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.
Turn to Tiles
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.
Keep It Simple
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.
Play With Tags
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.
Clip It On
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.
Brighten With Botanicals
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.
Bring the Outdoors In
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.
Top Off Your Menu Card
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.
Work With Wood
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.
Pull Double Duty
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.
Customize Napkin Rings
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.
Give a Sweet Treat
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.
Match Your Theme
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.
Monogram a Napkin
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.
Enhance the Menu
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.
Pair a Pear
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.
Write on Each Place
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.
Incorporate Oyster Shells
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!
Look for Lucite
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.
Work In Your Motif
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.
Commission Custom Illustrations
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.
Personalize Your Menu Cover
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.
Pair With a Show-Stopping Favor
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.
Reinforce Your Color Scheme
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.
Incorporate Useful Favors
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.
Get the Party Started
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.
Add an Heirloom Quality
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.
Bring the Drama
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.
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.
Tie One On
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.
Let It Blend In
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.