The first thing you should know is that escort cards and place cards aren’t just for weddings. They can be used at any formal seated event and to get the most out of them it’s best to know why and how to use them!
To start, the escort card is used to direct guests to their predetermined table and the place card is to assign a guest a specific seat. Escort cards, especially when you’re not having a place card, also work like a name tag and give guests the chance to get to know each other’s names.
While assigning specific seats can seem a bit like micromanaging, it can be helpful when you have groups of people who are unfamiliar with each other and it also cuts down on seating time as guests know exactly where to go and are not shifting around looking for a seat.
WAYS TO SEAT YOUR GUESTS
Total Randomness. One way is to simply let fate decide. You can try something like having a bowl filled with different colored stones or different colored pieces of paper. Those with the same colors are invited to sit together at the matching table.
Formal Etiquette. When entertaining business associates at home, the head seats, at either end of the table, are taken by the host and hostess. At a round or square table, the head seat is wherever the host wants to sit. At a rectangular table, the head seats are at the ends of the table. Male guests, ranked according to their importance, are seated respectively to the right and left of the hostess. Female guests, according to their rank, are seated to the right and left of the host. The most important guests occupy the right-hand seats, with the second most important guests, if any, occupying the left-hand seats.
At a business lunch or dinner where spouses are not present, guests are more likely to be seated in accordance with their importance. The guest of honor is seated to the right of the host, with a second guest of honor seated to the left. Less important guests are arranged, often according to rank, around the table. Rank is judged by the following:
1.Visiting foreign dignitary or customer
2.Guest with military or government rank
4.Guest with distinguished career or other important achievement
5.Guest who is celebrating an occasion such as a promotion, transfer, or birthday
Seating by interests. You ‘ll want to seat people in a way that is most congenial to conversation. A great way to do this is by seating based on mutual interests. Some good questions to consider are:
1.Do they have a need to discuss business together?
2.Do they have hobbies or interests in common?
3.Do they have professions in common?
4.Do they have marital/single status in common? (Perhaps you’re into matchmaking, although some would be irritated by your attempt if they were to figure it out)
5.Do they like one another or not? Be careful of seating people you know have an animosity towards one another unless you want a dampener on the occasion.
There are plenty of ways to seat guests and these are just a few. Do you have any other ways? Let us know! And as always, happy planning!