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Wedding Undergraduate: The Chair Rant


This wedding undergraduate rant popped up in my email last week, and it made me grin in recognition. First, how do chairs become this horrible sticking point during wedding planning, for almost everyone? (Oddly, the were not for me. Our venue had those white wood folding chairs, which I thought was a score… and the park rangers weren’t exactly up-selling us) But ANYWAY, I think it’s a perfect symbol for what happens during planning. During the planning, wedding chairs are their own multi bazillion dollar industry, designed to stress the h*ll out of us. But seriously? People sit in the chairs, not look at the chairs. And on your wedding day? You’re not thinking about chairs, for damn sure. Let me show you the perspective you will have on chairs on your wedding day:

Wedding Undergraduate: The Chair Rant | A Practical Wedding

Exactly. So now I’m going to let Amber (of Newly Domesticated) take it:

I am that girl who has been planning her wedding since she was three years old. My mother has scrapbooks full of my childhood drawings, almost always of brides. I’m a girly girl and I own it.

I’m also the girl who judged people’s weddings. I’d be the one saying, “I can’t believe she didn’t do assigned seating.” “I can’t believe they’re having it on a Friday.” “I can’t believe the ceremony was 9 minutes.” “I can’t believe the ceremony was 30 minutes.”

But now that I’m actually going through it, I am so full of remorse. I can’t believe I judged people, and I can’t believe how entitled people feel to judge me. People have questioned every step of my planning process. Every. Single. Step. And I seriously almost lost it earlier this week, when I had a meeting with an event rental coordinator.

I was explaining to her where I felt we could cut if we had to; my venue offers white folding chairs that feature the logo of the museum where we’re getting married. They’re not gorgeous, but they are free.

She immediately made a sourpuss face and later, when she was explaining that she’s a “big picture” person when it comes to weddings, I said “I am, too.” She made a doubtful face and I said, “You don’t believe me?” She said, “I just think the chairs are so important.” Meaning, if I’m the kind of person who wouldn’t pay $160 extra for chairs, how much taste could I have?

She then proceeded to whip out a photo album of events, showing white chairs, white tents, white tableclothes and said, “What stands out?” I said, “That’s a lot of white.” Clearly, wrong answer. She wanted me to say, “Oh, those are some gorgeous chairs.”

She bullied me and bullied me until by the end, I found myself saying, “Listen, I would love for everything to be the prettiest it can be, but that’s where I’m willing to cut if we need to.” And when I got home, I felt bad for not standing up for myself more.

Because in this wedding planning process, that’s the part that’s stressful. It’s that constant look of skepticism on everyone else’s face. I approached wedding planning the way I approach decorating: I don’t worry so much about what matches because I figure, if I like it, it will work. Because it’s me, and that’s what I want to express.

It’s very, very hard to remember to be excited about the actual wedding part when people are constantly telling you the whole memory will be ruined if you see the ugly chairs in the pictures. Well you know what? My photographer is talented enough that I bet he can avoid any pictures of the freaking chairs.

In the end, I think two really, really good things will come out of this constant cycle of self-doubt, self-assurance, self-doubt. One, I will be a much more assured person on the other side, with no qualms about expressing what I want. And two, I will never, ever judge another bride again.

Picture: Heather! Jon! One Love Photo! At it again. This is from Sarah’s magnificent wedding.

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  • Carbon Girl

    My venue had the chairs like in the pic above and I thought they were great, simple, non-descript and totally “sit-able”.

    • chrissy

      First, it must be said: I absolutely adore this site! Your thoughtful and sane approach to weddings , and your dedication to creating a community of critical thinkers who are also emotionally invested in this complicated cultural phenomenon, always brings me comfort, strength and sanity when I need it most.

      I, too, am facing THE CHAIR decision, and find it ridiculous that this is even an issue. I refuse to pay another $300 for chavari chairs, when everyone will be too busy having fun and celebrating to notice where they park their rears. Thank you for discussing how this mundane matter gets elevated out of proportion to its importance. :)

  • http://anhonorableestate.blogspot.com A-L

    I feel you on this one, I really do. It’s quite insidious how the expectations build up about the wedding and some people are like, “It’s only an extra X.” But when that X is $160 or $50 or $200 or what have you, and then you add up all those little Xs you get to a much bigger number (because there’s never just one thing you must have). And then you have a number that busts your budget, frequently by a whole heck of a lot.

    And just to let you know, I can’t say with 100% certainty what any of the chairs looked like at any wedding I have ever been to, even if I loved it or hated it. And that includes the super-nice wedding I went to last month when I was already engaged. So, I think this counts as an item that is cared about more by event planners than anyone else. Do what you want.

  • Jess

    Ha, my wedding venue doesn’t even have enough space for chairs for everyone in the room where we’re having the ceremony!

  • http://missfancypantsthebride.blogspot.com/ miss fancy pants

    Ugh, chairs. It’s weird how it’s almost a universal problem. Thankfully, I was never pressured into anything, but it was a source of internal conflict for me. For us, the difference between the metal folding chairs and the typical wedding chair in the photo above would have been $500. I wanted the typical wedding chair, but it simply wasn’t worth the cash. I still worry about how they’ll look all together, but Like you said, Meg, no one thinks about chairs on their wedding day.

  • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    Don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s hard not to, but don’t. It’s not worth it. And that troll of a rental coordinator was just trying to make a buck. I think you did stand up for yourself. Just because you didn’t say, “Listen to me troll, you stop pestering me about chairs or else!” doesn’t mean you didn’t speak up. We actually nixed chairs all together. I found some awesome ceremonies on APW that had the guests standing and we decided to do the same. Plus, I wasn’t going to pay $170 for the delivery and pick up of 70 chairs we were only going to use for 20 minutes. Everyone has their choice. Stick to your guns and do what makes you feel happy at the end of the day.

  • http://tinyglimpses.blogspot.com Meg

    The only wedding where I’ve noticed the chairs is the one where I was helping to set them up! They were your basic plastic church hall chairs, but nobody seemed to mind.

    As for me, I’ll be renting tables and chairs from the village (yes, I’m getting married in my grandmother’s village) volunteer fire department in exchange for a donation. They are probably going to be ratty and old. As long as none of them are splintery, I could really care less.

  • http://www.kellyandellen.org Ellen

    Our reception was in our church hall (which we used for free, as we are members!) and as such came with the church hall tables, linens and chairs (again, for free!) And you know what, they are not the prettiest. But you know, I just really didn’t care. I married my husband that day, and that’s what I remember. And when I look at the pictures – take for instance this one: http://carissabyers.com/p414780869/h598785d#h598785d which features the chairs quite prominently – I don’t see the chairs. I see my adorable and precocious 5 year old stepson deep in conversation with our priest. I see the emotion of the picture. I see love and happiness. (And I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall to overhear what they were discussing).

    • KristieB

      Oh my gosh, that is a beautiful picture.

    • http://thisisjacksonriley.blogspot.com/ sarah :: this is jackson riley

      wow – that pictures is awesome. made my morning!

    • Melinda

      Your wedding reception looks fun and happy!

