This is one of my favorite elements of the wedding, and I don’t know why. It’s such a simple and seemingly minor detail, but it actually shows a lot of the personality and the overall feeling of the wedding. Place cards are the guests’ welcoming to the reception. It’s their first impression of what the atmosphere will be for the part of the wedding that they can actually participate in, mingle with people, and just do as they wish. And most of all, it’s the one thing that every person at your wedding is guaranteed to look at, because they need it to find their seats. Like other elements in the wedding, the main trend is abandonment of pricey showing off and for a sweet, simple elegance. This component has a lot of room for variation though, and possibility to incorporate each couples' own style. Take advantage of this part of the wedding to show off your originality.
Place cards are no longer simply folded cards in a row with fancy writing on them. They're now an chic display setting the tone of what to expect in the reception. The main trend is to find new original displays, while keeping the theme simple. The most popular arrangement used right now is the the display of cards or paper tags strung on a clothesline with clothespins. This is obviously quite simple, rustic and very sweet. It also allows for much variance, so you won't be like other couples that have used it. The clothesline can be strung between trees, on an actual clothesline, a wooden frame, along a fence or anything else your imagination can come up with. The cards can also differ greatly, using one design or several, and one type of paper or several. One of the cutest setups I've seen was simply doilies strung up on a vertical clothesline. I loved it because it was intricate, unconventional yet classic, and it can fit almost any wedding no matter what the motif.
A cool fad becoming more popular is origami place cards. This could mean an origami holder for the place card or the actual place card folded into origami. It's a new modern twist, which is rare as classic becomes more popular. Know though, that this choice does not work for every wedding motif. If it does suit your wedding, blend in your own style. This could be by using several colors or paper or patterned paper, as it fits your wedding.
The last major trend that has emerged in recent years is to include natural elements in the place card array. This usually is done by using grass, flowers, fruit or other plants. It gives a very simple, down-to-earth return to old-fashionedness, homey feel. To make it unique, don't place the cards in rows, but scatter them around the table (keeping tables together of course) and make them appear to be growing out of the ground among the grass/flowers/fruit. Another cute idea is to place the cards on picks in plant pots to appear as if they're growing. Although this is becoming a popular fad, it's never overdone, because using natural elements can really almost never be overdone.
A few of my all-time favorite place cards displays are not quite trendy yet, but just starting to emerge. I love the easy idea of writing the seating charts with a marker on a window frame. It's rustic, simple and unique. If you want a touch of elegance, a great idea I've noticed bundle a few wine corks together with ribbon, string or straw and then to put the place card in the the middle of it. It's very stylish yet old-fashioned again. If you want a whimsical feel, punch a hole in the place card and use straw or ribbon to tie it around a pinwheel. The last of my favorites was a truly original one. It's not chic, but it's definitely personal and simple. The display was a picture of each of the guests and their table number posted on the picture. So all the guests had to do was find their picture on the wall to know where they were sitting. It's a tremendous way to show your consideration for each guest and a great way for them to start talking to each other by seeing pictures of each other.
No matter which place card arrangement you choose for your wedding, make sure that it is welcoming to your guests and that it shows off your personalities and personal touches. Use your own style and careful consideration for your special day and it will surely turn out great!