The classic tented place card set above the dinner plate is always proper and elegant. But by tucking it in a different spot or changing its form, you can easily customize this practical card to suit the particular style of your wedding.
The seven versions we've created are playful and surprising, and they make use of ordinary objects in innovative ways: One place card rests between the tines of a fork; another hangs over the rim of a glass. All of the cards are easy to make, but you might want to enlist the help of your stationer or a calligrapher for printing or writing the names in a beautiful way. When you give the finished place cards to your caterer to set out on the tables for the wedding reception, make sure he or she knows just where they'll go.
Place cards may seem like a tiny detail, but their role is important. At most weddings, many people will be meeting for the first time, and place cards can help guests feel more at ease -- it's nice for them to have an assigned seat rather than scrambling to find a spot. And for guests who have just met, place cards are friendly reminders of neighbors' names.
Deciding who sits next to whom requires a certain level of diplomacy, so take the time to plan your arrangement. You might want to seat family with family and friends with friends, or you might create a mix of guests with compatible personalities at each table. When you give a little extra thought and attention to your place cards and seating plan, your guests will enjoy your reception all the more.