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How To Decorate Chairs Without Chair Covers

The seating during your wedding is one of the most significant visual parts of your wedding day decor. They take up most of your wedding ceremony space, and they are pretty prominent throughout your wedding reception. Yet, it can be a challenge to know how to decorate them. Chair covers are a common option, but they’re not for everyone. They weren’t for me, and if you are here, chances are they are not for you, either. So what alternatives do you have? Today, we will be running through them. 

So, how do you decorate chairs without chair covers? Ribbons, flowers, draped fabric, and even using framed photos are fast becoming popular alternatives to decorating chairs without chair covers. Rustic lace, willow wreath, mini bunting, and strings of pearls are other great options.

In reality, with a little imagination, there’s no limit to the ways you can decorate the chairs at your wedding.

But there are certainly go-tos, and you likely have enough on your plate to have to brainstorm. 

So, let’s go through some of the different ways you can decorate your chairs without using chair covers. 

Ways You Can Decorate Chairs Without Chair Covers

Decorating your chairs is not difficult, and it is relatively budget-friendly.

Here are some of my favorite ways you could decorate your wedding chairs without using those tired and boring chair covers.


Ok, this first one is not as budget-friendly as others, but there is no denying that flowers are always a good choice.

You can choose a delicate single spray of baby’s breath. However, beware that not everyone is overly fond of its scent.

Alternatively, you could choose a dramatic display of blooms that frames the entire back of your chairs. 

Not sure what flowers work well as chair decorations?

Make sure you ask your florist.

Florists are experts for a reason, and they will help you create the best floral arrangements for your chairs. 

Rustic Lace And Burlap

Iconically rustic, burlap and lace are the go-to fabrics of choice for any bride planning a rustic-styled wedding.

Simple to dress by yourself and also very easy on the wedding budget, burlap and lace give that clean, decorated look without breaking the bank.

Willow Wreath

Wreaths made from willow branches or bendy hazel have been gaining popularity in wedding circles.

You can weave a simple circular wreath to decorate your chairs with, or get a little more creative and weave a heart.

These simple chair adornments look beautiful on their own, or you could dress them up with a bloom or two.


Whether you opt for a dramatic ribbon bow that fills the entire back of your chairs or you opt for a smaller ribbon adornment that hangs delicately from the sides of your chairs.

Ribbons will always be a cheap and easy way to decorate your chairs.

Plus, they look beautiful, and it is really easy to find ribbon colors that match your chosen color scheme.

Draped Fabric

You don’t want chair covers, but you love the idea of sleek fabric pulling your whole reception together.

Then choose a beautiful piece of fabric and drape it over the back of your chairs.

You can tie it with twine or ribbon to keep it from falling off, and you will have a beautifully simple way of decorating your chairs without an actual chair cover.

Mini Bunting

Cute mini bunting strings are the perfect chair cover alternative for the handy DIY bride.

Although I’m pretty sure you can buy these online, they are so easy to make at home as long as you have a sewing machine.

You can match your fabric to your color scheme and even let your guests take their chair bunting home with them as a wedding favor. 

Strings Of Pearls

Want to add a bit of class and glamour to your wedding chairs?

Then look no further than a few strings of pearls hung delicately over your chairs.

No, this won’t cost you an arm and a leg unless you opt for real pearls. Fake strings of pearls will be just as classy and stunning.

Take at least two or three pearl strings and drape them from one top corner to the other.

You can even add some ribbon or floral adornments for a little extra drama.

Picture Frames

Give your chairs the personal treatment and hang a framed photo of you and your spouse from them.

You can choose childhood photos of each other or pictures of you both as you have grown throughout your relationship.

If you have had an engagement photoshoot, this is also a beautiful way of sharing those snaps with all of your loved ones. 

However, one quick tip I do have is to choose plastic inserts instead of glass. This way, you can avoid any accidents.


Tulle isn’t just for wedding dresses.

This light and semi-opaque material is beautiful when used to decorate chairs.

You can use tulle draped over the back of your chairs, or you can tie large, stylized bows horizontally across the back of the chairs.

Luckily, tulle is also relatively inexpensive, perfect for those with tighter wedding budgets.

Things To Consider When Decorating Chairs Without Chair Covers

You have decided to decorate the chairs at your wedding yourself. Honestly, kudos to you.

Not only will you have original chairs that stand out and really make an impact, but your wedding will look even less like every other one that may have been held in your chosen venue.

However, there are a couple of things you will want to keep in mind when deciding to decorate your chairs yourself.

What’s Your Budget?

Budget is always a massive factor when it comes to wedding decor choices.

If you are on a tight budget and chair covers are included in your venue costs, it might be easier and more cost-effective to choose the available chair covers. 

If you still want to decorate your chairs without chair covers, choose a budget-friendly decor option such as ribbons or draped fabric.

Ribbons and fabric can be picked up at any craft store, or even on amazon, at pretty reasonable prices. 

Who Will Decorate?

Who is actually going to do the decorating?

If you are going to do it yourself, you will need to factor this into your wedding schedule.

If family or friends are stepping in to do the decorating for you, make sure they are well aware of how you want things to be decorated, so they don’t get it wrong.

Some venues will even include the option to decorate for you within their regular venue cost or at an extra fee.

Have a chat with your venue provider and see if they have team members who would be able to add all of your chair decorations the night before your wedding day.

You will still have to provide all materials, but it will take a little stress and worry off your shoulders if someone can do this job for you.

Do You Have Time To Decorate?

If your wedding schedule is tight and you can’t find anyone to put up your wedding chair decorations, you might have to think again.

The last thing you want to be doing the day before your wedding is panicking about getting the last decor bits finished. 

This is definitely a time to either find someone else to decorate for you or opt for any included decoration your venue may have to offer.

Read more: Who Decorates The Wedding Venue? [And Provides The Decor?]

Will The Venue Allow You To Decorate Your Chairs?

Some venues are pretty strict about what personal decoration can be brought on-site.

You may have to clear your specific decorations with the venue, and don’t be surprised if they say no.

Especially if your chosen decoration doesn’t fit with the vibe of the venue, remember, their reputation is everything.

Also, some venues do not allow you to decorate yourself because they want that cash for their decorating services.

It sucks, but if you’re adamant that that venue is the one you want to get married in, you’ll have to accept this. 

The Style Of The Chair

Not all styles of chairs will look good with your DIY decorations.

If the chairs at your venue are those 80s-style padded conference chairs, no matter how much ribbon or silk you wrap around them, they won’t look good. 

If you want to hang decor from the tops of the chairs but don’t have anything to hang them from, you are going to have to rethink your decor ideas.

Make sure you know what chairs are available at your wedding venue before purchasing any chair decor items.

Is It A Good Idea To Decorate Chairs Without Chair Covers?

Choosing to personalize your wedding day by decorating your chairs without chair covers is an excellent way of putting your personal touches on the decor of your big day. 

As long as your venue welcomes personal chair decoration, you can stay within your wedding budget, and your venue chairs are cute without chair covers; nothing is stopping you from choosing to decorate your chairs without chair covers.