Wedding place cards are among our favourite finishing touches for a reception.
Like all good wedding stationery, place cards are both practical and pretty. On the practical side, they tell guests where they're sitting, so everyone can easily find their seats and get ready for the wedding breakfast. On the pretty side, they give you an opportunity to personalise your reception tables - without breaking the bank.
Of course, you may choose to keep your tablescapes classic with simple folded name cards. However, if you're looking to get creative, there are plenty of amazing wedding place card ideas. Some are so utterly stylish and covetable that they can do double duty as favours. You can get the prettiest floral designs, cool vintage-inspired styles and even place cards made from non-paper materials, such as pebbles and wood.
As with all things, having so much choice can make it difficult to arrive at a final decision. That's why we've curated an edit of the cream of the wedding place card crop. These are the very best name card ideas, including both classic and alternative styles. We know you'll find something here to perfectly complement your theme and grab your guests’ attention.
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Are Wedding Place Cards Necessary?
If you're not having a seating plan and are happy for guests to sit where they like, you clearly don't need place cards. This kind of thing works best at an informal wedding, such as a back garden celebration. However, if the food is being served by waiting staff, some venues will insist on a seating plan, so they know where people are who have allergies and need special meals. You may want to have a seating plan anyway. In those cases, place cards make it much easier for guests to find their seats.
What Are Wedding Escort Cards?
Wedding escort cards are an alternative to a table plan. You put all the cards in one place, often at the entrance to the reception room. Ahead of the wedding breakfast, each guest picks up the card with their name on, and this tells them which table to go to. Once they're at the table, they either find their designated seating by looking at the place cards, or choose their own seat, depending on what you've decided in advance.
What Do You Write on a Wedding Place Card?
You put your each guest's name on a place card - which is why they're also known as 'name cards' - so they can find their designated seat. You can have the names printed (or print the place cards with names yourself), or write them by hand. If you're not sure your handwriting is up to scratch (or you just don't fancy writing out every single name!), you could always hire a wedding calligrapher, or choose a service that sends the place cards to you with the names written. You could also look at learning modern calligraphy, for a stylish DIY finish.
Do You Put Full Names on Wedding Place Cards?
According to Debrett's, the etiquette experts, the naming convention for guests at a formal event is surname, first name, title - so that's 'Smith, Jane Ms'. If you want to go totally trad, follow that formula! However, nowadays, first name then surname is absolutely fine - 'Jane Smith'. You can also leave off surnames if you want a more laidback feel, but that may cause confusion if some guests have the same first name.
READ MORE: Wedding Traditions and Their Meanings
Can You Print Wedding Place Cards at Home?
Absolutely. You just need a printer, card stock and a place card template. You can create your own template if you're good with design, but you can also download wedding place card templates and print from those. Think carefully about whether you have the time to go DIY - if your guest list is on the longer side, it's easier to have them printed.
What Size Should Wedding Place Cards Be?
There are no rules - it all depends on your vision for your place settings. You need to decide whether you want a traditional folded card or a flat card (or other object). Classic place cards are around the size of business cards - approximately 10cm x 5cm unfolded. You may want to go bigger to make it easier for guests to see their names, or because that fits better with your overall look. Some couples use place card holders for an extra shot of prettiness.
33 Wedding Place Card Ideas
1. Glass Bud Vase Holders & Handmade Place Cards - The Wedding of My Dreams
How beautiful are these bud vase name card holders? You buy the cotton paper place cards separately, then all you have to do is add the flowers of your choice and write out the names. A delightful choice at a botanical-inspired wedding.
READ MORE: 47 Unique and Fun Wedding Table Name Ideas
2. Coloured Wedding Place Cards - CaligrafiaUK at Etsy
Simple but effective, these colourful flat wedding place cards would make an elegant addition to any reception table. Names are handwritten by the Etsy vendor in iridescent ink.
3. Macaron Wedding Place Cards
Looking for an easy DIY place card idea? These macaron name cards would be a lovely post-dinner treat for guests, and wouldn't require much material beyond the flags - and the macarons themselves. If you're big on baking, you could even make those yourself!
READ MORE: Three DIY Food Wedding Favour Ideas
4. Wedding Place Card Napkin Holders - EngravedSensations at Etsy
Fully integrate your name cards into your place cards by having them as napkin holders, like these easy-chic laser-cut rings. The natural wood makes them a great choice for a rustic wedding.
5. Personalised Place Setting Photo Cards - Not On The High Street
If you're into personalisation, this photo card is the idea for you! Each card is a photo of your guest with their name underneath - for extra personalisation, make it a photo of one or both of you with the guest. Yes, finding all those pics will be time-consuming, but just imagine the looks on their faces...
6. Christmas Wreath Name Cards - Ginger Ray
How adorable would these wreath place cards be at a Christmas wedding? They're perfect for the festive season, yet still pared-back enough for an elegant table.
7. Lavande Place Card - Papier
Put a twist on the classic folded place card by choosing a style that includes a design element - like Papier's Lavande. The pretty design is available across a whole wedding stationery suite, for a cohesive look.
8. Acrylic Wedding Place Cards - Vellamaes at Etsy
These acrylic place cards are available in a range of different colours, but we have to admit we were automatically drawn to the blush pink. You can also choose between a circle and a hexagon shape.