      • http://newlydomesticated.blogspot.com Newly Domesticated

        That picture might have just sold me forever on my “chairs really don’t matter” conviction. Adorable!

        • http://www.kellyandellen.org Ellen

          Thanks everyone! You all made MY day with your comments! I think I might need to write up my wedding for a wedding graduates post…

          • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

            Please do!

    • Kristen

      That picture is so sweet I welled up!

      And, to bring it back to the chairs, if the chairs were ‘nicer’ he probably wouldn’t have been allowed to put his feet on them like that. And then he would have been all stiff and formal and would have missed the relaxing and having this great conversation.

  • Jennifer

    “But now that I’m actually going through it, I am so full of remorse.” I have definitely had my moments like this, too!

    I’m pretty sure I don’t even get a chair upgrade option (at least not if you’re not using their tent; it’s an old inn, every wedding I’ve seen pictures of inside has their standard dark wooden chairs).

    My chair equivalent is invitations – while looking through paper and printing options, I kept mentally bouncing between “go for the more economical option since most people are going to recycle it as soon anyway” and “but I loved _____’s gorgeous invitations, and they got me even more excited to go to their wedding!” A couple of nights ago, I was digging through the box where I keep special notes, cards, wedding invites and such, and came across a few of the UberInvitations, and you know what? They were nice, sure, but were they letterpressed on Crane Lettra? No, they were flat printed, and on nice paper, but not on Nice Paper. Sometimes when you’re in the thick of wedding shopping, it’s too easy to notice that a given choice is not as amazing as a more expensive or time-consuming alternative, and forget that it’s still Pretty Darn Nice, and our guests are not going to be comparing what we do have to all of the other alternatives out there.

    I still might spring for letterpress and/or Nice Paper, at least for the actual invitation (and then go cheaper for the response/information card), but if I do, it will be because I like letterpress and Nice Paper and decided our wedding was an occasion where I wanted to splurge on that, and not because I feel like anyone will think I’m being cheap or lacking taste if I don’t.

    • Anna

      Jennifer,
      I was right in your boat just a few weeks ago. I *love* paper, and letterpress, and fonts. But we had planned to make our own invitations, and going from that plan to a $10/invite suite was not going to happen. I don’t know if your taste will be similar to mine, but we went with a seller called baumbirdy on etsy, and she was fabulous, hand-screen-printed our invites (with our own design elements!) WITH envelopes, WITH RSVP cards, WITH our address printed on them, for $4 apiece. Oh, and we had her print a map with directions (two-sided, also screen printed), which she did for an additional 85 cents per. Highly recommended, and very “special.” Without the sticker shock. If you want to see ours just reply to this with a way to contact you and I can e-mail you a pdf.

  • Sara

    I had a friend who made her fiance upgrade from grey chairs to white because they just “looked better” and, even though they were a dollar more a chair, he finally agreed. And, when she walked down the aisle and we all stood up, no one ever told us to sit down, so we stood the entire ceremony! In the end, not only were the white upgrades a waste, so were the grey.

    hehe I hear you on judging weddings…I was so that girl, and I now hang my head in shame!

  • Chelsea

    This is SO funny and true! Chairs were one of the first things I fixated on when I got engaged. I knew I was going to have to rent them, and I really wanted those bamboo-looking chairs that are in every single wedding magazine. They just said “nice wedding” to me, but they cost literally twice as much as the white folding chairs like in the picture here (which are perfectly nice!). But, I wanted them.

    Then, about a week after I got engaged (yes, I was fixated on chairs that early!), I went to a wedding where I had an absolutely, almost impossibly fantastic time. When I called my mom after, one of the first questions she asked was “What kind of chairs did they have?” I had no idea. Had to go back through the pictures to figure it out.

    I was newly engaged, totally fixated on chairs, and STILL did not notice what chairs they had. No one –probably not even me- is going to notice the chairs at my wedding. We’re going with the cheaper chairs.

    • elemjay

      Well that is just a brilliant observation!

    • Rachel

      Chelsea, your mom sounds pretty smart.

  • Jenn

    I am completely torn on the above issue. My venue provides banquet chairs, which happen to be quite comfy.

    They are also pepto pink, and not in a chic way.

    I am sure some people would love pink chairs, but I promise you, these are not the ones you want. The building rental coordinator was shocked we were even considering using them, as apparently no one else has ever chosen to. At this point, I would love some white folding chairs!

    I really would rather not spend any money on chairs…but these are just plain ugly, and there will be more than 100 of them. I can’t decide whether its worth it or not…

    • Ky

      Our venue had uber-ugly chairs, too, though not Pepto-pink. More like “80s brown patterned fabric with metal frame.”

      I refused to spend the money on the chair covers, and I’m glad I didn’t but man, those chairs were ugly and I hated them! I can actually understand the chair dilemma.

      In fact, if I’m being 100% honest, I actually didn’t really like our reception venue that much and only settled on it because it was easier than a lot of other options. I don’t think anyone noticed, or cared, but I did and it still makes me a little sad how much I compromised in the hopes of being easy-going and just getting it planned.

      And now my comment has devolved from being a reply to weirdly wistful. Sorry, y’all!

    • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com liz

      where are you from, jenn? you can borrow my ivory chair covers.

      i personally don’t like the look of chair covers. but a sea of ivory may be more appealing than a sea of pepto.

      • Jenn

        Washington DC :) and I would LOVE to borrow your chair covers! It is so nice of you to offer them. My email is jenn.heller7@gmail.com – let me know how I get onto your list!! My wedding isn’t until next September.

        I can’t tell you how happy this makes me :) No pepto chairs!! I was feeling pretty guilty about caring, to be honest. Thank you so much!!!!

        • meg

          Look! Insta-forum! I love how you ladies are using the threaded comments. Love. Makes me almost not miss the old site at all (sniff).

          • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com Liz

            meg, we need to find a new word for “forum.” i still get kn*t shudders.

          • meg

            Suggestion! Go!

          • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

            How about “Talk” or “Discussion”?
            Either way, I’m all kinds of excited to be able to reply to specific comments, and even more so see people using these powers for good! This is such a great site and community!

          • Kinzie

            Community?

    • Michelle

      Do you think some wedding venues have ugly chairs on purpose so people will think they need to get chair covers or upgrades? That would be so WIC of them, wouldn’t it?

      • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com liz

        DEFINITELY.

        but then, how do we explain the awful carpet…?

        • meg

          See. People think I’m morally opposed to hotel weddings, but really I’m just morally opposed to hotel CARPET. I mean, whhhhhhyyyyyyy? Why the crazy (immediately dated) PATTERNS!

          • carrie

            because no one will notice if they get stained when they’ve got godawful prints all over them. same goes for movie theatres.

            or maybe it’s a conspiracy to make brides buy customized aisle runners. ugh.

      • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

        Totally (unfortunately!)

    • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com Liz

      …and on a clearly unrelated note.

      i think the point here isn’t that chairs DON’T matter. but that chairs don’t matter if they don’t matter to yoooou. so, jenn. if the chairs are gonna bug you a lot, yeah. it’s worth it to throw down the cash.

      money spent on relieving a headache is money well-spent.

      • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

        Exactly. Well said.

  • saveroomforpi

    I didn’t want to be a bride that cared about chairs (although as an almost-architect I own some nice chairs) but in our venue (a school cafeteria that the firm I work for did the addition/renovation) the chairs were rhubarb but looked orange in photos, and in my “blue green yellow” scheme it just didn’t work. So then, of course, I over analyzed the wrap color on top of the white chair cover (two different yellows – one “gold” that looked peach in photos and one “lemon yellow” which was bright but much more of a good pop of color on top of the other colors I’d picked out).

  • Tamara

    @Ellen, I agree wholeheartedly- that picture is so not about chairs!
    Chairs aren’t my thing, but many other things are (like the guest list, and what the guests “deserve” in “reception” for flying to San Francisco). But weddings bring up our s&*t, and I am learning that for me, it’s not about reception or anything else. It’s about me having a habit of passive-aggressive people pleasing with challenges asking for what I want. The Universe is just giving me lots of opportunities to practice breaking that bad habit.
    Viva la self-care! Permissionista!

  • ddayporter

    hahah oh the chairs! when I walked into my venue for the first time, before it was our venue, the first thing I noticed were the chairs. I thought they were dead ugly, but they came free with the venue rental so I went with it. NOBODY ELSE noticed. In fact when I said something about how unfortunate the chairs were, my mother and mother-in-law looked at me like I had 3 heads. they both said “they’re chairs! they look comfortable! what’s the problem?” and they were way more comfortable than those cute wooden wedding chairs.

    I agree with Angie, I think you did stand up for yourself! you stood your ground in the face of her bizarre pouting. well done!

  • meg

    For the record, I would have rented to get to the (pictured above) folding white chair level. TOTALLY would have, no question. It’s the $16 a pop chavari chars that are…. interesting….

    • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

      I was just going through the Chiavari experience the other day. I am worried about having my mom (who has leukemia) walking up a lot of stairs and then forcing her to stand for our ceremony, so I called the San Francisco City Hall’s special events people to ask about reserving the gallery and whether that included chairs. He was very clever about the chairs. First, he offered up the price for the standard chairs. Then, just as I was figuring the total cost he said, “orrrr, we can provide chiavari chairs for $__.” To my surprise, I actually stopped to think about the chiavari chairs for a nanosecond before I realized how ridiculous this was.

      Here I am, planning a City Hall ceremony thinking about whether we need chiavari chairs. In case anyone is wondering, we don’t.

    • Kristen

      $16??? Holy cow! I saw them for $8 here and thought that was nuts!

      PS Meg- Whilst you’re doing site stuff, what do you think of adding a “like” button to comments. Or maybe “Here, here!” or “Damn straight!”

      • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

        Or maybe just “Yes!”
        That way, we wouldn’t have to leave comments like this one (just to say “yes”, “agreed”, “definitely!”, etc.), and people would still be able to say “yeah, me too!”.

  • Kelly

    My mother completely lost her mind over chairs. We argued about them off and on for literally seven months. My solution was to carry the benches already on-site over to the spot where they would be needed for the old people. Everyone else could stand behind them for our 15-minute service (I mean, really, most people log more time than that standing in line at the grocery store every week). I had no problem with having chairs if Mom really wanted them, and I told her so, repeatedly, but she wanted what she wanted and she wanted ME to make it happen. It’s one of those insanely pointless things that you argue about over and over and over again. And then you find yourself having serious conversations with your fiance about taking a long weekend and driving down to Virginia to get married all by yourselves so you don’t have to have that stupid argument one more time.

    I kept refusing to do it, and she’s finally arranging for the chairs, herself. It only took over half a year. Sigh.

    • Rachael Eisner

      Holy Canoli!!!!!! I feel the same way about my Ma and my Ma in Law!!!! They finally (jointly) arranged for a florist. I refused to have flowers, and I made a bunch out of paper when my mom threatened to SELL HER VEHICLE. Yes. She was going to sell her only mode of transportation to avoid ‘wedding judgment’. Ludicrous. This was a year long debate, and they finally took over three weeks ago. We get married in 16 days, and they are still pressuring for a ‘real’ photographer. You’d think I’d get to be done with these conversations by now……

      • carrie

        totally agree. wedding judgment from MOM is absolutely the worst. like my candle in a mason jar DIY centerpiece? well… you know the venue has cloth napkins, carrie… that’s a little casual i think. like my invitations, i made them myself! well… they look like a lot of work.

        you know, considering she’s helping to pay for the wedding, you’d think she’d appreciate a little frugality, but no, she wants potted orchids as centerpieces and Crane’s plain invites.

        although, at least mom’s wedding judgment prepared me for the look i got from the “bridal consultant” (whatev) at the department store where we registered when i said i wanted to register for *gasp* cuisinart cookware and not all-clad.

  • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Adventures Along the Way

    Well, if it makes anyone feel any better, I just had to go dig up my own wedding pictures to even remember what our chairs looked like, and our wedding was just 6 months ago! So I guess our gray, functional chairs ended up not mattering to me, and nobody else has ever said anything about them either. :)

  • bex

    I too struggled over what chairs to rent. Our local rental place had 2 ‘reasonable’ options cost wise, white metal folding chairs and the white reisin chairs like in the articles photos, but the reisin ones are more than double the cost of the metal ones. Thankfully they didn’t have all the other chair options that many of you have to deal with. After hashing it out with my mother (who thankfully just remained a sounding board for my indecision) I finally realized “S*#% they are CHAIRS and they’re virtually identical – the cheaper white metal folding ones will be totally FINE.”

    That was the only time so far that I’ve really felt the insanity that seems to be wedding planning. I use it anytime I’m feeling like there might be a chance to get sucked into the craziness. It gave me the strength to actually laugh at my caterer when I said we didn’t want a cake or cupcakes or anything that really felt like a wedding – to which she offered BRIDE and GROOM shaped and decorated iced cookies. seriously.

  • http://www.alosangeleslove.com Becca

    I’m okay with ugly chairs (which is good, since we have them for free at our venue.) But I considered chair COVERS for about 5 minutes, before I realized I didn’t think they looked much better and just meant running around all morning to cover chairs. Also, I don’t care about detail shots anyhow or the empty ceremony site. I want photos of the PEOPLE in the chairs, getting teary eyed and grinning like fiends. Chairs not necessary.

  • Bee

    Oh gosh, this has been such a battle with the woman at our reception site. We had met with the woman we thought was going to be our contact there, and signed the contract with her; she was completely chill and awesome, and we totally love the wonderful space (plus it is cheap!), but then she ended up leaving, and the new woman we’re working with has certain, um, ideas about what a wedding *must* have. She’s been trying to convince my fiance and I that (among a bunch of other random crap) we NEED floor length chair covers for the chairs they provide. As she’s explaining why, my fiance just rolled his eyes and looked over at me to see what I was thinking. Upon recognizing my similar exasperation, he interrupted her and said something to the effect of “Excuse me, but we’re fine with the chairs in the space as they are. Why do you even care? You don’t rent the linens anyway!”. Then she turned to me and commented that maybe this should really be my decision! I just about flipped a sh*t! Um, I am not the ruler of the wedding. My fiance and I make decisions together. Just because I have boobs doesn’t mean I care about chair covers! Of all the stupid things, why chairs? People sit on them.

    • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

      haha,
      “Just because I have boobs doesn’t mean I care about chair covers!”
      This just became my new favorite wedding planning line, which I will now use for anything that people seem to value my opinion over my fiancé’s (inserting other words for “chair covers”, of course). Thanks!
      And now that I think about it a bit more, just in case people try to discount my mother’s opinion* as well, I think I’ll adapt it to “Just because I’m wearing the white(ish) dress doesn’t mean I care about [whatever]!”
      *I live far away and she has fully decision-making power and excellent taste!

  • Katy

    Does anyone else think that chair covers make a reception hall look like one of those creepy abandoned buildings you sometimes see in movies where everything is covered by dusty sheets and blankets?

    • Emily

      this is what I needed to read! I’m wondering whether $160 on chair covers to cover some brown banquet chairs is a good use of money. Sounds like maybe not :)

    • Liz

      @Katy, um, YES. I think chair covers are super creepy looking. But that’s only MHO.

      To be honest, this is the first time I’m thinking about chairs. Our reception place provides them with an option to rent covers, but see above about my thoughts on chair covers.

      I try to think about what people had at weddings I attended and if I can’t remember, I don’t worry. Favors have fallen to the wayside by using this logic. And when I started thinking about invitations as their final incarnation of Recyclables, I gave up on my letterpress dreams.

      That being said, I’m certain I’m doing things other people wouldn’t even think of, let alone devote waaay too much time to.

      • Kristen

        Ha! I always wonder what lurks beneath the chair covers, too. Especially those goofy stretchy ones that fit really strangely.

    • http://newlydomesticated.blogspot.com Newly Domesticated

      YES. And I’m always curious what they’re hiding, so I’m always the freak trying to figure it out.

      • Morgan

        I used to work for my university’s catering company, and they had a lot of weddings. Once, I had to set up chair covers with big bows. It took 6 people almost 2 hours to cover all hundred plus chairs, and if we were being paid $8 an hour, we were probably being billed out at least $10… Right then and there I vowed never to use chair covers. Why *do* chairs need clothing?

    • meg

      They look like a bad couch cover to me (achem. Not judging. I’m sitting on said couch cover now). But my point: they look like a way to fix a problem (which is reasonable), not the fancy shmanshy goodness they are sold as.

      • Bee

        I totally agree! I think they just look like awkward couch covers. And while my couch is covered, it’s because underneath the couch cover is a white couch with a big ol’ coffee stain, so maybe if my sites chairs were all white cloth and covered in coffee stains I would be sympathetic to the chair covers? I just hate the pressure to do silly things like rent chair covers for perfectly fine chairs.

    • Rachael Eisner

      @Katy: YES.

    • KD

      Yes, yes, yes! It draws attention to something that as we’ve all pointed out… no one would notice otherwise! I think it looks like a little see of mishapen fabric usually, but what kills me most of all is when people pay to cover the expensive chivari charis they rented?! seriously??

    • http://laorencha.blogspot.com channamasala

      YES! They totally look like furniture sheet covers in an abandoned building!

      In pictures, I often notice the flash against the satin ones, which reminds me of a cheap ’80s prom dress.

      Or the brocade ones, that look like something out of a seminar entitled “Motivate Your Life For Success!” at a Ramada Inn somewhere.

  • Knitts

    Our venue comes with 100 free chairs. They are brown and have EVPD (Everett Parks Department) stamped on the back of each one. They are UGLY! I cared for about five minutes, but I don’t REALLY care. That’s not what our wedding is about. I know how much fun and meaningful the day will be and I can’t care about ugly chairs. I care about my future husband and the family and friends we chose to invite to celebrate our marriage. Screw the chairs. And screw the WIC that has given “chairs” a platform for this discussion.

  • Katie

    OH man. This post is fabulous… We’re using black, metal folding chairs and I’ve been terrified of what people will say, and at the same time ashamed that I care what people think. This has really helped me remember to take and have the right attitude! Thank you!

  • Heather

    I have a friend who purchased chair covers for her wedding and now rents them out and is making money. 1 part WIC, 1 part practical? In any case, I’m pretty sure that in the future, chair covers will not be an issue for me.

    • Katelyn

      My vote is for 100% practical- if she felt that chair covers were a priority at her wedding, more power to her- and extra power for making it work for her post-wedding!

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Every time someone mentions wedding chairs I actually have to go pull out pictures of our reception because I honestly can’t remember what they looked like. I remember the pictures the site had of their chair covers, but we didn’t use those. Darn it, now I’ll have to go pull out our pictures again.

  • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com liz

    i feel like i can almost excuse the event rental coordinator. that’s her job, right? to pressure you into dumping money into rentals?

    i find it even MORE aggravating that we do this to one another- to other brides, to ourselves.

    we had the uggliest, wrinkliest chair covers. i LOVE pulling out wedding photos and then asking people if they notice the chairs. they never do.

  • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com liz

    @heather- i bought chair covers, too! i don’t rent them out, tho- i lend them. i couldn’t decide which was uglier- the bare metal chair or the overwhelming sea of fabric chair covers. but i figured buying them would mean i could help out other brides.

    • Heather

      You are a generous soul!

      • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com Liz

        not much generosity in the wedding world, haha.

  • Catherine

    Ah, the chairs. I looked into chair rental, and could only find chair covers for some ridiculous price to rent locally… but we’re having a back garden wedding anyway, so whatever mismatched chairs we can cobble together will do wonderfully. We will cunningly distract guests with delicious food and drink bwahahaha.

    Big picture? Nice chairs are nice, but at the end of the day, in the “big picture” they don’t matter a bit.

  • Kerry

    Oh my dear lord of all that is holy…the chairs.

    We booked our venue before it was officially open for business, and in doing so were offered a free *perk* of a significant value for free. (let me repeat that – FREE – rhymes with wheeee! A word foreign to wedding planning) Three guesses what silly old me picked…why, chair covers of course!

    Fast forward 4 months and I finally got wise.. Just yesterday I sent our venue coordinator an email stating that I recently found my mind that I had lost in the pages of a magazine, and instead of having chairs that look like marshmallows we will have plain chairs, but a free breakfast for all of our guests the morning after before they board their flights home. Rock on!

    • Nat

      Oh thank goodness you located your mind. Breakfast for all of your guests vs. chair covers, I can’t believe that’s even a comparable deal for them??

    • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

      Free breakfast for everyone? Great choice!

  • Nina

    lol… I find this whole discussion hilarious! because it’s so true – obviously so many of us have been there – and so demonstrative of why weddings can make us crazy.

    In the rental place we went to, literally every chair was covered in fabric (even the pretty chiavari chairs had ribbons tied to them) and suddenly the thought entered my head – maybe we are supposed to have chair covers? are naked chairs just inappropriate?? I couldn’t recall chairs at any weddings I’d been to but maybe they had all been covered! – luckily this thought passed and we have settled on the free venue chairs but I never expected to be thinking about chairs quite so much.

    • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com liz

      “are naked chairs just inappropriate??”

      i think this is the crux of all wedding issues!

      why do smart, sensible, self-reliant and independent-thinking women suddenly get sucked into this consumeristic madness? women who for years have defended themselves against an assault of ads that tell us how we should look and act and eat and feel, and how each of these things determine our self-worth…?

      because how many of us host more than one or two weddings? not friggin many.

      a wedding is only scary because it’s unknown territoy. we don’t know what is REQUIRED for a wedding. so maybe chair covers are a necessity? maybe somewhere, buried in an emily post too thick for any of us to read, there’s a declaration that all weddings MUST include chair covers. i have a pretty good feeling that a lot of wedding traditions have begun this way- and now there’s a host of brides afraid that they’ll be insulting Great Aunt Emma and shaming poor Mom if they don’t have plastic monogrammed favors at each place setting and a “welcome” basket in each hotel room.

      and this thinking is probably the very perspective that gives tons of guests everywhere the feeling of entitlement to critique each aspect of the wedding, and how it does or does not cater to them. “well, that time of day is very inconsiderate. don’t they realize that’s when i put Baby down for a nap?!”

      • meg

        This.

  • TNM

    Ah… the lure of the chairs. I confess – I succumbed. Funny thing was that I’m not a creative type, and didn’t care much about most of the other decor aspects, i.e. colors, linens, centerpieces, ect., But the chairs…? There will always be something from the WIC that gets you I guess. Can’t say I even regret it, but I am 101% sure none of my guests noticed one way or another!

  • http://Soyoureengayged.com Sarah

    We had the most normal freakin in-fancy chairs at our wedding and the space still looked gorgeous. Check out the photo under “centerpiece” here: http://www.soyoureengayged.com/bloggers/diy-wedding-details/#more-5042

    I was so scared that the chairs would ruin the look. I probably stressed about it more than most other things during the planning process. It was not worthy stress. Looking at photos of ugly chairs at beautiful weddings helped me realize I didn’t need to stress. I hope the photo of my reception helps.

    • ks

      LOL, there are chairs in that picture? I had to actually focus (hard) to see them.

      I haven’t gotten to the point with our venue coordinator to be debating chairs, but I personally much prefer plain ol’ folding chairs to chavari chairs anyway. I’m short, and the chavari chairs hit my back at *exactly* the most uncomfortable place. This is probably true for all your less height-blessed guests.

      PS Love the flash cards.

    • http://www.verhext.com verhext

      ahhhhh, your wedding is so cute! i think because the chairs are so dark, they just disappear!

      so! gorgeous!

      • http://Soyoureengayged.com Sarah

        We could have spent $300 more for white plastic folding chairs or like $750 more for wooden white folding chairs. I was so worried about it that I actually wanted to spend the money. There just aren’t any wedding photos online of black metal folding chairs and I worried that our wedding would look cheap and ugly if I didn’t pay INSANE amounts for chairs (and not even fancy ones mind you). But, my sane fiancé simply would not give in and spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollers on chairs. And thank god for that. Cause the black metal chairs looked just fine. I hope that people who were stressing out like I was can be comforted by knowing that ugly chairs don’t ruin otherwise beautiful decor.

  • http://Soyoureengayged.com Sarah

    That’s non-fancy above… Not in-fancy… Sorry

  • Jaime

    I needed this today! My mom won’t leave me alone about the chair covers and it’s making me second guess myself! Sometimes I think I need them, then I realize that I don’t exactly like the way the chair covers look. My venue comes with banquet chairs. Burgundy chairs with a gold frame. They look great with the room. But I was worried about how they’d look with my colors (and then I realized I don’t need colors (bridesmaids will be wearing navy because anyone can wear navy and they all have navy dresses already), so it’s not really an issue at this point). At the time I still wasn’t 100% with the color. So I was considering the $450 rental and setup fee that my florist quoted me. Our friends had their reception in that same venue and I never noticed the chairs because they went along with their color scheme (burgundy and black). But then I realized I also didn’t notice them because they just blend into the room and people are sitting in them.

    I have also been thinking lately (now that I’m not as fixated on the freaking chairs), that the reason we booked that venue is because we liked the way it looked. So why would I want to pay a ton of money to make the room look different? All that uplighting, spotlighting, wall drapery to change the way a room looks seems like a bit of a waste. Find a place you like and you don’t have to pay through the nose to make the place look different.

  • Michelle

    I had to google-image chiavari chairs. I had no idea what they are. Honestly, they just look like chairs to me. I understand wanting to cover hideously colored chairs or wanting more comfortable chairs, but I can’t think of any non-wedding party situation in which I would feel any pressure to rent fancy chairs.

  • Kristen

    Well, lady, we’re big picture people when it comes to marriages. And we’d rather spend our money wisely to create a firm financial base with which to start our beautiful union.

  • Marina

    The skepticism, oh my god the skepticism! THAT is what drove me over the edge, a week before my wedding, and made me say to my best friend and Maid of Honor: “I’m sorry, but I’m going to hang up the phone right now–I’m too angry to continue this conversation.” After she said something SO PIDDLY I HONESTLY DON’T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS.

    It was just so CONSTANT. Every single decision, from important things like the officiant to the colors of the napkins. My mother would be skeptical about something, and I wouldn’t really care so I’d go with her way. Then my fiance would be skeptical of my mom’s choice, so I’d have to play go-between. Then my friend would be skeptical of the final decision and I’d have to go through the whole process with her again. And then we’d just end up with the thing I had decided on originally anyway! It was just absurd. I found myself sobbing, thinking that no one trusted me or thought I was smart enough to make any decisions. Wedding planning can mess you up, man.

    But the good thing is that I am a better person than I was then. I am better able to diplomatically stick up for my choices, better able to see what the underlying emotional cause of a problem might be, better at patiently walking someone else through my thought processes. Plus I’m married. So it was totally worth it.

    • Marina

      Also we had brownish metal folding chairs and no one cared an ounce.

    • meg

      You know what messed me up? How in the lead up to the wedding/wedding weekend everyone projects their sh*t all over the bride (never the groom).

      “The bride is FREAKING OUT! Calm her down.” No lady, *you* are freaking out. The bride is calm. Take some deep breaths please.

      What the (*%$& is that about?

      • Caitlin

        ugh couldn’t agree more. I’m going off topic a bit, but the hardest part of the wedding planning for me has been the person everyone is trying to make me be (“she must be so upset that the girls didn’t fit well in the bridesmaid dress”, “she must be freaking out about her sister being pregnant with twins and due at the wedding”, “she must be so sad that her fiance’s sister is getting married the same year”). But they are the ones stressing, not me. I get to be an auntie to twins in a few months and if it means my sister can’t be at the wedding, well, twin nephew/nieces for a lifetime is more important! And my sister in law getting married the same year? It seems to me like one more happy party in a year is a good thing. And the dresses? We didn’t need the 200+ j.crew ones anyway. Geesh. I feel like I’m spending all these months just defending how not crazy I am! It’s almost making me crazy! heh.

