Wedding Chair and Table Decoration Inspiration

Get tips for adding unique DIY touches to your wedding reception decor.

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When it comes to your wedding, there are so, so many details involved in making sure everything is just right on the big day. The bigger decisions, such as selecting your flowers or designing invitations, are obvious. But what about the smaller details that are part of the finishing touches you’ll remember about your event?

It may sound funny, but do you know how you’re decorating the chairs at your reception? What about what you’re putting underneath those flowers you picked?

Adding small touches to event items, such as chairs and tables, can help pull your wedding’s theme or color palette together. They can also help elevate pieces of furniture that don’t look as nice as you’d hoped. A small touch can make a big difference.

I asked the team behind @THFEvents, where my husband and I were married, about some of the trends they’re seeing right now when it comes to chairs and tables, and a few points to keep in mind when coming up with your decorating plan:

  • Adding decorations to chairs at your ceremony can be a beautiful addition, but those chairs are often only used for under an hour before the guests move on to the reception. For someone watching a budget, consider moving decoration dollars to the reception.

  • If you’re not able to decorate all of the chairs at an event, consider decorating just the bride and groom’s chairs.

  • Round tables typically don’t call for a table runner as they cut the table’s design line in half.

  • Think natural: try adding floral garlands to a table to act as a runner.

  • If you have bigger tables, consider grouping candles or flowers together to act as mini table runners. Smaller vignettes can help break up a bigger piece of furniture.

  • If your budget prohibits you from adding all the accessories you’d like to a table, think about decorating the tables that will be photographed the most during your event, such as a head table or the dessert table.

  • For both tables and chairs, talk to your venue ahead of time to make sure you’re aware of any decorating rules for rental furniture.

  • Many venues will help their clients set up their decorations before the event; make sure you know the timelines for set-up and take-down as these can sometimes influence how you decorate.

Curious to try making your own chair and table decorations? Take a cue from these ideas.

Woven Ribbons
Grouping long lengths of a variety of different ribbon styles can be a simple way to decorate an ornate chair like Chiavari chairs. It’s also a non-stick way to add some personal touches to these rental pieces.

Fabric Chair Pockets
Consider making a simple pocket out of linen to hold a guest’s wedding favor or small activities for children. A piece of ribbon acts as the handle for this quick-to-sew idea.

Paper also can work as a pocket medium. Folded into an origami drinking cup, this pocket is a no-sew alternative for holding small treats on the back of an event chair.

Wide Ribbons
For chairs with seat covers, try adding a piece of wide ribbon that’s simply knotted on the back side. While you may not want to overly decorate a Chiavari chair, a less-decorative chair may really benefit from such a simple touch.

DIY Runners
You don’t have to be an expert seamstress to make a table runner; if you can sew a straight line that’s all you’ll need. Fold a fabric’s edge over and sew into place to create a polished-looking runner. Sew a piece of pretty ribbon on top to give the table decoration more personalization.

Don’t sew? No problem. For a more rustic look, fabrics like linen can be ripped to create a fringe effect. If you’d still like to create the illusion of a seam, try using fabric adhesives instead.

Be Your Own Printer
For a table runner that’s in need of some colorful accents, try stamping your fabric. Pigment-based inks can be heat set so that a bold stamp design, or one you make yourself, can be a permanent addition to a readymade runner.

Whether you decorate every single table or simply add a few personal touches to your bridal party’s chairs, adding a few DIY elements to some overlooked elements of your wedding will make all the difference once you look back at your special day.

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