Post # 1
Ok bees…I’m really in a pickle for this one and need your advice regarding chairs at the cermony.
We are getting married on 6/28 at a lodge in a public park. Ceremony will be at 4pm and planned on being 20-30 minutes long. Cocktail hour will start at the same location right after (about 4:30) with intros/toasts starting at 5:15.
The ceremony will be right outside the lodge at a gazebo (weather pending). The lodge has chairs inside, but can’t bring them outside and they don’t provide any outside so we have to rent.
We are having a budget wedding, at about 10k. We originally rented $1 chairs at a rental company ($200 for 200 chairs) with the intention of picking them up and setting them up. However, as we get closer and are thinking logistics, FI’s dad doesn’t think he will have the capacity to hold that many chairs in his truck. So I called to get an idea of how much they charge to delivery, set up, etc. They charge $175 for delivery there, 30 cents per chair to set up, and $350 to pick up that night (which must be done because at the venue they can’t be there overnight). So for $1 chairs, it would cost over $500! If weather is bad and we move the ceremony inside, we won’t even need or use the chairs either but will still have to pay for them. At this point, we could reduce the number of chairs whereas as it gets that close, we cannot.
So…yesterday when visiting the site, my day of coordinator suggested only having a few chairs for older people, people with disabilities, etc. and everyone else can stand. She was honest and said she’s on the fence about that because our ceremony is just on the cusp of being short enough for that to be reasonable. And what if it’s really hot? We won’t know until we get a lot closer. Which makes this a hard decision.
I looked into renting a uhaul for us to do it ourselves and it’s about $30 a day. However, we have to pick up Friday and drop back off Monday so that would be over $100 + mileage (and our location is far from the rental place). We also will have to set them up and break them down in that scenario (which is doable and not that big of a deal, but a factor).
I’m really at a loss of what to do. I agree it’s a lot of money and could be a waste of money and will people really miss chairs? But I’d also hate for guests to be uncomfortable. I also can’t envision what it would like if everyone stands and how that would work out. I always thought every bottom needs a chair, but is there exceptions to that? Right now I’m researching and gathering opinions about this. I would really appreciate your impressions and advice.
Post # 2
I would bite the bullet and rent the chairs. I wouldn’t want to stand through a ceremony, especially not in heels (which I always wear to weddings).
Post # 3
Please get the chairs. It is not right to ask people to stand for the ceremony. Even if people aren’t visibly disabled, plenty of people can’t stand for that long due to various physical issues you may not know about. Also, no one will be able to see. Think of it like a concert but the artist is on the same level as the crowd…. not good.
Post # 4
Everyone gets a chair- no exceptions.
As someone with back problems, I would likely go sit in the car or inside if I realized o was expected to stand.
Post # 5
Also, if everyone is standing, they can’t stand when you’re walking down the aisle. I wouldn’t add something else on to your plate like picking up and setting up the chairs yourselves- I think your wedding day is going to be hectic enough, you should be relaxing and enjoying it as much as possible. I tried to get our budget down as much as possible by figuring out what we could do and I eventually just decided it wasn’t worth my time the day of our wedding.
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I know $500 seems like a lot for a wedding on a budget… but what do you want people to remember about your ceremony: the love and joy and support they felt for you, or them being distracted by their feet being sore / not being able to see / wondering when it’s going to end so they can sit down / etc ? The ceremony really is the highlight of the whole event, so in order to make it as good as possible for everyone involved, I’d spring for the chairs so everyone can focus on you.
Do you have a couple uncles or somebody who could do the Uhaul, setup, and breakdown? That’s what I’d do. And if not, just spring for the delivery and setup. You and your wedding party / parents will be SO busy that day, you don’t want to have to deal with this too.
Post # 7
Why not just take a couple of trucks if they don’t fit in one? Or a few cars, too? Chairs would fit in the back seat.
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
I had a similar issue except indoors or outdoors I needed the chairs for my ceremony. For 120 chairs, drop off, set up, take down, pick up = $700. It sucks, but I’m not going to ask 120 people to stand for my wedding ceremony.
We were told initially if other couples got married the same day as us (they have up to three weddings a day in three time slots) that we could split the cost. This seemed a lot better, it would have been 1/3 the cost, but no other weddings are happening at our location that day so we have to suck it up and pay the total alone.
Unless you know your guests well enough to know that most of them would be fine standing outside for that long, I really wouldn’t recommend it.
Post # 9
Rent the chairs.
I was at a wedding recently that had the guests standing. People were shuffling on their feet and making noise. As a shorter person, I wasn’t able to see most of the ceremony, only hear it. I felt like I missed the actual wedding part of the day, to be honest. It was a let down.
There are also people who have medical conditions that you may not be aware of, but which prevent them from standing for long periods of time. It’s not fair to assume everyone who isn’t elderly will be able to stand for the duration of your ceremony – plus the time waiting and the time after. Most people get to ceremonies 20-30 minutes early, so you’re now asking people to stand for 45 minutes, which may be a challenge for some, and an annoyance for most.
Post # 10
Under no circumstances should the guests stand! I also think you should just bite the bullet and not stress about picking them up, setting them up and then returning them. I would choose either of these two options depending on what is reasonable to you: 1) rent chairs and pay for the service, or 2) if you can’t or dont want to pay for the chairs, have an indoor ceremony with provided chairs, which would be less of a gamble with the weather!
Post # 11
Chairs are a must! It should be an enjoyable experience not an annoying one. If I was standing I would constantly be saying “is it over yet?”
Post # 12
Skittles131: Everyone will need a chair. It isn’t just the 20-30 minute ceremony – you need to count the time from their arrival, which may be another 20-30 minutes ahead of time.
Or perhaps move the ceremony inside where there are already chairs?