        Oh, and amens all around people, I wanted to reply to about 10 comments before this one. I love coming here.

        • meg

          You know, on this topic, one of the other things I found hard was people trying to make me into something I wasn’t, and then seeming sort of disappointed that I was who I am. It was hurtful. Oh, she’ll want X, everyone does. And then I’d say, “No, I actually don’t like X.” And then I’d find out they were planning X behind my back, because that’s just what brides like. I’d get really sad. Because wasn’t I good enough just they way I was? Why did I have to feel like I was broken for not liking X?

          I’ll tell you what though… I learned some lessons. There are things I just won’t let people do when I have a baby, like it or not. Because I am who I am, and I’m not going to be made to feel bad about it.

  • ngakmafaery

    The photos don’t work in the feed on livejournal now, as of the last week or so–didn’t know if you knew, but it’s consistent.

  • irene

    Ladies this is urgent! DO NOT GET CHAIR COVERS. From the perspective of a former wedding guest at a covered chair reception – every time I sat down I was fighting friction between my (cute lace cocktail) dress and the cover. Groom’s elderly relatives at next table – accidental thigh-flashing was heck to the no!

    • irene

      So yes, I remembered them, in only how horrible they were and that I would avoid them like the plague.

  • Audrey

    I’m so happy no one ever questioned our decision to use the plain plastic/metal chairs our reception location provides above the basic “hey, do you want us to rent chairs” question from the caterer. In fact, once I told my caterer we didn’t care about chairs they actually backed up our decision!

    Maybe it goes to show that the right vendor doesn’t pressure you about your decisions one way or another.

  • Hillary

    what a great post! my venue comes with those ugly gray plastic chairs, but i really can’t bring myself to pay extra money for fancier ones. and you know what? gray is one of my colors so i’m just going to live with it. i also realized i can’t remember what chairs were at the last 10 weddings i was at so hopefully no one else will care either!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Adventures Along the Way

      Our were gray plastic ones too, with metal legs! Ours ended up being nondescript and non-noteworthy. Which is fine for non-pretty chairs. :)

  • http://scientistcarrie.blogspot.com Carrie

    I totally befriended the couple getting married in the time slot just before us at the same venue. Over chairs. They got our info from the wedding coordinator, called us up, and asked if we wanted to split a chair rental. Since we were having about the same number of guests, we said “Heck yeah!” I’m so glad they thought of that.

    The other bride and I went and signed a rental contract together, thoroughly confusing the guy at the rental place. “Congratulations to…whichever one of you is getting married?” he said, eyeing us and the sapphire engagement rings both of us were wearing. I couldn’t tell if he thought it was a two-bride wedding and disapproved, or just had no idea what was going on.

    I wanted to just rent the cheap white folding chairs, but she wanted nicer, padded wooden chairs. I didn’t care — my share of the fancier chairs was the same as it would have cost to rent the cheaper chairs on my own.

    We’ve since gone for lunch with them, and have really enjoyed getting to know them. They’re super friendly people.

    So, if any of you are getting married at a location where other couples will be getting married immediately before or after you, find out if you can split a chair rental with them. You’ll save money, and you might make new friends.

  • Nat

    My venue comes with long banquet tables, but because it’s usually used for school cmaps, they only have long benches. Personally I like aesthetic of the benches but have decided to rent what are (in my opinion) an uglier option for my guests comfort. This was a big decision for me as I really got sucked into the idea that chairs were REALLY important. Like many above though, I relasied that I can’t remember a single chair from any of the tonne of weddings I’ve been to in the past couple of years.

  • http://sparklefishmarriespistolfish.blogspot.com/ Mandy

    This is one of those things we haven’t decided on. We’re getting married in an amphitheatre with tiered seating built onto a hillside, and at first I didn’t even want to bother with chairs except for our two elderly aunts and our parents. I figured people could just sit on the hill. Then Scott pointed out that people would probably be dressed up and not want to sit on the ground…which brings us to where we are now. He still wants to rent chairs, but I get this feeling that his real reason is not because HE wants chairs, but because the WIC wants him to have chairs. He is honestly more susceptible to this than I am, because he worked at a wedding venue for three years. I’m giving him some time to think it over before we have a discussion about What Chairs Mean To Us.

    Because as for me…my plan is to tell everyone to bring a lawn chair.

    • Nina

      How about cozy blankets? And people who really don’t want to sit on the ground could just stand near the back. I’d love that!

    • meg

      Honest answer? If the seating on the hillside is metal or what have you, you’re fine. If it’s not, and we’re talking lawn, and your ceremony is too long for people to stand, get chairs. It doesn’t matter much what kind, but dressed up people do not want to sit on the ground. They’ll be grumbly.

  • caitlin

    thank you. i recently went with the half-price brown folding chairs, against the advice of nearly everyone but my (thankfully oh-so-practical) fiance. due to the pressure, i’ve been wondering if these chairs would be the ruin of the whole wedding… i’m just going to let it go now. thank you a million times over for taking that off my list of things to worry about!

  • Emilie

    Such a great story and exactly what I needed to hear. My partner and I are getting married in less than a month (!!!) and it has been quite difficult to stay on track with the vision that we have for our wedding (casual and centred on family & friends) and not get caught up with what we are told we “should” have (no favours? you can’t do that!). I have also felt cheap and tacky when I inquired with our venue if it was possible to have a lower price if we decided to skip some elements of their wedding package (btw, the answer was no as they “provide quality services” and we were told that “if we can’t afford it, maybe we should look at another venue”. GAH!). Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and thank you Meg for doing such a great job.

  • http://www.verhext.com verhext

    I’m not having (matching, event-type) chairs for the wedding, but can say for sure they’d be a sticking point for me – there is no way on the planet I’d be ok with brown folding metal chairs or those metal & padded banquet chairs or plastic chairs. I get offended in restaurants with crappy chairs, for cods sake. It’s a neurosis, but some people do care about details. And yes, I’ve been to weddings where I noticed the chairs and it bothered me a fair amount, and yes, I remember what weddings had what chairs – in retrospect, actually, not just weddings. Parties, etc. Maybe I have a rare and strange form of chair autism.

    (The ones in the photo are pleasant, though.)

    • http://newlydomesticated.blogspot.com Newly Domesticated

      I totally hate ugly chairs, part of why I wrote the post. I’m also the person who always remembers what I didn’t like at a wedding…which is something I’m now actively going to try to avoid. I just know my dad, who is thankfully paying for my event rentals, is so stressed about money that I can’t stand begging to rent something I could have for free.

      p.s. I went to look at your blog and it’s gorgeous!

      • http://www.verhext.com verhext

        Thank you!

        I definitely would not be down with having my dad pay more to rent chairs, agreed.

