this was posted on another blog a couple years ago but it is summer time and chairs are on all of our minds so enjoy this refresher.
Chairs are one of the most necessary yet least glamorous details of event planning. Most venues have chairs, be they good or bad, that are included with the rental cost so it is hard not to use them. (thinking about getting covers, check out this post)
But if you are in need of seating or just really can't bring yourself to use the chairs you have, you do have options.
White wedding chairs (or white wood folding chairs)
are the most common and what we rent at T4D.
Advantages: larger feet so they don't sink into the ground. they instantly invoke a wedding vibe with their crisp clean lines. fairly easy to transport/set up/tear down.
Disadvantages: wooden ones are harder to maintain and can become easily beat up. the pad is thin and not meant for extremely long seated periods.
Cost - $$ out of 4
plastic folding chairs
advantages: cost effective and very easy to transport
disadvantages: does not do well outdoors, especially if you are setting up on well watered grass or slightly inclined space. the tubular feet have a tendency to sink into the ground. also not too comfortable for your larger built guests. (this is a complaint I have heard dozens of times over the years - one gentleman even goes so far as to rent a chair from us anytime he goes to a wedding)
cost: $ out of 4
chiavari chairs (sometimes called cane back) Cane back chairs or chiavari chairs are increasingly popular at events in the hills.
advantages: Their formal look and clean lines add an elegance to any space that is difficult to match.
disadvantages: they are difficult to move and store (they do not fold so in order to rent a hundred, you will need a large truck), they are lightweight and blow around easily and they fall into the higher price range. These are best recommended for receptions or indoor ceremonies and not outside.
cost: $$$$ out of 4
other seating options:
haybales – this is one that has been requested a lot lately. a cute idea on pinterest and perfect if you are getting married in an orchard.
advantages: cute and somewhat unique
disadvantages: very difficult to transport, hard to source enough
If it rains, they are impossible to dry out quickly,
they are itchy and pokey.
If you go this route, I suggest seating the first two rows on haybales and transition to chairs for the rest of our guests
cost: varies - sweat equity is very high
benches – another cute idea. And not quite as impractical as hay bales.
advantages: provide an instant charming ambiance. more practical than hay bales for inclement weather
disadvantages: hard to source enough for very large parties
bulky and difficult to transport.
Most of the pictures of benches we have come across are either for styled photo shoots (which means they are only set up for a few people – like this picture to the right) or they are the permanent chair options for the venue, like benches in a vineyard.
Table 4 Decor carries 4′ long reclaimed barnwood benches.
cost: $$$ out of 4
But no matter what you do, under no circumstances should you break the number one chair rule – make sure you have one chair per guest. I don’t care if your friends are used to going to cocktail parties and will stand up all night long. You are hosting a party – act like it and give your guests a place to sit and put down their coats. It is the least you can do.