Scintillating post title, no? But truly, if there’s one thing event designers love, it’s good chairs. Many times venues will have dated or so-so chairs – a color that clashes with the theme, or a casual wood chair where a dressy event demands more – and clients have to bring in seating. In my book, bringing in chairs (along with lighting) is one of the best ways to transform a setting style-wise, and it’s worth the extra rentals expense. It’s great when a venue has some that are already gorgeous, I personally love the Westin’s chairs and also the Kyoto Grand‘s.
Another venue with fabulous chairs is SmogShoppe. Their selection is a carefully curated blend of mostly bistro-style wood chairs, with a vintage feel of being well-loved (yet still in excellent condition).
The variety of SmogShoppe's chairs create interest, yet they form a cohesive look when all used together.
We’re planning a wedding at a Redondo Beach venue this winter, a French-Asian restaurant called Maison Riz that is literally right on the water. The view is tremendous, and the chairs are so cool – appropriate for a location on the pier, these “captains” chairs have a 70’s charm with their beige cushion and carved wood back and arms, but they match the dark wood and white tablecloths of the space and fit in easily with the classy-nautical vibe of the space.
The cool Captains Chairs at Maison Riz have character that still blends in with the dark wood and decor of the space.
Most rental companies offer chiavari chairs, folding wooden chairs, and bistro. Bistro are my faves, but for a dressy event, chiavaris are perfect. You can interchange the cushions depending on the colors of your wedding; velcro’d cushions have a cleaner look, are a bit more expensive but don’t have the tiebacks interrupting the clean lines of the chair.
These chiavaris have the velcro'ed cushions for a polished look.
Less expensive are folding chairs. All white are crisp and classic for a daytime outdoor affair (or an indoor one utilizing light colors in the decor). A good compromise for budget is using dark wood or fruitwood folding chairs – the darker wood has a sophisticated sheen, without the expense of chiavaris.
Handsome wood chairs set up for an outdoors ceremony. Photo by Jeromy Robert Photography.
Yes, I just wrote a blog post about chairs – chairs!! But trust me, they’re a huge element of any event. Save room for them in your budget when discussing rentals – pick your battles, and you can have beautiful chairs without spending a fortune.