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Escort Cards

Presented in an envelope with their name written on it, an escort card will inform your guests at which table they are to be seated. Most often used in conjunction with a table plan and with identifying table name or table number cards on each table.

Escort Cards

When your guests gather for your wedding breakfast or wedding reception they will assume that they are to be seated at a table that you have specifically chosen for them, rather than at a table of their own choosing. The escort card has evolved as a means of conveying this information to them.

How does it work in practice?

Put simply, an escort card is most commonly a small card that is roughly the size of a business card. On it is written or printed the name or number of the table at which a guest will be seated. The card is then often inserted into an envelope which bears the name of the guest, or in the case of couples who have been seated at the same table, the name of the couple. The alternative to an escort envelope is simply to write or print the name of the guest on the reverse of the card.

Whether printed on both sides or contained within an envelope, the cards are then displayed so that guests can either find their own card or be assisted in doing so. This means arranging them on a suitable surface or perhaps displaying them more creatively.

Escort cards work best when used in conjunction with table name cards or table number cards that have been placed on each table thus ensuring that the tables are clearly marked and therefore easily identifiable.  

Why can’t I simply use a table plan?

You still can use a table plan as this will allow guests to familiarise themselves with the room layout before entering the room but the advantage of the escort card over the table plan is the last-minute flexibility that they afford you if a number of your guests are late withdrawals. Such last-minute changes can sometimes necessitate a reshuffle of guest seating or sometimes even the complete removal of a table which is suddenly no longer required, but even something this drastic can be easily accommodated by the escort card and envelope.  All such a change would entail is to simply insert a card bearing a different table name or number in the named envelope in the case of a reshuffle, or the removal altogether of their named envelope for those guests that can no longer attend. Such last-minute changes would be difficult to accommodate on a table plan as this is usually printed some days in advance.

Do you recommend printing the cards and envelopes or hand writing them?

Assuming that your room layout allows for a number of individual tables rather than continuous trestles, you are likely to need a dozen cards or more for each table, which means that the names or numbers of the tables are most commonly printed whilst the names of your guests are most commonly hand written on the envelopes. This arises in part because an escort envelope is too small to feed into a large printing press, so must be written by hand, and also the limitations of traditional wet printing processes which require a printing plate to cope with variable data printing economically. 

Conversely, if you choose to use a double-sided escort card as opposed to a card in an envelope, it may be possible to not only print the names of the tables on one side of the card but also the individual guest name on the other. This will depend upon the type of stock that you have chosen, both in terms of card colour and card weight, which must be suitable for a digital press since the printing of variable data, or information that changes from one card to the next, is only economically viable if printed digitally.

How much time will you need to produce them?

Cards that are digitally printed on either one side or two sides will only take a handful of days to produce once the setting proof has been approved, but envelopes that require calligraphy do require just a little longer. Whether you commission one of our professional calligraphers or write them yourself, we recommend writing envelopes for all the guests who have either replied in the affirmative or have yet to reply, as this removes the pressure that can be caused by late respondents and ensures that you have every envelope that you might need. Invariably there will only be a handful of envelopes that have been written but end up not being used.  

Collection and despatch

We are very happy for clients to collect from our premises in Chelsea or to arrange their own couriers but we are equally happy to arrange this for you. We can use same-day couriers within Central London should the need arise but usually send via overnight carriers within the UK mainland. If we are shipping overseas we use the major international carriers, in which case please allow several days for the transit of your cards.