:37 PM

I have a question for anyone on here that has more knowledge on the subject....are place cards necessary for the reception? Both my FH and I have never been to a wedding that has had place cards. I have been to large weddings and small weddings, but every time the guests were allowed to seat themselves where they pleased. My FH does not think that place cards are necessary...he would prefer to have our guests decide where they want to sit. But, we are going to have between 350-400 guests at our reception. I'm actually dreading the thought of deciding where to place up to 400 people, yikes! What is the proper etiquette when it comes to place cards or is there proper etiquette??

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KCI Posts : 150 Registered: 3/30/09
Re: Place Cards....are they necessary?
Posted: Jun 15, 2010 4:02 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsKeo

I don't think you necessarily have to have them, but I think they would make things easier on wedding day. With place cards you can set up which groups sit at which tables so you don't end up with 2 tables with 1 open seat each and a couple that came to your wedding not being able to sit with each other.

You don't need specific seat cards, just what table they should sit at.

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chris42005 Posts : 89 Registered: 4/6/10
Re: Place Cards....are they necessary?
Posted: Jun 15, 2010 6:41 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsKeo

I think it would depend on the formality of your wedding. Real formal:place card, not so formal: let it go.

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Place Cards....are they necessary?
Posted: Jun 15, 2010 7:57 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsKeo

with a wedding the size of yours...yeah. At a MINIMUM you need table assignments. Placecards are useful to guests because it tells them where they are supposed to sit.

Let's give you an example:

you are sitting up tables that seat 8. at 400 guests, that is about 50 tables (wow!). Anwyay...party of 5 comes in and plops down at a table. Party of 7 comes in and grabs another, party of 6 here, and 3 there...by the time that everyone who wants to sit together gets there...there are no spaces for a family of 7 to sit together because there are 3 spaces at table 5 and 2 at table 8. Table 20 has one space left...yadda yadda you get the idea.

Plus, when you do table assignments, you can do fun little things like...mix your family and his, play matchmaker with Cousin Sally, who you just KNOW will hit it off with Todd from the office (without being overly obvious that you've done this hehehe) You also can sit people from the same groups together. You know who your guests are...and how you know some. You know which ones like the adventure of meeting new people and which ones look on that as if you'd asked them to jump off a cliff. You know which family members should be kept far apart from one another (and you can sit them on opposite sides of the room, rather than having them both decide that Table 12 is perfectly situated and BOOM family fight.

At 300 to 400 guests... you're having a formal affair (even if it is barbecue chicken that you're serving)

You also can help your caterer out with place cards. Table 3 has five chickens and two roast duck and one lamb. (You can color code your place cards to help the servers too).

Our place cards were in our theme.... we did a Celtic Wedding and we used Scottish Clans to be our table names. (Clan MacLeod, Clan MacKinnon, for example). The placecards had the tartans of the clans. So while they looked a lot alike, each person had a tartan for the night. I had a buffet so I didn't need to keep track of who was under age, who was having fish or chicken or beef or vegetarian.

Yes. Do place cards. They will help out immensely and they have a lot of uses. You know where everyone is...and chances are there are a LOT of people at your wedding that you won't know because they belong to the other side of the family. When you approach a table... you have a good idea of who is there....and guests are funny...before meals they tend to stay where they belong. After they eat, they mingle...but if you go circulate before the meal, you're more likely to know that the person sitting next to the place card labled "Tim Abernathy" IS Tim Abernathy!

Misty

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Place Cards....are they necessary?
Posted: Jun 15, 2010 10:28 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsKeo

Dear Mrs K,

You need tablecards, for sure, but not necessarily place cards.

What's the diff?

Tablecards are available at the door, usually on a table sorted alphabetically. They look like this:

Mr Homer Simpson Table 9

Mr Ned Flanders Table 10

With such a large reception, you also need a table map. That is just a large chart near the door, so Homer can say "Table 9? Oh, thataway."

Homer and Ned make a beeline for their respective tables.

Once everyone is at the table, place cards are there to assign seating at the table. That is optional, as usually 8 people can figure out for themselves how to distribute themselves. "Marge, sit by me so we can get caught up."

With 300-400 guests, tablecards are an absolute necessity. With assigned tables and tablecards, you'll have a random mess as people come in the room, take seats and then leave ones and twos for the last people to come in. No one will want to be last (and get the dregs in seating), so it will be a stampede.

Look at it this way. Airlines have assigned seating. People board the airplane by group number, Group 1 at the rear of the plane, Group 2 next, and so forth. It is far more orderly than some kind of mad dash. Even Southwest, which does not do seat numbers, has a hierarchy for boarding by groups based on check in time.

Placecards would be a nice touch, but not necessary. Within a given table, people will swap around, anyway.

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jackson132 Posts : 1,623 Registered: 9/13/12
Re: Place Cards....are they necessary?
Posted: Sep 14, 2012 2:15 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsKeo

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swichwang34 Posts : 657 Registered: 9/13/12
Re: Place Cards....are they necessary?
Posted: Sep 16, 2012 3:17 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsKeo

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