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Your Go-To Wedding and Event Chair Rental Guide

By Madison Eubanks | 5 min read

At first glance, renting chairs for your wedding or event probably seems like a pretty straightforward task. After all, all they need to do is provide somewhere for your guests to sit. However, once you begin doing research, you might be surprised at how complex renting chairs can be. From choosing a style to knowing what questions to ask the rental company, we’ve compiled everything you need to know in this wedding and event chair rental guide.  

Your Go-To Wedding and Event Chair Rental Guide

 

Styles 

 

Gone are the days of simply choosing between black and white folding chairs for your wedding or event. Renting chairs means choosing from dozens of styles and colors that will impact the overall look of your space. 

Some of the most popular chair styles are Chiavari (or ballroom), ghost, cafe, bentwood, fanfare and classic folding chairs, just to name a few. The more elaborate the style you choose, the higher the price tag per unit will be. As a cost-saving measure, many renters choose a basic chair and add an accessory like a sash, cover or floral arrangement to provide some flair. 

If your guests will be seated for over an hour, consider choosing cushioned chairs to keep them comfortable. Space is something else to keep in mind when selecting a chair style, as some take more room than others. If you have limited space and need to seat people close together, choose chairs with a smaller footprint and no armrests. 

For an outdoor wedding or event, think about chairs that will work well on grass or uneven surfaces. You want to be sure the chairs you select won’t tip over easily or sink into the grass when in use. 

 

Costs

 

The cost of rentals can add up quickly when planning for a wedding or event. For seating rentals, you will typically pay for each individual chair. Prices generally range from $1/unit for a basic folding chair to $30+/unit for more elaborate, decorative chairs. 

If you choose to rent some type of accessory for your chairs (like a sash, ribbon or cover), you should factor in an additional $1 to $5 cost per chair. 

In addition to the cost of the chairs themselves, there is often a delivery fee associated with your rental. Ask about this up front, and consider picking up/setting up the chairs yourself if you wish to avoid additional fees. Sometimes meeting a cost threshold will earn you free delivery, so make sure to ask the rental company about that minimum amount. 

You should also expect to pay a deposit, which could be as high as 50 percent of the total cost. Other fees that could potentially be incurred are loss or damage fees and late return fees. 

 

When to Rent

 

In order to give yourself plenty of time to complete the rental process, begin researching chair rentals four to six months in advance of your event or wedding. Allowing yourself ample time ensures that you can explore your options and that the chairs you want will be available. This timeline also provides plenty of time to iron out logistics with the rental company, such as delivery and pick-up. 

 

How Many Chairs to Rent

 

The number of chairs you should rent depends heavily on what type of event you’re hosting. For a wedding ceremony or event where all guests will be seated at once, you should rent one chair per guest plus five to 10 percent. The buffer ensures that couples and families will be able to find seats together. 

For an event where people will be mingling, such as a pre-wedding cocktail hour, you can rent fewer chairs than guests because many people will stand. However, if your event involves a sit-down meal, make sure that everyone has a place to sit. 

If possible, you can save some cash by reusing your chairs. For a wedding where the ceremony and reception are in the same building, consider simply resetting the chairs following the ceremony. This is where the accessories we mentioned above can come into play. Removing the decorations from the chairs is a great way to transition them from ceremony to reception. 

 

Questions to Ask

You need a surprising number of details to make an informed decision about chair rentals. Here are some questions you want to be sure to ask the rental company before you commit. 

 

1. Have you worked in my venue before?

Asking this will tell you if the rental company will already know where/how to deliver your chairs and how many will fit in the space. 

 

2. Do you have a showroom where I can come see your offerings? 

It’s always a good idea to see the chairs in person before committing to a rental. Many rental companies have showrooms where guests can browse selections. 

 

3. Who will be my point-of-contact on the day of my event/wedding?

Make sure to get a phone number for the person who will be handling your rentals on the day of the event. You definitely want to be able to get in touch with someone for additional details or if an issue arises. 

 

4. What are setup and breakdown like? Are there additional fees associated with delivery and set up?

We’ve already mentioned it, but it’s important to talk in-depth about how the rental company handles delivery, set-up and breakdown of the chairs. Will you be responsible for folding or stacking the chairs at the end of the night, or does the company offer that service? Make sure to double-check fees as well so that there are no surprises on your bill. 

 

5. Do you have rental suggestions for my venue and style?

If you’re unsure about what type of chairs to rent, it never hurts to ask for advice. Maybe the rental company happens to know that gold chairs look great in your space, or that you should avoid cafe chairs because they slip on the floor at your venue. 

6. How much is the deposit? 

Ask how much you will be expected to pay up front and if you’re able to pay it online. 

 

7. What’s your cancellation and refund policy?

Find out if there is a cancellation window leading up to your event and if/when refunds are available. 

 

 

Pro Tips for Chair Rentals

 

Shop around

Start shopping early so that you can compare prices, offerings and services. You probably don’t want to settle for the first rental company you talk to; exploring your options can lead to big savings and a great experience. 

 

Look at samples 

Different rental companies call chair styles by different names, so double-check that you’re on the same page. This is another great reason to visit the showroom and see samples in person. 

 

Ask for recommendations

There are a lot of rental companies out there, so narrow it down by asking the pros. Check with your venue, your caterer or your florist to find out if they like a particular rental company or know of any that you should steer clear of. 

We hope this chair rental guide helps simplify the rental process for your upcoming wedding or event. Happy planning!

Madison Eubanks
Madison Eubanks
Content Marketing Specialist

Madison is the Content Marketing Specialist at Gather. She writes about tips for hosting successful events, trends in the hospitality industry and how to grow business with event management software.

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