How can we have chair seating at our park venue when chairs aren't allowed?

November 14 2013 | offbeatbride
Hay bale seating from Angi & Erik's upcycled country barn wedding. (Photo by Carolyn Ann Barry)
Hay bale seating from Angi & Erik's upcycled country barn wedding. (Photo by Carolyn Ann Barry)
My fiancé and I are having our ceremony in a public garden in New Jersey and have been told that we are not allowed to bring chairs for our guests to sit on (with the exception of the elderly and handicapped, and even then we can only bring chairs with legs that won't damage the grounds). We must leave the area in the condition we found it in so that also limits what we are able to do.

We have discussed buying nice picnic blankets and laying them about for our guests to sit on, but I would still like something a little more "chair-like." We aren't planning a super-long ceremony, but I would still like to give my guests the option of sitting if they would like.

How do you create comfortable seating rather than just having guests on their feet the whole time? -raemwel

non-chair wedding seating
Pattern Floor Cushion


Off the top of our heads we can think of a few chair-like seating ideas:

For most of those suggestions, you may not even have to buy new. You could hound thrift stores, or ask friends and family members to bring them from home!

What are your non-chair-but-chair-like seating suggestions?

  1. Oh my god beanbag chair wedding. Amazing.

    I'm trying to think of lightweight options, and all I can come up with are exercise balls. Maybe not so practical, but I'm loving the image of my guests all bobbing around happily during my ceremony.

    Maybe it would help to know what your restrictions are? (Transportation, number of guests, etc)

  2. The thought of a beanbag wedding is making me giggle. I can just see everyone flopping around like turtles trying to get back up. LOL

    I like the suggestion of exercise balls and hay bales.

  3. I'd stear clear of haybales. We used them at our wedding and they looked fantastic, but they are VERY messy and if the parks people are anal about leaving it EXACTLY as you found it, it would be a pain to rake it all up. Luckily we had our outdoor venue for a second day and could pack it all up the next day.

  4. Garden benches if you have them.
    Bales of hay are nice, but they can be poky. Sheets like in the photo won't cut it, folded quilts would be better. Depending on where you live hay is not cheap. Straw, even pokier would be less expensive.

    Many people have excersie balls and those would be very memorable. Everyone could bring their own. Have a pump handy just in case people buy one on the way to the wedding!

  5. You could invest in some of those inflatable couches perhaps and rent an air compressor to blow them up over even get some cheap air mattress for people to lounge on, kinda low to the ground, but would do in a pinch.

  6. I don't have any suggestions outside of that list but I thought I'd point out that anything low to the ground is going to be difficult for the elderly and the handicapped. Also, as somebody who wears dresses a lot, very low seating would not be popular with me.

  7. What about footstools, storage cubes, or coolers? You could even tell everyone to bring their own cooler or blanket to sit on – make it a picnic style wedding ceremony!

    Also look up Japanese style floor chairs, or Zaisu. I have no idea where you'd buy them, but they'd be a perfect solution.

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