9. Stone Wedding Place Cards
Stone place names are a relatively easy DIY win. Just make sure you choose stones that are smooth enough to write on. Use an acrylic paint pen, and finish with a sealer spray so guests can keep them as keepsakes.
10. Wildflower Wedding Place Cards - Tothelettercrafts at Etsy
These wildflower wedding place cards would be just the thing for a country wedding full of pretty touches. The best bit? They're fully customisable, from the colours to the calligraphy style.
11. Tented Place Cards in White - Smythson
Smythson are a Britishl heritage brand, synonymous with the highest quality stationery. If your wedding style leans towards the classic, these gilt-edged place cards are a must, calling to mind pristine marquees and Pimm's on the lawn.
12. Vellum Wedding Place Cards - SweetOpheliaDesigns at Etsy
Vellum is the wedding stationery of choice for cool couples - and these stylish place cards make it obvious why. You can have them with or without the bow.
13. Prosecco Wedding Place Cards
What a decadent treat for your guests: a mini bottle of prosecco at every place setting with the name card attached. This is how you make your loved ones feel thoroughly spoilt.
14. Personalised Christmas Tree Place Cards - Not On The High Street
These Christmas tree place cards are a mood. Anyone who's into the festive season in a big way - we're talking Christmas songs in September - will fall in love with their sheer cuteness.
15. Key Wedding Place Names - WholeCaboodleDesign at Etsy
16. Chalkboard Floral Luggage Tag Wedding Place Card - Norma & Dorothy
If you love the style of chalkboard, but don't want to have an actual mini chalkboard at each place setting, Norma & Dorothy's card version could be right up your street.
17. Fresh Leaf Place Names - Ivyinkspaperco at Etsy
Nature-loving couples, you really need to consider these leaf place cards. According to the seller, they last 6-7 days without wilting, and you can choose the ink colour for the names.
18. Dried Flower Place Cards
If you have the time and patience to put together mini bouquets of dried flowers and herbs, you can create something as beautiful as these unique place cards.
19. Peacock Feathers Place Card - Papier
This peacock feather design is giving us glamorous 1920s vintage vibes - but the card is pared-back enough not to compete with the rest of your wedding table decor.
20. Hearts Glass Place Cards - Not On The High Street
These pearlescent heart-shaped place cards, made from card stock, will slot neatly onto the rim of your wine glasses, rather than sitting directly on the place settings - a clever idea.
21. Wedding Place Cards on Handmade Paper - InkcraftsShop at Etsy
A combination of handmade paper and gold leaf, these sophisticated place cards would complement an opulent wedding look. You can have just first names, or include surnames, too.
22. Cartoon Caricature Wedding Place Cards - WickedCartoons at Etsy
What could be more personal than an individual caricature of each guest? Coming in at £20 per cartoon, these unique place cards are probably best for smaller weddings, but they'll certainly be a talking point.
23. Peg Wedding Place Card
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. All you need for this easy DIY place card are wooden pegs, a pen and perhaps some wooden shapes and glue for decoration.
24. Pot Plant Wedding Place Cards
Here at Hitched we're suckers for a succulent - so if we rocked up to a wedding to find one of these beauties at our place settings, we'd be pretty delighted.
25. Natural Agate Slices - WildSeaCalligraphy at Etsy
You can get agate place cards in a range of colours, but we like this neutral hue - after all, you want it to be a keepsake for your guests, so it's better to choose something pared back that will look good in any setting.
26. Wooden Heart Wedding Place Cards - Not On The High Street
These wooden place cards are an excellent budget option, and would look perfectly stylish - without detracting from the rest of the decor - at a rustic wedding.
READ MORE: 20 of the Best Rustic Wedding Venues
27. Wax Seal & Vellum Place Cards - Not On The High Street
Wax seals are a lovely way to finish wedding stationery, and these refined place cards are no exception. We particularly like the way the rich gold pairs with the delicate vellum.
28. Peach Wedding Place Card
Flowers aren't the only way to bring the outdoors in at weddings. Fruit can be very visually effective while evoking a natural feel, as with this delightful peach place card idea.
29. Laser-Cut Wedding Place Names - Ludovikoboxes at Etsy
These laser-cut wooden place names would also make for lovely personalised wedding favours. They also come in acrylic, or you can have the wood painted in the metallic of your choice.
30. Eucalyptus Place Card Template - TheSunshineGarden at Etsy
Want to print your own wedding place cards but aren't feeling the design side? You want a wedding place card template - like this chic eucalyptus design. Simply download, customise and get printing. Doing it this way means you can make place names whenever you want, which could come in handy if there are any last-minute changes.
31.Gold Art Deco Place Card - Cartalia
Planning to bring some Great Gatsby glamour to your wedding? These Art Deco-inspired place cards would be an elegant finishing touch, featuring an intricate laser-cut design on high-quality card. Matching stationery is available.
32. Wedding Place Cards on Handmade Paper - InkcraftsShop at Etsy
If your style is on the minimalist side, you'll love these beautifully simple wedding place cards. Perfect calligraphy, handmade card and artfully torn edges come together to elegant effect.
33. Personalised Chocolate Wedding Place Names - Not On The High Street
These personalised chocolate bars are the perfect combination of favour and place card. You have each guest's name on the front, with your names and wedding date on the back.
What's next of your to-do list? Take a look at our ultimate wedding planning checklist to make sure you don't miss an important detail.
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