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How to Choose Wedding Chair Decorations + 15 Ideas

Don’t know how to choose the right wedding chair sashes? Our experts can help! Read on for our top tips and advice.

By Shameika Rhymes

Wedding Chair Sashes
Photo by Unsplash

Your wedding is one of the most memorable moments in your life, so it’s no wonder that you want it to be accented with the perfect decorations. Unfortunately, some event spaces can ruin that perfect aesthetic with their chair selections for your wedding reception. If this sounds like your situation, Zola is here to help.

The best way to hide (or accent) your chairs is to dress them up with something decorative, just like they’re a part of the wedding party. Chair decorations can vary from sashes, to tulle, to ribbon, to florals, and much more and are typically tied around the back of each chair. Picking the right style, color, and fabric will have your guests wowed as they navigate your reception and approach their own seat.

But how do you pick the right wedding chair decorations for your particular wedding reception? We’re here to assist you with making the right choice. Read on for our top tips and wedding chair decor ideas.

1. Set a Budget

How much have you set aside for your reception decor? Much like shopping for everything else for your wedding, having a dollar amount in mind before you begin your search will help you avoid the heartache of falling head over heels in love with something that’s way out of your price range. Create a wedding budget for your chairs and any other decor items that you want for your special day.

2. Choose the Right Color

The good news is that you don’t have to choose chair decor—be it covers, sashes, or otherwise—that perfectly match your linens. You also don’t have to match the chair covers or bridesmaids dresses. You can get creative and pick colors that complement your palette in fabrics such as sheer organza for the linens with satin sashes. However, we recommend either sticking with neutrals (white, off-white, black) or colors within your wedding color scheme.

Pro Tip: Visit craft stores so you can check out the various colors, fabrics, and patterns to make sure that whatever you choose will accent your wedding theme and decor.

How to Choose the Right Wedding Chair Sashes For Your Reception Photo Credit // Unsplash

3. Pick the Right Material

Often, couples will choose to wrap their reception chairs with some style of fabric. The most common materials are organza, satin, tulle, and spandex bands. Damask taffeta or L’amour sashes are also an option. The type of material that works best on the chairs will depend entirely upon the look that you’re going for with your reception. For example, satin is likely to work better at more formal or dressed-up celebrations, while tulle may better accent a whimsical or garden theme. For more information, read out fabric breakdown below.

  • Organza: A sheer material that looks like mesh, but is stiffer than tulle.
  • Satin: This shiny, silky material can be more expensive than organza, but is easier to work with when tying it around the chairs.
  • Spandex Bands: This fabric is wrinkle-free and can be reused later for another special event, in the case that you need them.
  • Damask Taffeta: These give off a more formal vibe for chair bows, and you can get them in prints or color block combos. For example, you may find a sample fabric with a white background and raised velvet print, which would be beautiful at a winter wedding.
  • Tulle: This material is a fine mesh net fabric that has more stretch to it than organza.

4. Do It Yourself (DIY)

If you or your partner are especially crafty, then you can create the look that you desire yourself and save a considerable amount of money. All you’ll need is your material or decorations of choice, scissors, (maybe) a sewing machine, something to secure your decoration to your chairs (if not done so by typing), and your personal touch to create your wedding worthy chair decor. Make sure to find out ahead of time how big the chairs are and how many you’ll have to cover so that you can figure out how much of your materials you’ll need for your venue.

Pro Tip: If possible, try to prepare your chair decor ahead of time. Then, place them in boxes that are clearly marked and can be easily transported to your venue. When you prepare as much as possible beforehand (say, cutting fabric or ribbon to the needed lengths), you’re less likely to be frantically setting up on the day of. This is sure to save DIY couples time and stress on their wedding day.

5. Consider Renting

When you have a considerable amount of guests and chairs (notably, over one hundred), buying and even DIYing chair decor can seriously drive up your budget. In this case, it’s worth it to look into renting. Chair covers, sashes, and more can be found on a variety of wedding rental companies’ websites, allow you to compare costs and quality before making any final decisions. That being said, if you prefer high quality fabrics, it’s likely that renting will end up being the most cost affective route.

6. Pick the Right Size

While many pieces of reception party decor can vary in size and shape, your chair decorations require a bit more precision. We highly recommend either asking your venue contact for measurement information or measuring the chairs you’ll be using yourself. Take note of the width of the area you’d like to cover/decorate, as well as the length you’d like to cover (if you’re using something that’ll hang, such as ribbon, fabric, or foliage). Width is a personal preference, but the wider the sash that you pick, the more it stands out, helping to turn your reception chairs into a visual masterpiece.

7. Choose Decor that Showcases Your Style

There are so many ways to display decorations on your chair or chair covers. Depending on your wedding theme, you can go traditional, artistic, or unique in making your chairs stand out. From different materials to different wrapping styles, there’s plenty to inspire and choose from.

How to Choose the Right Wedding Chair Sashes For Your Reception Photo Credit // Unsplash

15 Chair Decoration Ideas

1. Traditional Sash Bow

Chair sashes are absolute classic, often coming across elegant and formal. It’s achieved by taking a sash and wrapping it around the front of a chair, pulling both ends to the back of the chair, and securing them in a bow. You can DIY this or purchase sashes that are pre-tied and made to be slipped over each chair.

