A Simple Guide to Wedding Chairs

Take a look at our simple guide to wedding chair shapes and terminology to see which wedding chairs will suit your style


When booking your wedding venue, it’s important to pay attention to the chairs in the reception and ceremony room. It could be that they don’t match your wedding theme at all and you need to look at changing them.


Image Credit: Boris and Betty

Our editor Caroline Hendry explains how import wedding chairs were when choosing her own wedding venue: “Much to my fiancé’s dismay, wedding chairs were a big thing for me when choosing our venue, they can really transform the look of a room and play a big role in photos of your wedding reception. I did a lot of research on the cost of wedding chair hire and was pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t as costly as I expected.”

If your dream venue doesn’t happen to have the perfect chair style for your big day, don’t let this put you off from booking as wedding chairs are easy to hire and not as expensive as you might think! You also have the option of decorating your chairs with fabric and beading.

We spoke to Kate Mumme from Debra Mai Weddings as we look at some of the most common types of wedding chair and help you know your chiavari from your ghost chair.

Chiavari Chairs

Sometimes referred to as Tiffany or Camelot chairs, chiavari wedding chairs are a stylish alternative to the standard wedding venue chair. If you want to give your chiavari chairs some added sparkle then you can decorate with beading or ribbon.

Kate explains “These are extremely popular for weddings as they come in a range of different colours and finishes. Whether you want glamorous gold chairs or rustic looking lime wash, you’ll be sure to find the perfect colour of chiavari chair to suit your wedding.”


Image Credit: Saltmarshe Hall

Garden Chairs

If you have chosen to have an outdoor wedding ceremony or an outdoor wedding venue then folding garden chairs are a great option for a more relaxed wedding vibe – they are also perfect for festival weddings. Kate suggests making them stand out by changing the seat pad to add a pop of colour.


Image Credit: The Flower Bird

French Chairs

If you have a larger budget when it comes to hiring your wedding chairs, why not consider elegant French chairs? “French chairs are beautiful and can be brought in to transform the look of any wedding venue,” says Kate. “If they’re out of budget, consider only using them on the top table, with chiavari chairs for everyone else.”


Image Credit: Morden Hall

Ghost Chairs

Transparent wedding chairs, commonly known as ghost chairs, are ideal for a contemporary feel at your wedding. “These are great if you have chosen a modern wedding venue that has really dramatic light,” explains Kate.


Image Credit: South Place Hotel

Versailles Chairs

Similar to the Tiffany chair, the Versailles or Opera chair is elegant but with more rounded edges. They are great for a more sophisticated wedding day and won’t distract from your elegant décor.


Image Credit: The Forge


If you’re having a rustic wedding, or a laid back wedding with long tables, why not consider rustic benches? It takes away the formal air and gets your guests close together! This can also be a great option if you are serving a wedding barbecue or a buffet style meal as if feels much less formal.


Image Credit: Meg and Lee’s Real Wedding

Hay Bales

Why not forget formal chairs completely and have your guests seated on hay bales? This is a perfect look for an outdoor wedding or will work beautifully with a rustic wedding venue.


Image Credit: Mike Plunkett Photography

Banqueting Chairs

These are what a venue will typically provide, and you can dress them up with chair covers and sashes to match your colour theme if they stand out. If you’re not a fan of them. Kate advises that “the cost of a chair cover can sometimes work out more expensive than a lime wash chiavari chair, so consider opting for a nicer chair rather than covering them up.”


Mismatched Wedding Chairs

For a quirky wedding look, why not mismatch your wedding chairs? This works well in a relaxed vintage or rustic themed wedding day and stops everything feeling too matchy-matchy.


Image Credit: Bouquets and Bunting

Top Tips for Hiring Your Wedding Chairs

  • Make sure the transport of the chairs is included in your initial quote to avoid any unexpected costs
  • Triple check your final numbers – you don’t want to end up a chair short!
  • Get the most for your money by using your chairs in the ceremony room and then arranging for them to be transferred to the reception

If you are looking for other ways to transform your wedding venue then browse some of our favourite DIY wedding centrepiece ideas.