32 Creative Wedding Place Cards to Charm Your Guests

Small detail, big impact.

place card

Photo by Hannah Costello; Planning by Sarah Dollar of LB Event Planning & Design; Stationery and Paper Goods by Prim & Pixie

After as much effort as you've put into finalizing your guest list and making each and every single loved one feel special, we recommend paying as much attention to each seating assignment—and, thus, place setting!

If you're planning a seated dinner, wedding place cards are the easiest way to help your guests find their assigned spots at the table. Like an escort card, a place card plays a functional role in directing each guest to his/her assigned seat, but, because it's more individualized, it also gives you a little more leeway into how exactly you inform each guest.

What Is a Place Card?

Like an escort card, a place card directs guests to the table where they will be seated at the reception. However, a place card is more formal and directs each guest to his/her assigned seat and is traditionally placed at each place setting.

For instance, there are plenty of ways to add creative touches, from utilizing unexpected materials like acrylic or tile to cards that double as favors, instead of placing your average card. To that point: Your wedding place cards are yet another chance to make your loved ones feel welcome—so feel free to write guests' nicknames instead of just their first names.

Read on to see 32 wedding place cards that make this small wedding detail stand out in a big way.

01 of 32

Turn to Tiles

minimalist california wedding, bright rehearsal dinner place settings

Photo by Belathée Photography; Planning by Wild Heart Events; Paper Products by Sophia Loves Letters

Tiles are both pretty and functional—guests can take them home and repurpose them as coasters. For their welcome fiesta, this couple used brightly colored Spanish tiles wrapped with paper calligraphed with guest names as place cards.

02 of 32

Keep It Simple

<p>Table setting</p>

Photo by Sasithon Photography; Planning by  Jove Meyer Events; Paper Products by Happy MenocalJulia Bez

While there are so many options available, there's something special about a simple folded card. At this colorful wedding in Manhattan, we love how the couple put a twist on tradition but writing each name in a bright watercolored script.

03 of 32

Play With Tags

<p>reception menus</p>

Photo by Anna Marks Photography; Planning by Bustle Events

This San Francisco wedding was filled with original ideas that incorporated contrasting textures, including cloth tags that were sewn to menus with golden thread. Copy this idea by tucking tags into napkins (in a rich color!) for a look that feels cool and classic.

04 of 32

Make Music

tambourine place cards

Photo by Chris and Ruth Photography; Paper Products by This is Gill

Start the party early by providing your guests with a form of entertainment! At this wedding in Tuscany, the couple did just that, replacing traditional place cards with a personalized tambourine at each guest's seat.

05 of 32

Clip It On

crystal glassware and floral centerpieces

Photo by Valorie Darling; Planning by Leslie Kaplan of Encore Event Design; INVITATIONS & PAPER PRODUCTS by Emily Devitt Designs

If you want the focus of place settings to be the menu rather than a place card, take a cue from this couple's coastal celebration and use a small clip to attach paper versions calligraphed with guests' names to glassware. The added height the stemware offers also makes it easier for friends and family to spot their seat.

06 of 32

Brighten With Botanicals

Place setting with floral crown

Photo by Mike Radford; Planning by Twine Events; STATIONERY DESIGN by Creative Works Design; Calligraphy by  MBOJ Studio

For her own wedding, one Los Angeles-based event planner tied in the botanical motif found on her wedding invitations to create a menu topped with guests's names written in fuchsia ink. Flower crowns were placed for their flower girls, an idea that could easily be extended to adult guests, too.

07 of 32

Bring the Outdoors In

place setting

Photo by Nicole Leever Photography; Planning by Vanessa Noel Events; Paper Products by Prim and PixieFête and Quill

In lieu of paper, leaves, shells, twigs or, in the case of one couple's elevated barn wedding, smooth pebbles can be calligraphed with guests' names and used as place cards. It's an easy way to incorporate your event's natural surroundings into the decor, and guests can take them home at the end of the night as a memento from your day.

08 of 32

Top Off Your Menu Card

Place setting detail

Photo by Norman & Blake; Planning by Alison Events; Paper Products by Southern Fried Paper

Guests' names, calligraphed on mother-of-pearl and attached to flat menu cards via navy ribbon, added a chic, understated touch to place settings at this beachside wedding in Mexico. We love this idea no matter your wedding setting.

09 of 32

Work With Wood

table setting

Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings; Planning by Ashley Smith Events; Stationery by Minted

Incorporating wood into a place setting adds a rustic touch. But, to keep the look feeling modern, try laser-cut place cards like these created by the bride for her wedding in California wine country. The final touch? A sprig of rosemary that ties into the greenery arrangements.

