Last week we published this post featuring expert tips on planning a disability-friendly wedding. One of our Offbeat Wed vendors, Cindy Savage, the founder and lead wedding planner of Aisle Less Traveled, educated us on the importance of seating at a truly accessible wedding. We learned so much that we absolutely had to make another post dedicated to the best wedding chairs for an accessible wedding. Honestly, Cindy is the wedding chair expert we didn't know we needed!
Here's where my experience really comes in! As a fat wedding planner, I have literally sat in all kinds of wedding chairs, and I absolutely do have opinions.Cindy Savage, Aisle Less Traveled
If you're planning an accessible wedding or a disability-friendly wedding, seating will be a priority on your wedding planning checklist.
Here are the worst (and best) wedding chairs for an accessible wedding:
When considering wedding chairs, it's important to make sure they are suitable for a full range of bodies and types of mobility! Let's start with the worst chairs first, as told by Cindy the wedding planner.
WORST: Industrial Chairs
For the love of all fat people on earth, please do not ever, EVER use these industrial chairs if possible. I know they look really cool and modern, but they are the fucking worst! We don't fit in them, and sitting in them all night is painful. Those bars at the back dig into our hips and will literally leave us with bruises.
WORST: Folding chairs
Folding chairs like these (in any color) are not great either. Because despite relatively high weight limits, they feel fragile and unstable.
We will spend the first half of the night worried about them breaking beneath us and the second half of the night at home because that fear and the discomfort of sitting in them made us leave early.
Here are the best wedding chairs for an accessible wedding:
These chairs are sturdy, pretty, and great for all body-types!
BEST: Cross-back or “French country” chairs
These go with nearly any wedding theme and are both comfortable and sturdy.
BEST: Chiavari chairs are a beautiful AND accessible option
If you need a more glam look, then a Chiavari chair is great! They have a really high weight limit, are comfortable, and come in a handful of finishes with many color options for the cushions.
More accessible seating tips to consider:
Make sure you actually sit on the seats
If your venue is providing chairs or you have a rental company you're using, you're gonna need to pull a Goldilocks and experience the seats for yourself. Go and see the seats in person and sit on the chairs to find out if they meet your guests' needs.
What about a standing wedding ceremony?
Having guests stand during the ceremony is fine! But make sure you have a handful of chairs for wedding guests who can't stand for more than a few minutes.
If your wedding guests are sitting on benches, consider a row of chairs in the back. Some wedding guests might not be able to sit too long without back support, and they will really appreciate the option!
If you're having a cocktail-style reception at your accessible wedding, Cindy recommends having enough chairs for at least 60% of your guests.
Seats aren't one size fits all
If your wedding guest has a chronic illness, mobility issues, or a disability that affects how they sit, they will deeply appreciate having comfortable seating to enjoy your ceremony or reception! When it comes to planning an accessible wedding, it's the thoughtful details that make a huge impact on your wedding guests experience.