If you read my last post on choosing guest tables to contribute to the feel and flow of your event, it will make sense to you why seating plays an important role in this as well. The average guestlist for a wedding is around 120 people, that’s a lot of chairs you will need. Most venues provide some type of seating for your guests. Whether or not your venue provides seating, you will still want to think about how it lends to the feel and flow you aspire to attain as well as whether your guests will be comfortable in the provided seating for an extended period of time. While ceremonies usually only last about 20 minutes, guests will be seated at your reception for two or more hours. I tell all of my couples that this day is about them and final decisions should come down to their own preference, but there is a fine line. As Traci of Bee’s Vintage Party Rentals says, “Take good care of your guests, make them comfortable, feed them good food, and throw a great party!” The guests at your wedding are there to celebrate you, the least we can do is make them comfortable.
For your ceremony, simple plastic folding chairs will “get the job done” as far as giving someone a spot to sit for the 20 minutes your ceremony lasts. To elevate the look of your ceremony, or if a large percentage of your guests are elderly, consider upgrading to “padded white resin” chairs. The cost to upgrade is about $1 a chair. If you are on Colorado’s western slope you can rent these chairs from either Elite Events or Cardinal Events. Traditionally, wedding folding chairs are made of white resin, however, padded fruitwood chairs are commonly available as well and provide your wedding with a softer, more natural feel. Some venues, like Vista View Events, now offer these chairs as an alternative to the white resin. If you love the look of the fruitwood you can rent them from Cardinal Events, keep in mind that this will double your seating costs. If you are planning on using folding chairs for guest seating during dinner, I encourage you to keep the overall flow of your event in mind. A pink and white color scheme will look great with wite resin, but they may clash with a more neutral palette. On average, guests are seated at their tables for two hours, keep their comfort in mind when deciding which seating option to go with.
Chiavari or X-Back Chairs
Harder to come by and more expensive to rent due to storage and delivery considerations, Chiavari or X-Back Chairs give your event a more refined look. On Colorado’s Western Slope, Elite Events will be your go-to provider of these. If you are using a head table, you may want to set it off from the rest of the room with specialty chairs or use this type of chair as dinner seating for all of your guests if your budget allows. If you are looking for a more modern option for reception seating, talk to your rental company and wedding planner for additional options and custom orders.
Reusing Chairs for Ceremony and Reception
If your venue is conducive for it, reusing your ceremony chairs for your reception is a great money saver. While your guests are enjoying cocktail hour, have your production team move the chairs in from the ceremony site to the reception hall so that the dining room is set and welcoming before your guests arrive for dinner.