        When I thought I might be having a wedding somewhere I’d need chairs, I was scrambling to think of alternatives to rentals – the high school I went to (I’m getting married in my hometown) has pleasant wood assembly chairs I could borrow, the Victorian sofas stacked in my brothers barn, that sort of thing…

        • meg

          And I said I would have rented white chairs. I thought we were going to need to, but the venue had just replaced their plastic ones. That’s not “the details” in the crazy crazy wedding industry sense. That’s just personal taste. But there is a difference between taste and getting pressured to rent crazy expensive chairs, and just the general pressure to do sh*t you don’t want. Because yeah, chairs are not your focus the day of… (not not not) so they deserve a cursory gut check “what do I want?” Ok, that. Not a crazy upsell. You’ll walk into your reception look around, and think ok, that looks like our aesthetic, and then move on.

          In my wedding grad post I talked about how reflecting our genuine aesthetic was very important to me – to us, really. And we worked hard on that. But beyond that point (whatever that point is for you) the little stuff people try to make us focus on is silly. You’re beyond that on the day of. If it feels like you? You’re ok.

          • http://www.verhext.com verhext

            Definitely. Since I’m not dealing with any vendors, it’s amazing to me how PUSHY they sound! Like your wedding isn’t going to be nice enough without certain $$ chairs and they’re going to guilt you into doing it? Like it’s not stressful enough? Vulturrressss. Anyway! Yes! I should shut it since I have ZERO experience with the wedding industry.

            Also, since I just looked at the post Sarah linked to above with metal folding chairs (though black, not brown) that look totally fine with her decor, I have to eat my hat! Or whatever the saying is…

        • meg

          IE, I think you’re misreading me on ‘the details’ thing.

  • Julie

    Hah, chairs. I got married this past September in a site that required us to bring in all the furniture. Our caterer handled all the rentals and we went with the white wooden chairs shown in the pictures above. The morning of the wedding, I talked to the caterer and she told me that the rental company had delivered white chiavari chairs instead by mistake. Since it wasn’t our fault, we didn’t have to pay anything extra.
    Though I had poo-pooed the idea of having such elaborate chairs at our casual wedding, they actually turned out to look really lovely.
    And then I found myself ashamed because there were a number of newlyweds at our wedding, and I was worried they were judging us for our expensive (read: unnecessarily wasteful) chairs!

    (… But they were so pretty!)

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Adventures Along the Way

      Wow, that is funny about the mistake upgrade of your rental chairs. :) I googled Chiavari and stumbled upon some company that makes them (http://www.chivarisales.com/) and they apparently cost $44.98 a piece to buy, and less if you buy more. So now, that I know the actual cost of purchasing said chair, I am annoyed by the fact that rental companies charge $16 a chair to rent them. Seems unethical to have charge so much more. I mean, they get their money back after a few rentals and the costs of maintaining and replacing the chairs, as necessary, surely isn’t enough to justify a $16 chair rental fee.

      Anyhow, congrats on your free upgrade and enjoying it! :) That’s fun. And it somehow makes me feel better about the injustice of the chair rental pricing…

  • april

    Oh, the chairs. I knew from the moment we booked our venue: chivari chairs. Yup. HAD to have them. I don’t like folding chairs, hated the fugly upholstered seats our venue had and I’m just NOT a chair cover kinda gal. Fortunately, I work in the events industry and a sweet colleague of mine totally came thru for me and made it possible to rent them (and I only needed 65 chairs). Awesome. And I loved those chivari chairs, yes I did. And several people commented on them. Which made me even more giddy about the freakin chairs. I know… silly. But oh, they were pretty. Now – fancy linens? photobooth? elaborate floral decor? favors? Nope – didn’t have those and didn’t give a fig about them. It’s all about priorities I guess.

  • Colleen

    Oh chairs. Sigh. We have none for the ceremony (the space is too small! it’s sort of a balcony, but bigger. took some time for everyone to become cool with that.) and for the reception we are using the standard black plastic ones in the cultural center that is our venue. I had sort of the chair experience in reverse. I was fortunate enough to find Meg and Ariel and other sanity-saving blogs before I ever saw our venue or met our vendors. So when we toured the reception site and saw the plastic black chairs (with a logo on them!), my first reaction was “uh oh! Am I supposed to want to do something about this?” but then I thought of all the fabulous wisdom and common sense i’d gathered from APW and thought “dude, they’re chairs. they don’t matter. that’s not high on either of our lists. it’s all good.” But, even still, every so often, in moments of weakness or freak out, i do think of the chairs and wonder if someone will think they are tacky or cheap. But then sanity prevails and I think a) they likely won’t notice (as per comment above) and b) so what if they do?!

  • nicole

    I recently had a friend of mine go on for at least twenty minutes straight about the virtues of chair covers. Mind you, I am at the very beginning of wedding planning, nothing is remotely set in stone/decided/booked yet, and chair covers are something that had never even crossed my mind.

    This was among the first websites I found when starting to look at wedding-y things, and I am SO GLAD I did – after briefly browsing all the crazy out there and being on the verge of a breakdown, I vowed to only look at APW for wedding inspiration to keep myself sane. I have since found other like-minded, sane people through this site so I have broadened my “only look at APW” stance, but without you, lets just say I would probably be much more aware of the existence of chair covers. thankyouthankyouthankyou for being here.

    Ahem, excuse me, back to the chair covers – after politely listening and nodding while I heard all the reasons chair covers were the best thing ever (“no matter the space, they can just make everything look so much nicer and put together and unified! If there’s anything you’re wavering on, scratch it and put the money towards chair covers instead, they make everything look SO NICE!”), I tried to gently tell her there probably isn’t going to be room in our budget to scratch anything in favor of chair covers, much less have them in addition to everything else. Thankfully, she didn’t push the issue, but this was just one of many instances so far (only been engaged since December), where someone I thought was completely normal and sane went on and on about something I thought was completely unnecessary. It blows my mind how the mere mention of a wedding makes people change so much – people I never thought would care about such things are asking me about my “theme” and “colors” and what flowers I want, and ask for wedding planning updates every time I see them (“sorry, still nothing new…”). It’s as though my friends have been replaced by WIC zombies!!

    • http://newlydomesticated.blogspot.com Newly Domesticated

      Just wait until they all have kids! My friends who are parents seem like pod people!

    • meg

      I tell all engaged friends to A) Take a honeymoon even if it’s a staycation and B) If they are on the edge, go with a short engagement… it’s just simpler.

      And then I tell them that the other side is better.

      (That might make me crazy though so shhhhh ;)

  • http://werondwif.blogspot.com Stacey

    Hahaha – this was a hilariously unnecessary stressor for me. I was logically fine with the white garden chairs that cost half as much as the chivari chairs, but a tiny part of me really wanted the fancy ones. Luckily, my fiance talked me down when I needed it. And we have a great rental vendor and she reminded me how silly it was. She even calculated the total for the pricey chairs to help me put them out of my mind. Thank goodness! I don’t know how I ended up pining after expensive fancy chairs – that’s not me. I blame the wedding madness.

