Wedding reception stationery – What names do I use on my wedding table plan and place cards?

What names do I use on my wedding table plan and place cards? Do I put first names or full names? Names and initials? Roles? So many questions right? It’s OK, don’t stress, I’ve got you covered!  The most important thing to remember is, there are no hard and fast rules, do whatever you and your guests will feel comfortable with.

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What names should I use on my wedding table plan?

I usually advise putting full names (first and surnames) on the table plan if you can.  It will help your guests find their names quickly and will alleviate any confusion with duplicate names.  If you want to keep it really informal and just want to go with first names that’s fine too.

If you do have duplicates in this instance, It should be obvious to your guests, by whom they are seated next to (partner etc) which they are:
e.g. Richard & Jo on table 1, Richard & Sarah on table 2 – should be fairly obvious to them which Richard is which.

Another option is to put the surname initial after any duplicate names – lots of couples do, it doesn’t look odd, and you don’t need to do it for everyone.

What about names or titles for the wedding party and the top table?

Should you use names, wedding party roles i.e. bride, groom, mother of the bride, best man etc.  Again, entirely up to you, but I would suggest sticking to one standard format across the table it tends to look better than a mixture of names and roles.  Space permitting you can sometimes have names and roles printed on the top table.

What names shoudl I use on place cards?

For place cards, using full names keeps it more formal.  If you’re after a more relaxed vibe then just use first names. The same applies as the table plan for any duplicate names. Many couples like to add wedding party ‘roles’ to the place cards too – that’s great, just let me know if you want to do this.  The only constraint is the printing space available on the place card design you have chosen.

What about using courtesy titles like Mr., Mrs., Dr. or Rev?

You would generally only use these titles for a very formal occasion. However, if you have one or two VIP guests (perhaps the minister who has married you) and want to use them either on the table plan or place cards or both, go ahead.  It won’t look out of place if you’re not using them for everybody else.

Do you use your married name on your table plan and place card?

If you’re using surnames on your table plan and or place cards, don’t forget to use your married name for yourself.  It’s your first opportunity to have it in print, make the most of it! If you want to use Bride, Groom or add this to your name too that’s also an option.

What about Grandma, Aunty Lydia and Uncle Bryn?

If this is how you address those guests (think about how you write in their birthday cards!), use those titles.  If you’re not comfortable doing that, use their names. Like I said, there’s no rules. It’s fine to use one format on the table plan and something else on their place card too. So perhaps Lydia Thomas on the table plan – to keep it formal and then Aunty Lyd to make her place card a little more personal.

Guests with no name

It might seem odd to have a guest at your wedding whose name you don’t know, but it can happen.  Maybe you’ve invited Susan ‘plus one’. Susan didn’t let you know who she’s bringing and if you know Susan, it might change at the last minute anyway!  In this, or any other situation where you’re not certain of a guest’s name, don’t stress, it’s fine to put ‘Guest of Susan Jones’ or ‘Susan’s Guest’ on the table plan and place card.

What about children? Do they need to go on the table plan and have a place card?

I always think putting children on the table plan is a nice touch, even the babies.  Whether or not children need a place card will really depend on whether they are having a place set at the table.  So generally yes for children seated on a regular chair, optional for any on a high chair and probably not for babes in arms.

So, what names do I use on my wedding table plan and place cards?

In summary, as with most things wedding, it’s up to you. Keep it relaxed with just first names and a little formality with full names and titles if you wish. Don’t be afraid to use family terms like Aunty or Nana if that feels right. Always try to find out the names of all your guests and their plus ones and don’t forget the children!

If you fancy doing something a little bit different with your wedding table plan, check out my blog

5 Alternative wedding table plan ideas

After some place card inspiration?

8 Cute wedding place card ideas

As always, if you have any questions or need any advice on what names to put on your place cards and table plan, just give me a shout.  I’m always happy to help.

In this blog I’ve focused purely on what format the names of your guests should take on your place cards and table plan. If you’re after more general advice on arranging your tables and who sits where have a look at this article I found.

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