In addition to serving the very important purpose of directing guests to their tables, when thoughtfully chosen and cleverly displayed, escort cards can become a funny, surprising, or simply beautiful detail. Here are some great ideas from real couples, plus details on the goods needed to harness their creativity if you like what you see.

For her wedding to Joey Wallace, bride Sarah Shotwell stitched swatches of different fabrics onto white shipping tags. Each pattern corresponded to a matching table runner—brilliant. Large Snow White tags (Size No. 5), about $2.34 for 12, Paper Valise; vintage reproduction fabrics, Repro Depot; wood frame corkboard, from $18, School Outfitters

Photo: Aruna B. Photography