What's the difference? Which is better? It's something our clients often ask us about - those across the pond in the USA tend to prefer escort cards, whereas in the UK and Europe the seating chart is usually favoured.
Escort cards are usually single cards with a guest name (or names of a couple/family) and table number (or name) on them. Each guest finds their name and then finds their table, where there will usually be a place name directing them to a specific seat. The upside of this is that there our countless creative ways to display the escort cards, it's easy to arrange them alphabetically and very user friendly for your guests.
A seating chart is a board displaying guest names - either alphabetically with table numbers listed alongside, or grouped under table names/numbers. I prefer the former as it's much easier for guests to find their table and avoids a bit of a queue through to dinner, but the latter is what you'll most commonly see set up.
Which do I prefer? As a general rule I always recommend organising it alphabetically as logistically it makes so much more sense. Particularly with larger weddings! Otherwise it comes down to visual preference.
Images above left to right: blue seating chart designed by Rose & Ruby for Studio Sorores, photography by Katie Julia; sage green and ivory escort cards by Gemma Milly for Studio Sorores, photography by Catherine Mead.