10 of 32

Pull Double Duty

table setting

Photo by Liz Banfield; Planning & Paper Goods by A Day In May Events; Calligraphy by The Artistic Quill

A single-serving sized, personalized charcuterie board featuring local nibbles is a perfect place card idea for couples who want topnotch food as a focus on their day. Plus, guests will appreciate a snack as soon as they're seated. At this planner's wedding in Northern Michigan, black acrylic boards felt sleek and modern, but you can also use wooden versions for a more rustic look.

11 of 32

Customize Napkin Rings

<p>Wedding Place Setting</p>

Photo by Don + Helen; Planning by Bustle Events; PAPER PRODUCTS by Maude Press

For a design-forward touch, this couple had leather napkin rings engraved with guests' names for their wedding in Mexico. Calligraphed paper rings or embroidered cloth ties are other ways to make this idea your own.

12 of 32

Give a Sweet Treat

reception table

Photo by Lauren Gabrielle Photography; Planning by A Charming Fête; STATIONERY by Meg Morrow Fine Paper

Macarons are colorful crowd-pleasers—and make charming holders for place cards mounted on sticks. This couple's romantic garden party wedding used light-colored confections, but since macarons come in practically every flavor and hue imaginable, they're easy to customize for your own event's color scheme.

13 of 32

Match Your Theme

place card

Photo by Rachel Havel; Planning by Gold Leaf Design & Production; Stationery by Marc Friedland

At this wedding in Aspen, the theme was rustic-meets-modern, so the couple had place cards calligraphed on wooden cut-outs to match other wooden details—like their bar, tables, and chairs, to name a few. We love an on-theme place card because it gives each guest a piece of the décor to take home.

14 of 32

Monogram a Napkin

Dinner place setting

Photo by Stephanie Brauer; Planning by Papillon Weddings

Want to make your guests feel really special? Consider embroidering each guest's name on a linen napkin that will double as a party favor, as this couple did at their tropical wedding in Mexico.

15 of 32

Enhance the Menu

table setting

Photo by Hannah Costello; Planning by Sarah Dollar of LB Event Planning & Design; Stationery and Paper Goods by Prim & Pixie

For a polished place setting, work with your stationer to design menu cards and place cards that work together and can lie flat on top of guests' plates. This couple's wedding at the Parker Palm Springs used a burnt-orange napkin to complete the look, but sprigs of greenery or florals will also work well.

16 of 32

Pair a Pear

<p>Table Setting With Pear</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin; Planning & Design by Tara Guérard Soirée

Planner Tara Guérard surprised this couple—and their guests!—with a perfect pear at each place setting. To match the wedding's elegant theme, each fruit was covered in gilded gold and complete with a calligraphed card in a formal script.

17 of 32

Write on Each Place

place setting

Photo by Megan Welker Photography; Design by Beijos Events; Florals by Bloom Babes; Calligraphy by PoppyJack

There's no need for a card when you can write on the plate! A terra-cotta plate works well for this idea because you don't have to worry about your ink sticking to a glossy finish. Want to try this on a plate with a shiny finish or busy pattern? Consider doing so with a sticker or a contrasting color.

18 of 32

Incorporate Oyster Shells

<p>oyster shell name cards</p>

Photo by Heather Waraksa; Planning by AaB Creates; Calligraphy by Papersoul

If you're marrying by the beach, consider using oyster shells as place cards, as this couple did in Montauk, New York. You can also try this idea if you're an oyster lover, even if you're not having a seaside wedding!

19 of 32

Look for Lucite

<p>Table Setting</p>

Photo by Meg Smith Photography; Planning by  Jenna Lam Events; Calligraphy by Janis Anzalone

At this backyard wedding in California, the couple mixed marble chargers, silver napkins, and unique name cards—each guest's name was written on piece of lucite!—for a modern yet elevated look.

20 of 32

Work In Your Motif

intimate california wedding, blue tablescape

Photo by Ryan Ray; Planning by Amorology; PAPER PRODUCTS by Lovely Paper ThingsBack Up Backdrops

Repeating a motif throughout your day can add a personal, memorable touch to your event, and place cards are a great spot to tie it in. For their coastal California wedding, this couple featured ceramic fish calligraphed with guests' names. The same fish motif was used throughout the event, on favors and on a sign at the bar.

