Trinkets of Thanks: Escort Card Inspiration

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In addition to giving our guests little favors on the table to express our thanks for their attendance at our wedding, we also wanted to use personalized escort cards to show each person that we put a effort and time into creating something just for them. Like a lot of other wedding “necessities,” escort cards aren’t really common in our neck of the woods because assigned seating isn’t really something we do. In fact, I think a lot of our guests woud be slightly offended if we told them that they had to sit in a specific spot. Usually, there is the head table for the bridal party, and two reserved tables at the front: one for the bride’s immediate family and one for the groom’s. Everyone else fends for themselves!

But at a couple of weddings recently, we’ve seen couples give out escort cards for guests to save the seats that they want to use for dinner, and we thought that was a great idea! It’s like the best of both worlds – we’re not forcing anyone to sit next to anyone else, but at the same time guests have a way to make sure they end up with the seat they want. Now we just needed to figure out what our escort cards would look like!

Image via Style Me Pretty

This is pretty close to the original idea I had in mind: shot glasses with chalkboard paint on them. To be honest, I’m not sure how we would pull off that idea, how we would make it affordable, or even if I wanted each of our guests walking around with a shot glass for the entirety of our wedding reception. The idea came to me because they’re small enough to realistically have 300 or so of them sitting somewhere, yet large enough that people’s names could be written on them with a little help from some chalkboard paint. Mostly, this idea stemmed from the chalkboard paint, because I love how it looks and haven’t really been able to find a way to incorporate it into our wedding yet. I realize now that this thinking is a little crazy, and that this idea would never have worked in reality when it came time to purchasing and painting 300 shot glasses. And then there’s the whole “I want people to use them, but maybe not at our wedding reception/are we sending the wrong message with these” debacle. Needless to say, the shot glass idea didn’t last very long.

Regardless, the image above represents the first escort card idea that I had with one hitch: mason jars. If there’s one recent wedding trend I don’t understand, it’s mason jars. While I think they’re lovely and definitely fit the “rustic” wedding theme that has been permeating the web lately, mason jars to me say “Sunday dinner at the Machine Shed” rather than “Wedding Day.” Especially when they’re used as glasses. “Rustic” themed weddings in general kind of baffle me, because having grown up in a farming community and a place where barns and twine and hay and cows are the norm, I just can’t see why anyone from a big city would want to emulate that on their one special day. I’m marrying a farmer. These things are not glamorous or elegant in real life. There’s a lot of poo involved and I can guarantee that it takes months to clean up those old red barns to the point where they look nice enough to host a wedding. I digress. The point is that mason jars aren’t my thing, and I think that the term “rustic” is a little overused when it comes to the world of weddings. To us, rustic is our everyday lives. So there will be “rustic” elements of our wedding, but that’s because that’s how we live. And because we can’t afford much else.

Image via Oh Happy Day

Moving right along, these were the next ideas that I found on Pinterest once I decided to leave behind the mason jar idea. These little pinwheels are super cute and would probably be fairly easy to DIY. The problem is that there isn’t much use for them other than decoration, and I could see the paper being smashed right away, them not being taken at all or not being used for anything throughout the night. If we’re going to be putting this much time and effort (and moolah) into making these little suckers, I want people to use them for something…you know?

And then I found these:

Image via Style Me Pretty

When I finally looked past the fact that these lovely little swizzle sticks are sitting in mason jars, I realized one thing: They. Are. Perfect.

They’re easy to DIY. They’re useful. People will actually probably keep them in their drinks for the remainder of the night (unless they’re drinking beer, but even if they use them at dinner, they’ll be used!) They’ll be cheap to make so I won’t be sad when people have to throw them away at the end of the night. Easy to personalize. Pretty without being so pretty that men will feel self conscious using them. I could go on, but you get the idea: personalized swizzle sticks are the winner!

Now I just have to figure out how to actually make these babies. Ordering personalized (or even blank!) swizzle sticks was out of the question when I found out that it would cost me upwards of $.60 each to order pre-made ones. That’s over $200 in swizzle sticks! No thanks. So I found a website that sells wholesale wooden cutouts (including hearts) in various sizes, which I can order pretty easily once our RSVP’s start coming in and we have a close to final head count. The bigger challenge has been finding sticks the same size as those pictured above. Everything is either popsicle stick sized (way too fat) or way too short – they’d fall into the drinks! Anyone have any ideas where I can find them?

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