Gold chiavari chairs setup theater style in front of the mandap for an Indian wedding

How to Select Chairs for an Indian Wedding

Since Indian weddings have many guests that means there are a lot of chairs in the ceremony and reception venue. And that impacts the overall look of your wedding. Just take a look at the photo below.

In this article we are going to talk about selecting chairs for an Indian wedding including:

  • Don’t venues provide chairs?
  • Budget tradeoffs
  • What are the different types of chairs?
Chiavari chairs with red parasols at an Indian wedding. Selecting Chairs for an Indian Wedding.
Gold chiavari chairs with red and fuschia parasols. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

Don’t Venues Include Chairs In The Outside Catering Package?

Yes they do. But you might not like them…especially the reception chairs. There is more nuance as to consider. First, we have to distinguish between indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and events.

Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies with White Folding Chairs

For outdoor wedding ceremonies, most venues supply white, folding chairs with a padded seat. See the picture below. These chairs look nice and are comfortable. So the question is, are you good with these or do you prefer other chairs such as the gold chiavari chairs pictured above? The difference is $3500.

Indian wedding ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach with white folding chairs
White folding chairs for an outdoor wedding ceremony. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

Indoor Ceremonies and Receptions with Standard Banquet Chairs

These white folding chairs are meant for use outdoors. So what about indoor ceremonies? What chairs do venues supply? They’re called the venue’s standard banquet chairs. They come in all shapes and colors. They’re sturdy and meant to be stacked and withstand wear and tear and come unlike chiavari chairs and other celebration chairs that tend to be more delicate. As a result, standard banquet chairs tend to have a corporate and heavy look and feel. Here are some examples:

Banquet chairs setup theater style at a Westin hotel in the ballroom
The standard banquet chairs at a Westin hotel in California.
a banquet setup with marron chairs for an event at a hotel
The hotel’s standard banquet chairs setup for a banquet event.
Banquet chairs setup theater style in a hotel ballroom for an event
The standard banquet chairs at a Hyatt hotel in California.

You might be thinking they don’t look bad — they just don’t look as good when you compare them to other chairs. So what do you do? Rent chairs from a vendor or use the venue’s chairs? Most couples rent chairs. But it really depends on your budget and what’s important to you. See the photo below. This photo is from a South Asian wedding ceremony. And as you can see, they opted for the venue’s chairs.

Indoor Muslim wedding ceremony setup
This is an indoor South Asian wedding ceremony with the venue’s standard banquet chairs. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography
Selecting Chairs for an Indian Wedding
Take a look at this Indian wedding reception. They used the venue’s standard banquet chairs and added a lot of other decor and it looks nice. So there’s no right answer. It’s relative to the overall decor.
Photo: Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema

How Does The Look Change When The Chairs Are Occupied By People?

Thus far we have only looked at chairs at wedding ceremonies and events sans people. How does the look change when there are people sitting in the chairs? See below. NOW, what do you think? Use the venue’s chairs or rent chairs?

Can you use the white folding chairs for an indoor ceremony? Some venues may allow it, but it might look awkward. It just doesn’t match the environment.

Indian wedding ceremony with an open mandap
At this wedding, guests are seated in the venue’s standard banquet chairs.
Photo: Geeta Randery Photography

Are There Any Venues That Include Nicer Chairs In Their Outside Catering Package?

There are a few. And by a few we mean you could count them on one hand. There are three examples below and each venue has different chairs. The Nixon Library for example includes golden Versailles chairs.

Indian wedding reception at the Nixon Library
Golden Versailles chairs at an Indian wedding reception at the Nixon Library. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

Sometimes Hotel Maya includes the silver chiavari chairs pictured below, as part of the negotiation.

Indian wedding ceremony at Vista del Mar venue at Hotel Maya
Indian wedding at the Vista del Mar venue at Hotel Maya with silver chiavari chairs.
Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

The Hilton Waterfront Resort has the mahogany chiavari chairs pictured below that they include in some packages as well.

Mahogany chiavari chairs setup at round tables for a banquet at a hotel.

Budget Tradeoffs and the Impact on Selecting Chairs for an Indian Wedding

Unless you have an unlimited wedding budget, you might find yourself making tradeoffs for your wedding. For instance if your wedding budget is $100,000 and you’re having 350 guests, a sangeet with a consumption bar, and lunch after the ceremony then you will probably have to make tradeoffs along the way. Why? Because even though $100,000 is a lot of money it will be difficult to have everything you want, especially if you’re seeking the most expensive vendors.

What Tradeoffs Do You Make?

This is personal. What are the things that matter to you most? Photos? video? Clothes? Ceremony decor? Reception decor? But with regards to chairs, you might rethink renting fancier chairs and use the venue’s included chairs instead. How much will you save? Assuming each chair is $10, that’s $3500. In the grand scheme of $100,000, that’s not much, but it’s money that could go towards catering, clothes and anything else for your wedding.

Weighing the Cost Benefit of Renting Chairs

Given that you can rent chairs for around $10 per chair, is it worth it since they impact the overall look of the wedding and reception? You decide.

Selecting Chairs for an Indian Wedding

What Are Some Types of Chairs Besides Chiavari Chairs?

Chiavari chairs aren’t your only option but they’re immensely popular as they come in many colors but they’re not your only option.

Ghost Chairs

The chairs in the photo immediately below these are still chiavari chairs but they’re the transparent aka ghost chairs so they’re a unique style. See other styles of ghost chairs below. One thing to point out is the padding on the chairs because it impacts comfort. Notice the ghost chiavari chairs below, have padding and therefore are more comfortable. And when you’re sitting for a long Indian wedding ceremony at some point guests care less about the beauty of the event than their comfort. If guests are uncomfortable that is what they will remember from your wedding.

That’s something to keep in mind with chiavari chairs. The rods on the back part of chiavari chairs, have grooves. And, while they look nice, they’re not exactly comfortable – especially if your sari blouse has embellishments on the back.

Indian wedding ceremony at a hotel with ghose chiavari chairs
Ghost chiavari chairs at an indoor Indian wedding ceremony. Photo: Geeta Randery Photography

Louis XVI Chairs

These chairs feature the signature oval back.

Louis XVI Style Oval back chair
Louis XVI Style Chair with the oval back.
Ghost chairs setup for an outdoor Indian wedding
Louis XVI ghost chairs setup for an outdoor Indian wedding. Photo: Nisha Rajvi Photography
Ghost chairs setup for a wedding reception
Louis XVI ghost chairs at an Indian wedding reception. Photo: Nisha Rajvi Photography

Versailles Chairs

Ghost Versailles Chairs at an Indian wedding reception. Photo: Anya Kernes Photography
Indian wedding reception at the Nixon Library with golden Versailles chairs
Golden Versailles Chairs; Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

Grace Chairs

Golden grace chairs and decor for an Indian wedding reception
Golden Grace Chairs at an Indian wedding reception. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

The pricing of these chairs varies. Your decorator will help you with that.


This article is about selecting chairs for an Indian wedding. We addressed these topics:

  • Don’t venues provide chairs? Yes, and discussed the different types and use cases
  • Budget tradeoffs so, whether to use the venue’s chairs or rent
  • What are the different types of chairs, besides chiavari chairs? For instance we illustrated 4 different chairs

These are the 4 non-chiavari chairs illustrated: Ghost, Louis XVI, Versailles, and Grace chairs which are amongst the most common that you’ll encounter at Indian weddings. The most common chairs you’ll encounter at Indian weddings are chiavari chairs. These bamboo chairs are very popular and come in all colors.

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Cover image: Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema