Chair covers are easily one of the most overlooked details of any event, but not every event needs them. It really depends on your budget, the day’s aesthetic, and the labor and access you’ll have on your wedding day.
To help you determine whether or not you should consider chair covers for your big day, we asked the owner of event consulting company Voxdeae Productions, Mary Higham, CEM, for some help. Here’s what she had to say:
Realistically, you’ll be asking your wedding venue plenty of questions about what is and is not provided for your big day. One question people getting married may not know to ask is whether or not tables and chairs are included—and, if so, what kind of tables and chairs?
Most venues will usually have some form of chair, whether a folding chair or banquet chair as their base option, plus upgrade options like Chaivari or Tiffany chairs. “With most venues, particularly hotels, now offering reasonable looking standard chairs or even the pretty gold bamboo chairs, I personally think wedding seat covers are only essential when you are trying to create an entire landscape with the room,” Higham says.
If you have a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator, the topic of chair covers is an important one, because it requires a lot of short-term planning on the day of your wedding. For truly DIY brides and grooms, the labor and the expense of throwing silk and other fabric over chairs on your wedding day (or ideally, the evening before, if your venue allows) is probably not worth it Unless you’ve got a supergroup of family and friends to help or an event planner, it’s probably best to focus your energies elsewhere. If, on the other hand, your venue provides a coordinator, this can be a great task for them to take on.
Additionally, keep your guest count in mind: Assembling fabric chair covers or tying bows onto 50 chairs is vastly different than doing so on 400 chairs.
Chair covers for a wedding can be a luxury expense. Some venues may provide chairs for you that are beautiful on their own with your wedding decor, and that’s great. “I always recommend that brides first map out their budget and have both the bride and groom choose two items that mean the most to them to splurge on,” Higham suggests. “For some, it may be the band and the dress, or the bar and the photography. If the wedding table decor and atmosphere are your splurges, then seat covers should definitely be part of the equation.”
If you're balling on a budget, there are plenty of less-expensive, DIY options that don't require a rental company. Tulle tied into a bow or a sash with flowers is always a classic and beautiful design option, while this can also be an opportunity to extend your wedding theme even further. Having a nautical-themed wedding? Your guests will go overboard with excitement if you decorate your chairs with life preservers or large anchors. If you're having a contemporary, light, and airy wedding, decorating chairs with wedding linen or gentle lace slips is modern and chic and won't blow your budget out of the water.
When it comes to the full picture of your big day, try to imagine the way the chairs will fit in. If you leave them uncovered, will they be jarringly out of place? In that case, chair covers may be worth the expense and effort.
Consider the lighting, as well. If you love the look of uplights in your wedding colors, chair covers can actually boost those lights “If you are creating an entire atmosphere with your wedding decor, particularly if it includes any kind of uplights or colorful overhead lighting, wedding seat covers can really elevate the seating to be part of an entire scene,” says Higham. “If you are creating an elaborate tablescape with special linens and large centerpiece structures, utilizing chair covers is crucial to completing your look.”
So are wedding chair covers a necessity? It depends. While elevated linens can certainly add an air of sophistication and elegance, you can often cut out chair covers in favor of spending more on other luxuries for your special day.