21 of 32

Pair With a Favor

place card

Photo by Dana Fernandez Photography; Design by Two Be Wed; Florals by Flower Power Productions; Calligraphy by Nib and Pixel

We talk a lot about how day-of goods can double as favors, and here's yet another example of this idea. This setting pairs a piece of broken pottery with mini potted cacti, creating a place setting perfect for any southwestern or desert celebration.

22 of 32

Commission Custom Illustrations


Photo by Erich McVey; Illustrations by Deanna First 

Sometimes, there's no need to even write a name on each place card! Follow influencer Hilary Rushford's lead and instead include an illustration of each guest at every place setting.

23 of 32

Personalize Your Menu Cover

place setting

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle; Planning by Bash Please; PAPER PRODUCTS by Amber Moon Design

This food-loving couple opted for personalized menus at their Napa Valley event, with guests' names calligraphed in a light script on the cover of menu booklets. Place atop simple linen napkins and ceramic chargers and—voilà!—you'll have a clean, modern place setting.

24 of 32

Pair With a Show-Stopping Favor

custom party popper

​Photo by Erin McGinn; Planning by Christine Bevilacqua of Metta Events; PAPER GOODS by KatLem Paper & Design

This couple's colorful garden party included place settings with white folded place cards decorated with a star stamp, positioned in front of custom party poppers, which served as favors. Inside, guests found trivia questions about the couple and wildflowers seeds for planting.

25 of 32

Reinforce Your Color Scheme

<p>Wedding menu</p>

Photo by Tim Ryan Smith; Planning by Jove Meyer Events; Paper Products by MintedJulia Bez

This Brooklyn couple hosted a modern event with a green, white, and yellow color scheme, which came into play in place settings. Guests' names were hand-painted on flat menu cards, while sprigs of yellow flowers added a cheerful pop of color.

26 of 32

Incorporate Useful Favors

place setting

Photo by Ryan Horban; Planning by Courtney Tibbets of After The Engagement

For their wedding in Palm Springs, this couple created personalized leather luggage tags for each of their guests, a practical place card/gift that's a great choice for travel-loving couples.

27 of 32

Get the Party Started

<p>blue and gold place setting</p>

Photo by Bridget Rochelle Photography; Planning by KC You There; PAPER PRODUCTS by Rust Belt LoveGM Calligraphy

For place cards that also kick off your reception, take a cue from this Buffalo couple whose escort card display featured a wall of vintage shot glasses. A server filled glasses with tequila while place cards were paired with a lime wedge and pink Himalayan salt. In lieu of champagne, guests took a shot together following the father of the bride's toast.

28 of 32

Add an Heirloom Quality

<p>place setting silverware</p>

Photo by Erich McVey; Planning by Alise Taggart

PAPER PRODUCTS by  Written Word Calligraphy

Place cards made from deckle-edged paper create a romantic, Old World vibe, particularly when paired with menus in the same material. For their wedding at an historic venue in Atlanta, this couple also set rustic reception tables with white silk runners, greenery, and votives.

29 of 32

Bring the Drama

black and white place setting candle centerpieces

Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography; Planing by Elise Johnson for Shannon Leahy Events; PAPER PRODUCTS by Bourne Paper Co.

Gold-printed menus with guests' names set off-center were placed on striking, scalloped chargers at this couple's formal fall wedding in San Francisco. Mixing metallic accents with a black-and-white scheme creates a simple-yet-sophisticated look that works well in most spaces.

30 of 32

Explore Acrylic

<p>table details</p>

Photo by Sanaz Photography; Planning by The Besharati Group

PAPER PRODUCTS by Creative Works Designs

Acrylic is being used to create all manner of modern wedding decor details, from seating charts to welcome signs. You can also opt to have guests' first names cut from this light-weight material, like this couple did, to create place cards with a touch of whimsy.

31 of 32

Tie One On

<p>napkins tied in ribbons on place settings</p>

Photo by Rachel May Photography; Planning by Adriana Marie Events; CALLIGRAPHY & PLACE CARDS by Grove Lettering Co.

For their reception on Chesapeake Bay, this couple added a cheerful cherry-hued ribbon to place card tags tied around white napkins. Use deckle-edge paper for a look that's pretty but not fussy.

32 of 32

Let It Blend In

place setting

Photo by Nancy Ebert; Planning by Estelle Kouma; Place Cards by Letters of the Valley

Take a cue from this couple's celebration along the French Riviera that was both modern and romantic, with tented place cards and menus calligraphed in a contemporary script, a contrast to the pink place setting with an Old World design.

Looking for more inspiration? See how you can pair escort cards and place cards, below.

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