The term 'wedding table cards' is often interchangeably used with 'place', 'name' or 'seating cards' and there is also a slight variation with 'wedding table number cards', so we'll try to present all of them together with basic ideas to include them into decor of the reception site or any other location where wedding related parties take place and tables are used.
It's very important to consider all the options. For instance many contemporary weddings have two receptions. First one is simple, with a glass of champagne or a cocktail and a cake for everybody, right after reception. Second is usually later, for more exclusive list of wedding guests, complete menu, dancing and everything. We'll also provide the foundations of table place cards etiquette to provide general directions within traditional and modern trends.
Every formal wedding requires a reception with tables and served meal, so a seating order of your guests should be part of your plan and carefully made with each table and place properly marked.
Table seatting cards, possibly in matching theme of your wedding, will be of great help, but only if you thoughtfully compiled a seating arrangement. For this you'll need complete list of wedding guests, plan of the reception venue and very likely some help of other members of the wedding party.
Best way to start is with a head or so called bridal table, where bride and groom are seated with bridesmaids and groomsmen, everybody seated with the face towards the rest of the tables. If the party is small, their spouses, fiancees and dates may be included as well. You need a seating plan for all other tables too.
Continue with parents' table. Both newlyweds' parents should seat together and grandparents or other relatives should be with them. How many and which is dependant on several factors, but in general close relatives and ones which came from long distance should be closer to the head table.
If parents of bride or groom are divorced, things start to complicate a bit. How are they getting along with each other now? Is one of them (or both) remarried? In this case a consultation with parents is a must. They can also provide valuable insight in relationships of some of the other guests, especially family memebers which are invited due courtesy, but are for some reason not so familiar to the happy couple.
Now you have to arrange seating for the rest of the guests. What are their common interests? You don't want them to get into any kind of conflict. Don't forget the kids' table (if any) and make a plan to entertain them.
Alternatives To Classic Wedding Table Number Cards
Ultra-formal wedding receptions have tables marked by numbers starting with number 1 for the newlyweds and following with higher numbers for other attendees.
Of course, higher the number, less important may feel the guests seating at the specific table. This could cause unnecessary resentments which can be avoided in several ways.
As we already mentioned the head table can be only one, but with a bit less formal receptions we can loosen the rules and add a bit of personality at the same time.
Popular choice in recent years became so called Sweetheart Table, where only bride and groom (facing to all other attendees) sit and this makes a lot of room for placement of other tables in more playful ways, so everybody can get the feel of being included. Similar solution is Sweetheart Table Plus Two (which includes Maid of Honor and Best Man).
Of course in both cases other tables still need to be marked somehow and this where your creativity, thoughtfulness and humor may show. If you have a wedding in a theme, tables can be named according to the theme.
For instance, for a Beach Wedding Theme, names of the most known beaches in the state (or in the world) may be a good solution. If the newlyweds are known by their love of movies, they may name the tables after their favorite actors. Or the tables can get names after verses of popular love songs. And so on!
Table Cards For Wedding Reception
In general you'll need two kinds of cards for wedding reception. First is meant for table and can have a number or a name, like mentioned above. It is meant for orientation, so it is best to make it simple, with large, readable font.
The others are placement cards, where for every guest exists one card, placed to his or her position at the table. This can have a written name of guest only or the number of the table too. Bot solutions have pros and cons and it is up to you (and your advisers) to choose which suits you better.
Wedding table place cards are part of wedding stationary, so if you decided to have a certain theme, they should be ordered together with the invitations, right after the list of your wedding guests is finalized.
On the other hand with less formal weddings, they are not obligatory, yet they still add a touch of elegance to the event and serve as very personal addition to overall experience, so it is great if you can spend few extra minutes choosing something nice, personal and memorable.
Fortunately contemporary approach to weddings allow much more than traditional, and today we are not limited with classic printing techniques anymore, which may be pretty expensive and time consuming.
Nowadays many couples decide to order table placement cards for weddings on-line, where they can choose from thousands pre-set designs for every imaginable wedding with ability to personalize every bit of a chosen card from type and size of paper to personal messages and still achieve 100 percent professional results delivered in few days after mail.
Just remember - no matter how formal is your reception, it is your big day and even if something goes wrong (at large weddings it is normal to expect certain degree of deviations from ideal plan), enjoy every single moment of your wedding.
One more thing: a wedding table card for reception is actually the first opportunity to officially present bride's new name and / or monogram.