Saturday, December 21, 2013

When using table cards for a wedding reception, it's important to know the proper etiquette for labeling and positioning the cards. Proper table card presentation will serve as just another element that makes the day even more elegant.

Where to Present Cards

    The table cards can be positioned at each table before reception guests arrive, according to A Wedding Reception. One card is placed in front of every chair, so every guest receives one and can see the information on the card before sitting down. Table cards also can be placed on a table outside the reception area, so guests can pick up a card with their name and table number. A decorative tree with table cards hanging from the branches can also be placed at the reception site so guests can take a card before being seated.

Style and Presentation

    The style of table cards should coordinate with the formality of the reception. At formal events, quality paper (perhaps the same kind used for the invitations) can be used for table cards, accompanied by a gold or silver border. Fonts can be creative but should be bold print and easy for guests to read. Certified special events professional Tracy Bloom Schwartz says that table cards can also be an object that coordinates with the wedding theme, such as a flower or small gift. Just remember to make sure guests can read their names clearly on the item.


    For formal weddings, it is appropriate for table cards to include a prefix, as well as the guest's full name, i.e. Mr. John Smith. When seating married couples together, you can use either "Mrs. John Smith" or the woman's name, i.e. "Mrs. Jane Smith." For informal receptions, simply using the guests' first and last names for the table cards is acceptable. Some couples even choose to use first names only for the place cards. If there are two guests with the same first name, use the first initial of the guest's last name to help avoid confusion.

Guest's Dates

    It's a nice gesture to find out the name(s) of any dates guests will be bringing to the wedding or reception. If you're having a large event, write out your guest's table card, and place a card that says "guest of (name of your guest)" in front of the chair next to your friend or loved one's seat at the table. According to Schwartz, it is also acceptable to list your wedding guests and his or her date's name on the same table card. However, the woman's name should always be listed first. The same type of card and font style should be used for the date's table card.

Table Cards and Seating Arrangements

    Since the table cards will be placed at each designated seat when guests arrive, you can arrange the guests' seating. In most instances, it's best to seat couples together, or to have several friends or family members at one table, especially if the wedding is fairly large and you know there are several people who have never met. For more intimate receptions where you want to encourage mingling, arrange place cards so couples or friends are not seated next to each other, but are at the same table. "In this case," says Schwartz, "guests should alternate, male and female."

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