  • Irene

    Chairs are a relative non-issue for me… The chairs at our venue are totally fine, free, and I kind of hate chair covers anyway so that’s not a temptation. That said, linens are an issue. It seems that everyone (by which I mean the non-APW internet) tells me that floor-length linens are a necessity because table legs are just so *ugly*. I think I’ve decided that, you know what, square table cloths on round tables will drape down in corners and sort of hide the legs, and you know what else, it really doesn’t matter anyway.

    But now I’m confused over a different dilemma – square cloths where the corners will reach the floor, for maximal table-leg-hiding, or shorter and cheaper square cloths where the last 10″ or so will be visible? I don’t think it’s really the price of the larger squares ($10.49 each to buy) that bothers me, it’s that I think the price went up several dollars during the website’s recent redesign. If only I’d bought them two weeks ago…

    • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com Liz

      what website? i bought mine online, also.

      our legs were not completely hidden, and it was fine. i think uber-long tablecloths are annoying. i alwasys get tangled. but maybe im especially clumsy.

  • Ling

    I definitely feel for you on the feeling-bullied-and-wish-you-stood-up-for-yourself-more. I think that’s something this planning process has taught me about myself: that I need to stand up for what matters to me out of the whole thing (having friends & family together) and just block out whatever judgement people may pass on the fact that I don’t want a ceremony or a white dress or bouquets or bridesmaids etc etc. My dad always said to “do your best and F the rest” and this planning process is one of the moments where I like to call upon that motto to guide me through.

  • CarrieJo

    I just talked myself out of renting fancier chairs for our ceremony. It was the look on my Mom’s face when I told her I’d be willing to pay an extra $125 for non-plastic chairs – like she was about to take back every “I’m impressed with how sensible your being about the wedding planning” comment she’d ever made.

    But I did just have a long conversation with a friend who is limiting her guest list because the venue only has 140 nice chairs, so if she invited more, she’d have to rent all of her chairs. I suggested having miss-matched chairs, and she gave me the same look my mother just did! They are really comfy chairs though…

  • Autumn

    Ah, the chairs. This reminds me of something I realized recently (close to one year post-wedding). I was really bummed that we didn’t get to have our wedding outside because it rained– like monsoon rained. My sisters were lobbying to have it outside anyway, even though that meant it might rain on the guests and the mud would ruin everyone’s shoes (how silly, glad I stuck to my guns and moved it inside). I realized recently that the main reason I wanted to have it outside? Was so we could have pretty pictures. And honestly, who gives a crap about pretty pictures during the ceremony itself? I mean, pretty pictures are great, but we have plenty of those from before and after the wedding, and my favorites are getting ready beforehand and the dance party that followed. Our wedding inside the not-so-gorgeous conference room backup location was just as meaningful (and people could probably see and hear us better) as if we’d had it outside. Those ugly pictures? Not such a big deal. We still look blissed out and overjoyed, which is all that really matters.

  • http://amountainbride.blogspot.com jes [a mountain bride]

    We have ugly chairs. It broke my heart for a couple months. I’ve moved on emotionally.

    Thank lil baby Jesus.

  • Rhiannon

    Can someone please talk some sense into my fiance??? Our venue has pretty horrible, plain, brown chairs but I would rather chew my arm off than have chair covers. They are such an unneccessary thing to spend money on and I think they look WORSE than plain chairs. I have been trying to explain this to him but unfortunately everyone else backs him up! Help!! I really don’t want little ghost chairs!!

    • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com Liz

      show him photos of weddings? feel free to steal my wedding photos as examples of how ugly chair covers can look. and somewhere in the comment thread above, there are gorgeous photos of ugly brown chairs.

      he may not realize how bad the covers can look. but he also may really like chair covers. in which case, if it’s not a big deal, get chair covers, right?

  • Elissa

    I had the same mental struggles when choosing chairs for our wedding (I “graduated” last October). I wanted those white plastic-but-look-like-wood folding chairs for our backyard wedding, but they were $3 each to rent. I chose regular white folding chairs for $1 each. Then, when the budget was too strained, I went to the bottom-of-the-barrel, icky brown folding chairs for 50 cents each. And know what? No one gave a shit. I was freaking out hoping that I could tell my photographer, don’t get any photos of the chairs! but not-so-surprisingly, I forgot during the excitement of the day, and my favorite photo of my beloved and me is of us in those very chairs.

    Chairs are not the big picture. I’m glad we went with the cheapest chairs, honestly. Don’t sweat the small stuff :)

  • Robin

    No chairs.

    It’s been an issue, but we have the rental of the Botanical Garden for our ceremony for just 1 hour, and they don’t have chairs, and we don’t have time to set up chairs.

    Heck, I have to stand the whole time, they can deal with it. I’ll get a chair for grandma, though.

  • Pamela

    I don’t have a venue decided or anything, but I was debating a few that wouldn’t provide enough chairs like a park or my parents house– they’ve got 3 acres, an acre and a half of that is lawn, so that’s work, right? Free? Except when I looked into rental prices of chairs, tables, and tents, we’d be talking the same price as some of the venues I’d seen! That’s how expensive rentals are! So then I was thinking about it. I’d still want a tent. (My best friend got married at her aunt’s home and the weather forecast was rain-free, so they didn’t do a tent… and it poured and the ceremony had to be delayed by an hour, so after the ceremony, a third of the guests just left and didn’t even stay for the reception. Right after pictures, the rain started up again, so those that did stay had to crowd into her aunt’s kitchen, living room and covered porch eating standing up, instead of at the tables and chairs that were getting soaked outside– and were the most expensive thing, aside from the food! And no one used them! So definitely do a tent if you’re doing it outdoors)
    I actually don’t want to do it outdoors. I adore climate control, but it’s just cheaper so I’m considering compromising on that.
    Anyway, so I was thinking about chairs and tables and thought I could probably get them for free or a small donation if I can borrow them from my church or the fire department (my dad’s a volunteer firefighter). But the ones at my church are the brown plastic type, and the ones at the fire department are sort of metal taupe colored. So I was thinking ‘I’ll need chair covers, right? And renting them probably wouldn’t be any cheaper then just renting cuter chairs in the first place!’

    And then I saw this post.

    Thank you. I think if I end up picking a venue where I have to supply tables/chairs I’ll just approach either the church or the fire department and not worry about it. :)

  • Sarah

    I realize I’m pretty late to the game here (just found the blog!) but:

    Event coordinators/planners like that make my blood boil.
    And I am a very calm person.
    I plan events. Meetings, weddings, showers etc. I love everything about them. But planners that are constantly trying to “upsell” you seriously need to re-examine their priorities. And here’s why:
    My first piece of advice to newly engaged brides? Sit down with your fiancé and make a list of the top three places where you want to spend your money. No more then three and you must both agree. (The rhyme was accidental :) ) Now, spend your money there. Because if it’s really important to you to have amazing food, and you could care less about the flowers, you are not going to remember in ten years if the flowers were fake, but you’re sure as heck going to remember that food wasn’t mind-blowing.

    It’s a beautiful, amazing day your wedding day. But there is NO reason why it can’t be amazing and in your budget. Period. If you’re planner is trying to bully you into thinking otherwise, find another.

    Me for example :)

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