managing your wedding guest meals

Had a great TV segment yesterday with Laura Kirtley (she’s getting married 11/16/13 up north). So these last few months it’s been The-Laura-Kirtley-Wedding-Planning-Show. HA!

The hot question that came up was how to manage your escort cards vs host/place cards for your guests with assigned seating.

Escort Cards: tell the guest which table they are to be seated.

Host or Place Cards: is placed at the actual seat where the guest is supposed to sit at their table.

Make sense?

This is definitely double the work and if you have A LOT of guests, it can be overwhelming (however we did this recently for about 300 people).

Why would a bride and groom consider this option of seating? If your invitation asked guests to select their meal, then it’s going to be really important for the caterer to know which guest gets the vegetarian, beef or chicken meal.

vegetarian meal place card

Here are some quick tips if you are considering this option:

  • You must give your caterer a floor plan as a master list to let them know what number of meals should be served at each table. This is one of our favorite tasks to do. It’s complicated, but since we love logistics, it’s what we excel in. See a photo above of a real wedding catering layout we produced that used BOTH escort and place cards. We had four different meals being served.
  • Do NOT think guests will take their Escort cards and put them at their place setting to help caterers serve them the correct meals. Will. Not. Happen.
  • Make it easy on your wait staff to be able to see at a glance which meal goes to each guest. I’ve seen suggestions to put a small “ink stamp” of a chicken or a beef in the upper corner. Sounds cute, but a nightmare for the wait staff. They need to be able to glance at the place card quickly, while holding food and to serve efficiently. See a photo above where we put large green jewels on the vegetarian dishes ONLY.

And if you want to hear my PSA to guests about changing their minds at the reception about what kind of meal they want to eat, then you’ll just have to watch my TV segment with Laura right here. Just don’t do it, guests-at-weddings. Just. Don’t. Do. It!

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!

3 thoughts on “managing your wedding guest meals”

  1. Great blog!

    Planning a wedding is really a backbreaking activity. One important factor that you must take into account is the meal for the guests. Serving the food is not just done in any manner you want, but there must be organization within the catering team. Escort cards can really help but the caterers must also be aware where to serve the food.

    I am an event planner, and I am sure that planners like me would love to hear more about this blog.

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