28 Paper Place Card Alternatives That Your Guests Won't Expect
Like many elements of your wedding, how you decide to seat your guests—using seating charts, escort cards, paper place cards, or a combination of all three—is entirely up to you. These options may be tried and true, but we're of the mindset that assigned seating can be playful and fresh if it's executed in a way that's memorable. That's why we think a great way to add another degree of personalization to your wedding is through your tables' place cards.
Place cards are typically made of tented paper and feature each guest's name and are placed at each seat, but some couples have strayed from tradition and sought out new and unique options for this reception staple. Ahead, we've highlighted some of our favorite fresh takes on place cards that don't involve paper at all. Non-stationery alternatives include calligraphed acrylic pieces, marble tiles, light bulbs, and eggs (yep!). As long as your place cards are personalized and polished, no medium is off limits.
On the fence about what to choose? We suggest drawing inspiration from your wedding's theme, locale, and even the season. That's exactly what Shelly Sarver Designs did for this fall reception: She calligraphed each attendee's name onto foliage for the ultimate autumnal touch. Another couple, ahead, even used pumpkins for their seasonal markers. In the following photos from real celebrations, you'll find plenty of inspiration that will help you brainstorm your very own place cards—sans paper. From rocks and geodes to vegetables and fruits, you're bound to find something that will help guide guests to their assigned seats in style.
Planning a farm-to-table event? Consider having your calligrapher hand-letter each guests name onto vegetables, like Meant To Be Calligraphy did here.
Mini bottles of olive oil can serve as both favors and place cards with a little bit of calligraphy. Komolmis Designs handled the script on these gifts.
We're not sure we've ever seen a more creative place marker than this egg option, featuring calligraphy from Heather Belle Ink.
Among soft linens, a rock place card (this one was calligraphed by Salvaging Eden) gives off a somewhat masculine vibe.
Make like Twinkle & Toast and spray paint name-tagged apples for a modern, but natural place card.
A western-inspired wedding calls place cards with desert motifs. The Letter Boutique Co. created these leather luggage tag-shaped iterations, complete with wooden details and bull skulls.
A small stone brings a natural element to any tabletop—a perfect addition to any outdoor event. These rocks were hand-lettered by Blushtype Modern Calligraphy & Design for this forest wedding.
Marking guests' spots doesn't get much easier than writing their names right onto their plates, like these from POPPYjack Shop.
Wreaths don't just belong at holiday-themed weddings, as evidenced by this mini-option from Curate and Display, complete with a copper name tag.
Pay homage to your tropical destination by transforming the surrounding foliage into place cards.
Play up your wedding's beach destination by repurposing shells for your on-theme place cards.
Pair your acrylic place cards with a darker napkin—an inky black linen, like the one seen here, adds an unexpected, moody moment to your tabletop—to bring out the names printed on the clear material.
Calligraphed muted tiles, like these by Goldie Design Co., will make a statement against bold table runners.
A stamped leaf print and gold foil adds a bit of natural texture to an otherwise modern tile marker; this one was calligraphed by Half Moon Lettering.
Let your place setting do the talking, like these terra cotta iterations that stated each attendee's name.
Golden Leather Strip
Finish off each place setting with a simple, calligraphed leather strip.
Calligraphed napkins will make for great keepsakes that guests will use even after the wedding is over. Erin Taylor of Bustle Events handmade these shabori-style linens.
Leather Napkin Sleeve
We love when items have more than one use. These thick leather straps were both place cards and rustic napkin holders.
Get not one, but two uses out of your place cards. These booklets doubled as menus, too.