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How To Include an Escort Sign at a Formal Wedding Dinner

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

The start of Spring in NYC brings warmer weather (YAY!) which reintroduces trends in every aspect of events. We see fresh produce, iced cocktails, outdoor seating, colorful florals, and lighter brighter looks overall. Spring also starts off “wedding season”, which traditionally spans from May to October in the Northeast.

As we plan and design for our upcoming weddings, engagement parties, and other events, we get lots of questions and requests about how formal an event should be; i.e. should it be fully seated, partially seated, buffet style, cocktail style (if you're unsure of any of these terms or just want to learn more we'll breakdown seating options in a separate post). While we enjoy planning all the various seating styles, there is something special about a beautifully seated formal dinner. When planning a formal dinner, a piece of décor that we love to incorporate is the ESCORT SIGN.

What is an Escort Sign?

This is typically a display piece that functions as a guide for which table your guests will be seated. It must include the name of each attending guest and the number of the table you have chosen for them. The sky is the limit with how the names and table numbers may be arranged. Some starting points are:

  • List guest names alphabetically with corresponding table next to it

  • List table numbers and group guest names underneath

Stylistically it can be a large or small sign, showing off your personality and tying into your overall design. We display them at cocktail hour so guests have a chance to figure out which table they will need to look for at the reception.

What is the difference between an escort sign and a seating or place card?

You’re probably familiar with picking up a card at a wedding that tells you which table to sit at. This is your place card or seating card, and you can usually choose the seat at the table you are assigned to. In more formal settings, a sign or display will list out your table. It may be interactive, where you pull off or take the card or other object that has your name and table number printed – this may also function as your favor (i.e. individual mini bottle of alcohol, treat, mini potted succulent, or another item). Or it may simply be a display with your name and table number printed. When you arrive at your table, you will likely have another card indicating your assigned seat, this is your place card.

Benefits of Having a CUSTOM Escort Sign

An escort sign is a piece that always requires personalization since all your guest names and table assignments are displayed. Including this type of decoration pairs well with the elegance of a formal dinner and allows your guests to feel that special extra effort you put in. Having the opportunity to design and produce custom décor is a true passion of ours here at Luxe Life. This particular escort sign (shown above and more on our instagram) we designed and created to serve multiple purposes:

  • To identify which table guests will be seated

  • To showcase where all guests have traveled from!

  • To create a focal point for pictures and conversation starter

This is ideal for smaller weddings or events where this information is readily available to the host. It was perfect for this destination barn wedding, where guests traveled in from all over the country and served as a major talking point during cocktail hour. We created this piece with repurposed wood, stain, paint, and foil. The cards are a thick ecru card-stock for the names. We attached each card to the respective state each guest had traveled from. Then came up with the phrase "From Far and Wide for Love" to tie it all together. We draped mixed garland of ferns and eucalyptus all around and to make sure the party didn't end at dark included a barn light at the very top. Standing at 12 feet tall guests couldn't get enough pictures and were truly immersed in the presence of this escort sign!

Other Escort Sign Ideas

You can use a mirror or large acrylic piece, chalkboard, slate, or an open frame where you hang the table lists with clothespins. We encourage you to incorporate an escort sign into your next event – if you would like us to design and create a custom escort sign for your wedding, connect with us here!


#escortsign #formaldinner #handmade

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