Every so often a bride will give us her escort cards on the wedding day and they are not alphabetized. While we can certainly put them in order for you, we hate doing this on-site with 300 name cards at the very last second. When this happens we of course will make it work but it detracts from our ability to accomplish other things during this 'crunch time.' To help your wedding coordinator, here are some tips on preparing and alphabetizing escort cards!
First, escort cards and place cards are different but similar. Place cards denote one seat at a table. Escort cards tell them which table to look at. Therefore, a guest will find their escort card (on a table or other fun display), go to their table, and circle to look for their place card. Most brides end up skipping the place cards and somehow the terms ended up being interchangeable.
Once you've printed your cards, here's our technique on alphabetizing efficiently and accurately:1.
If you have a large number of cards, split them into groups. We prefer A-M and N-Z but you can pick the number of groups you want to work with.2.
Group your cards by the first letter of the guests' last name. We spread them out on a big table. 'A's go on the left and 'Z's go on the right. You get the idea.3.
Pick up the 'A' last names (or whichever you have first). Alphabetize by last name and then by first name. Here's an example:
Guest of Robert Abraham*
Henry Adams, Sr.
Henry Adams, Jr.
"Ladies first" does NOT apply in this situation. If you are working with couples on each card, the same rules apply:
Mr. Robert Abraham & Guest
Mr. & Mrs. Henry Adams
Master Henry Adams
Mr. & Mrs. Curtis Alder
If there are children attending the reception they should receive their own place card. "Master" and "Miss" are appropriate titles. Believe us -- they will be thrilled to have their very own card.4.
Continue through the alphabet until you've sorted all the cards.5.
To store, fold them as they will be displayed and secure them with a rubber band, binder clips, saran wrap, or whatever you can find that will hold them together. Splitting them into groups for storage is fine too...your coordinator will be able to put the groups together. Please don't spend all that time organizing them and then throw them into a large ziploc bag or shoe box (yes this has happened!).6.
Be your wedding planner's favorite bride. Easy as that.
Here are some unique ways our brides have chosen to display their escort cards:
Ritu & Rohin used incense holders that doubled as favors:
Miranda & Jerry went with mini pumpkins for their fall-themed wedding:
Ryfie & Jason clipped their escort cards to raffia wrapped around a tree. Inside, seed-embedded paper was an eco-friendly favor:
* Make every effort to find out the names of all your guests. Sometimes having two entrée selections mandates separate escort cards for each guest. If your cousin doesn't know which girlfriend he's bringing, "Guest of" is an appropriate and acceptable title.