Chair covers are an affordable and easy way to instantly spruce up any reception venue. Add a few extra "accents" to them, like sashes, flowers and ribbons and you can instantly take your look from simple to grand, from formal to flirty, or from understated to bold.
Much has changed in the chair cover world since the early 90's. The original tight-fitted, spandex cover has given way to many new styles and fabrics. With so many options at affordable pricing, the question is no longer "should I use chair covers" but rather "what cover is best for me?"
While covers dress the chair, accents decorate the cover. Your options here are many as well. You could opt for sashes tied in bows, single puffs, double knots, or ascot ties. You could double a sash with a flower for added colour or try a simple spandex band around the chair back for a less fussy look. This is where you can let your creativity reign and come up with a combination that not only suits your décor but also reflects your personality.
The most common accents are sashes in:
There is no real rule of thumb for what fabric to use for the sashes. In the early 90's, taffeta was our sash fabric of choice. Then, as the chair cover industry became more popular, we began experimenting with different fabrics, like tulle at first, then organza. In recent years, many vendors are choosing to work mainly with satins and taffetas. Organzas offer a light, airy look. While the satins and taffetas, by virtue of being solid fabrics, give a heavier appearance.
With so many chair cover options out there, where do you start if you're trying to stick to a budget?
A great way to save money on your wedding décor is to do some of the work yourself. Rental items, like chair covers, are an excellent example of DIY decorating. You will, of course, have to recruit some family and friends to help out but with a few extra hands, the job will be done in no time.Here are some time guidelines for first time chair cover "do-it-yourself-ers":
In most cases, your venue will allow you access to the room all day. Sometimes, you may even be able to get in the night before to do your set up. However, there are some venues which have very definite time constraints and will only allow access to the room a few hours or less before your event begins. If this is the case, pay your vendors to do the work. A professional crew will be able to do the installation faster and better in a short time period. The money you spend on the installation will be well worth the frustration you will save by rushing to get things done.
If you still would like to save some money on the decor but don't have time to handle the installations, ask your vendors if they would give you a discount for taking down the items. Since it saves them a trip in the middle of the night to take everything down, you may just be able to negotiate a great rate!
Covers made of specialty fabrics and custom colours are often more expensive than your basic white poly/cotton option. The reason is simply, maintenance. The more expensive the fabric, the higher the cleaning and pressing costs, therefore, the higher the rental rate. Although these specialty linens are beautiful, keep in mind that your main objectives are to cover the chairs and to give the room a uniform look. Regardless of which fabric you go with, your end result will be the same.
Story by Petroula Kletas, Chairs with Flair Seat Cover Co, in Vancouver.
Since 1994, Chairs with Flair specialises in one thing: chair covers. (In fact, they were the very first chair cover company in Western Canada) Owner/operator Petroula Kletas is a regular contributor of chair cover trends, tips and etiquette in the local magazines, and also publishes her own blog at vancouverwedding.wordpress.com.
To find chair cover rentals in your city, simply browse "Decorating: Event Rentals" in the bride.ca directory.