Ultimately, it depends on your preferences and wedding vision, but there are a few points to keep in mind when making a decision.

By Sara Dickinson
May 14, 2020
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Hate the look of your wedding venue's banquet style chairs? You're not alone! Plenty of couples choose to upgrade the chairs for their ceremony and reception, ultimately giving their celebration a more cohesive and upscale look. But is upgrading to a different color or style of chair or renting chair covers really worth spending more? We asked industry experts to weigh in.

First, ask yourselves whether the chairs provided by your venue already offer the look that you're going for. Whether you upgrade to Chiavari chairs or use chair covers and sashes, changing the look of your chairs can go a long way into the overall look and feel of your ceremony and reception. "After spending so much time and energy making sure every detail and color is the way you want it, don't settle for some folding picnic chair!" Kara, a wedding planner from Michelle Leo Events, says, "Think about chairs the way you would your linens or floral, this is an important detail that helps finalize the overall event design."

Considering that guests will spend 45 minutes or so in their seats at your ceremony and even longer in their seats at their tables, comfort is also something to keep in mind when thinking about upgrades. After all, guests will notice comfort over style any day.

BillieJo, another planner from Michelle Leo Events, agrees that if your budget allows it, definitely go with the upgrade. "Chairs do tend to set the tone of how you want your wedding to be. It's so nice when the chairs coordinate well with your colors and overall aesthetic of your day," she says, "The ceremony is the first opportunity to set the tone for your guests, and chairs can truly make a positive overall difference."

Virginia Frischkorn, founder of Bluebird Productions, reminds us that the little details make a big impact. "For us, the design of a chair can make or break a tabletop and overall feeling a guest gets from seeing a room," she says, "I would rather see clients upgrade their chairs, if budget permits than go with a higher quality linen or more specialty components on their tabletop." When thinking about the big picture, there are hundreds of chairs throughout the space, so upgrading them will complement the color scheme and overall feel of the room and make a big difference.

Jenni at Imoni Events says, "Considering that a ceremony is mostly chairs and something at the altar, we are huge fans of renting chairs. The same concept goes for the reception. Since every table at the reception is surrounded by 8-12 chairs, the cost to upgrade them is worth the way they can completely transform your look and feel."

Talk with your vendors to get an idea of what upgrades are available and the costs associated with them. You may be surprised to see that the venue charges extra for certain types of chair covers and sashes, and you may end up being able to upgrade the entire chair itself for just a few extra bucks. In the end, it's up to you to assess the difference the upgrade will make and whether that's worth the cost for your big day.

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