2. Simple Ribbon Bows

Likewise, beautiful strips of ribbon can be tied into bows on either side of each chair. Keep the strips long so that the ends can hang down the sides, making them more formal and eye-catching. This design also looks great when kept to one side of each chair, used as aisle markers for your wedding ceremony.

3. Hanging Macrame

Couples throwing boho weddings will be delighted at the thought of hanging macrame designs from each chair back. These decor pieces come in a variety of styles, from minimal to exceptionally intricate, meaning there’s something out there for every couple. Simply secure the ends at the top to the sides of each chair, allowing the design to hang down the back.

4. Secured Florals

Whether you want to add more color to a fairly neutral venue or infuse as many wedding flowers as possible into your celebration, consider securing florals to your reception chairs. This can be done with ribbon, twine, or transparent chicken wire, depending on your wedding’s style. Keep the flowers the same or similar to those in your wedding bouquets and centerpieces for a consistent look.

Unless your flowers are going to be attached at a sash, we recommend securing them to the sides of each chair, as to not bother guests while sitting. You can do this by keeping the flowers off to the sides, or by hanging longer flowers (like delphiniums) or a string of blooms diagonally.

5. Wreaths

Wedding celebrations taking place throughout the winter and the holidays can benefit from a bit of a seasonal touch. Secure small wreaths (either class green ones or ones that match your reception’s decor) to each chair by pulling twine or ribbon through and tying them so that they hang from the top.

6. Garlands

Greenery-heavy weddings can carry the look to their chairs by framing them with garlands. These can be secured to the tops of each chair (with your designed length hanging from each side), attached to each side and hung in the middle, or wrapped around the tops and sides. Like strips of fabric, garlands—made of eucalyptus and similar—are fairly easy to work with, so long as you make sure they don’t rub against guests.

7. Tropical Leaves

While florals and wreaths are top-of-mind for spring and winter weddings, those hosting summer weddings may not think to utilize palm fronds or monstera leaves. These look stylish and tropical when attached to the backs of reception chairs. Attempt to find or purchase leaves that are about the size of each chair back, if not smaller. Any bigger may get in the way of guests’ arms.

8. Matching Fans

Hosting your wedding in the summer heat? Consider hanging or otherwise securing hand fans to the backs of each guest’s chair. Purchase a bulk pack that falls within your color palette and, as an extra touch, write the name of each guest on their fan. As a bonus, this can help people find their seats.

9. Tucked Blankets

Are you anticipating a bit of wind or cold at your outdoor wedding reception? If so, guests may appreciate quick access to a warming blanket. Blankets can double as pretty chair decor by being neatly folded and tucked into the back panels of each chair. Thick wool blankets are sure to excite at winter weddings, while thinner blankets add a soft touch to rustic weddings and are sure to be a comfort.

10. Customized Signs

For those with bigger budgets or smaller guests lists, consider having beautiful signs made to be hung from each chair. These can be designed to fit your wedding’s theme or color scheme, then feature a short message (such as cheers) or the name of each guest. The latter can also act as a personalized wedding favor guests can take home at the end of the night. If you’re DIY savvy, you can create the signs yourself and attach them to each chair via ribbon.

Decorations for the Bride and Groom’s Chairs

11. Letter Banner or Laser-Cut Wedding Signs

Spell out your love with a small banner or laser-cut sign hanging from each of your chairs—or across both. Some popular sayings include “bride” and “groom,” “Mrs.” and “Mr.,” and “just married.”

12. Flower Arrangements

Rather than attaching anything to your chairs, place larger flower arrangements behind your chairs. For the effect to work, try to get arrangements that are tall enough to reach the middle backs of your chairs and wide enough to pop out from the sides. The idea is that the florals will frame your chairs from the front. Baby’s breath and delphiniums work greatly, here.

13. Bountiful Bouquets

That being said, you definitely can secure floral arrangements to the backs of your chairs, as well. For a truly romantic look, attach a plethora of roses or other romantic flowers and greenery to the tops of your chairs, allowing them to hang or drape down the backs. This is also a popular look for the bride’s chair at bridal showers.

14. Custom Jackets

Couples with cool personal styles will rejoice at the idea of simply draping customized jackets or coats over their chairs. Leather or denim jackets with personalized messages (e.g. “bride” and “groom,” your last name, or your monograms) or matching coats look stunning hanging on display for all to see. Plus, you’ll be able to pick them up and wear them if need be.

15. Hang Framed Photographs

Be them the classic baby photos or your favorite engagement shots, if you’re throwing a DIY wedding you can frame your favorite photos of each other and secure them to your chairs by ribbon. This not only marks both of your chairs, but can be an opportunity to get a laugh out of your guests.

Planning wedding decor is daunting, but Zola is here to help make every dream for your big day become a reality. For more information on decor design for your reception, check out this blog to figure out your wedding style. For more tips on how to get started on wedding planning, click here.

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