Table-number cards are an essential reception element: They are usually displayed at the center of each table to help guests identify their assigned dinner table. But you don't have to stick to basic cards. Instead, you should use them as an opportunity to build upon your wedding's overall style. To help you get inspired, here are seven ideas that are unexpected — and affordable.
Gold Balloons (above): Southern California event designer Jesi Haack came up with the brilliant idea to use mylar balloons as table numbers. The gold balloons complemented the wedding's other gilded details, like the shiny Chiavari chairs. Plus, they bring a hint of whimsy to the celebration. You can find similar numerical balloons here.
Photo: [Pressed Cotton](http://www.pressedcotton.com/)
Chalkboard Planter: Let some of your wedding elements work double duty. Case in point: These wooden planters function as reception-table centerpieces, but they also feature chalkboard sides, which means you can enlist your best friend with impeccable handwriting to work her magic on the table numbers. You can find similar chalkboard planters at Save on Crafts.
Photo: [Susan Stripling](http://www.susanstripling.com/)
Vintage Mirrors: If your wedding has a vintage aesthetic, start collecting antique mirrors from local flea markets. Then use a marker specifically designed for glass to letter the mirrored surface with each table number.
Photo: [Jose Villa](http://www.josevilla.com/)
Amber Jugs: This idea is perfect if you're hosting your reception at a rustic farm or barn. Collect antique amber jugs and bottles, remove the labels, then carefully paint each table number on the sides.
Pop Art: If you're going for a more colorful vibe for your wedding, check out these fun soup-can table numbers. The bright custom labels have a wonderfully retro Andy Warhol feel.
Photo: [Green Apple Photography](http://www.greenapplephotographyonline.com/)
Your "How We Met" Story: Incorporating details from your love story into the table numbers display is such a sweet way to share snippets about your relationship with your wedding guests.
Photo: [When He Found Her](http://www.whenhefoundher.com/)
Vintage Plates: Throwing a vintage-themed celebration? Repurpose pretty dinner plates as table numbers. Source them from local antique shops and flea markets, letter each table number using a gold marker, then display them on affordable acrylic plate stands.