Chairmen and Women of the Wedding

So one of the things about throwing a budget wedding, as many of you fine folks know, is that sometimes you have to do little things that maybe you didn’t plan on doing. Like serving pizza, for instance. Or getting married on a Thursday. Or asking friends to make appetizers. Or asking guests to please wash, rinse, and dry their plastic utensils so we can re-use them.*

*Still debating that one.

Anyway, this right here is a chair:

Ring a bell? It should. Odds are you’ve either sat in one today, are sitting in one right now, or have designs to sit in one later today – or all three. Last year, Americans sat in an estimated 900 million chairs. OK, that’s not a real statistic, but it sort of sounded like one, right? Am I right? I think I’m right.

The Point, though, besides being an awesomely odd animated movie from 1971, is that one of the odd little budget-y things we’re going to do is to ask all of our guests to move their chairs indoors from the patio when the ceremony is over. Of course, if anyone is unable to move their own chair, or opposed to it for religious or ethical reasons, we’ll have waivers available on every chair prior to the ceremony so people can opt out. It’s only fair, after all.

As with many of these types of logistical/budgetary issues, a simple Pro & Con list reveals what we suspected all along: it just makes sense.

The Great Guestular Chair Relocation of 2011 | Pros & Cons


  • Unusual.
  • Tacky? Is it tacky?
  • Potential logjam of 150 confused guests, running wildly, heads jammed inside half-folded chairs, screaming and gesticulating, sobbing into their suits, bawling into their shawls, ensuring a visit from the Park Rangers summoned to shut the party down and revoke our right to ever set foot in an East bay Regional Park ever again.
  • It’s kind of fun, right? Right?
  • Excellent opportunity for excellent photos.
  • Group spirit; camaraderie.
  • The reception is being held mere yards from the ceremony patio.
  • Good blog fodder.
  • It’s kind of fun, right?
  • Opportunity for exercise before guests gorge on pizza and beer.
As you can see, the Pros list emerges the clear winner, and plus, if item #3 on the Cons list ends up taking place, well… I can think of worse wedding stories than that.
I really do think it’ll be fun. I’m not just saying that.
Right guys?

8 responses to “Chairmen and Women of the Wedding

  1. Sometimes tacky is a good thing. Like John Waters. Or Baltimore as a whole.
    Tacky has character. It makes a statement. It has balls.

    And if the logjam does occur, just keep in mind it’s totally not that bad unless the bride and groom (or a parent) leaves in handcuffs. That’s. Tacky.

  2. Um HELLO you forgot the scariest “Con” of all:
    Tthat you may have unknowingly invited an amateur backyard wrestler to your wedding.

    God only knows what they might do with their chair. It would for sure involve handcuffs and shawl-bawling.

  3. Oh. And those chairs totally aren’t tacky. They’re awesome. The muted gray will allow the bright colors on the pizza stand out and the shiny black will only enhance the sparkle from your wedding bands and the loving gazes you and Jessica shoot each other from across the venue.

    • Actually, those aren’t the chairs we’re using… that was just a random Internet chair. My apologies. The ones we’re using belong to the venue and are very nice, simple white chairs.

      Your point still stands about the pizza’s bright colors, though. Maybe even more so.

  4. We considered this (we got ugly chairs for the reception with our venue rental, but they couldn’t go outside for the ceremony. So we rented white chairs for the ceremony and thought about moving them indoors… but then I decided to eff it and use the ugly-but-easy ones). Our plan was to ask 15 friends to help out for 10 minutes. Then we wouldn’t have the amusing-but-confusing logjam. Also, when other able bodied guests saw the chair moving action, we figured they’d jump in to help. Just a thought.

  5. Hmm, I think this could work just fine with a bit of good planning. I agree with all of your pros! Here are my thoughts, as I’ve had some experience with mid-event chair moving. We do this at the dance classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease that I taught last year at Danspace. The class starts out with everyone sitting in a circle in folding chairs, then we get up and get rid of the chairs mid-way through class. I found that the most important things to have are clear communication about where the chairs go and plenty of helpful people. I’m sure you’ll have these elements in place. You’ve probably already thought about having some Chair Leaders in the crowd to direct the flow of chairs. Also, there should be a small army of Designated Chair Helpers ready to report quickly to the Those Maybe Needing Help (who should be identified ahead of time as much as possible). The only problems we ran into at Danspace is sometimes an unsteady person didn’t want to admit to being unsteady and would attempt to carry their own chair. This problem was fixed gracefully and respectfully when we planted a more able-bodied person nearby at the moment we started the Chair Break. Everyone seemed glad for the help, as long as they didn’t have to wait or ask for it.

  6. Chairmoving is fun! Let the amusing antics begin!

    Ps. I agree about chairmoving guides/helpers.

  7. dude…have people move their own damn chairs. this might sound ranty, but really, what are real, down-to-earth people to do in the world of planning a wedding than rant and bitch about the weirdness of the wedding industry, right?

    anyway. it’s not tacky. you know what’s tacky? paying someone XXXX amount of dollars to move your chairs for you and even MORE so, the fact that it feels like you SHOULD do that. we’re dealing with this now too…it’s the best etiquette to pay for our guests to stay in a hotel since we’re having the wedding far away. it’s best to have extravagant food options since they’re coming in from out of town. but our families know us inside and out and that we’re planning this shindig on a budget and that it might cost them $12 for a meal here in the days leading up to the wedding…but it would cost us $1200 to feed them all. really. the fact that people assume your guests shouldn’t have to work at all to come to your wedding is effed up, isn’t it?

    they’re perfectly capable of moving their own chairs in their day to day lives…can’t they pick one up real quick at a party you’re throwing at your expense?

    so see…that became a bitchy rant just like i predicted…but at least you know how i feel on the topic: move your own damn chair.

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