DIY Wedding: Pimp Your Seating

DIY Wedding: Pimp Your Seating

Seating at your DIY wedding ceremony and reception is something that should inspire some deep thought. The way you arrange your guests, and the way they interact with you and each other, is dictated by the space you create for them. Do you want intimate and subdued, loud and rowdy, mafioso-formal? These are all vibes you can help foster.

Think about your space

Key considerations to kick things off: Is your wedding going to be indoor or outdoor? Will you need to be able to move seats around? Do you mind some people standing at the back of the ceremony? Will your seats need to serve double ceremony/reception duty?

Most weddings will require two sets of seats: ceremony and reception. Think about whether you want to DIY both sets or if you're better off renting folding chairs for one event or the other, or as back-ups to move around during the event. It can be cheap and easy to figure out your own seating, but renting can be a reasonable time-saver too.

Ditching seats altogether and corralling your guests into a space where they have to stand -- whether it be at the back of the ceremony or during the post-vows cocktail -- both takes some of the pressure off you and can help create a more formal atmosphere. It also encourages people to mingle and socialize, and talk about you... which is a good thing, right?

Bench seating vs. chairs

If you're trying to build something that can seat a lot of people, benches are definitely the easier way to go. You don't have to craft some piece hewn from a single mighty sequoia you felled yourself in a fit of romantic sentiment for these to be something special and comfortable you can contribute on the cheap.

The beauty of benches is that they can be almost anything, and they can look great if you take the time to cover them well. The obvious go-to for any budget-conscious hipster is hay bales. If you live in most parts of the country, you will have no trouble at all finding these. Aside from just driving toward that apple farm your parents always dragged you to, Craigslist and even newspaper classifieds will often turn up results.

Key tip: do not tell Farmer Joe these are for a wedding or your buck per bale just skyrocketed. Also, avoid urban "farm stores" that cater to precious city beekeepers and rooftop tomato farmers with money to spare. Get your buddy with a truck and haul these back from a real-life farm or farm supply store.

Pimp your seats with rich materials

At this point your manly errand is complete. Arrange the hay bales or other found bench seating at your ceremony venue and let the bride and/or her friends and family find just the right material to cover your hard-fought, hard-won seating. Or, if you really want to impress, pick up a couple rolls of burlap to cover the bales. It looks good on its own, but also can act as a good base for anything else you might want to layer on top.

You just provided some stylish, comfortable, and fun seating for your wedding. Now go have a beer. Or watch some sports. Or something.