I remember the very first time I heard of chiavari chairs. I read a bride's lament online about the ugly, ugly chairs provided by her venue, and how much more beautiful gold chiavaris would look, and how much more she was tempted to pay just to have those pretty chairs in her reception space. I remember exactly what I thought, too. "Oh my God, they're just chairs. You put your butt in them. That is completely not worth it."
One year later, I am eating a hearty helping of my own words.
See, the Children's Museum includes the use of its chairs in the venue rental. They're really not all that bad, as far as free venue-provided chairs go, actually. They're just simple white ones, and you can see them in this photo of our reception space (where the white arrow is pointing):
Also, don't worry, the ice-cream-printed dinosaur is deflatable. He will be put away somewhere safe during our reception. (Source.)
I hadn't given any thought to the chairs until this week, when I started planning a meeting with the caterer to go over our linen choices, floor plans, rentals, and other practical details. She mentioned their linen provider's website, and suggested that I glance over the linen offerings to see if I particularly liked anything. And that's when I found these:
Amber gold pintuck linens. SO PRETTY. Soft, elegant, one of our wedding colors. I started imagining these with our bubble bowl centerpieces with red roses and purple dahlias floating inside. And flickering votives. And the glowing globe lanterns hanging above the tables picking up the shimmer from the linens. SO PRETTY!!!!
Then, I thought, these linens are so elegant and pretty. The Children's Museum chairs, while functional and inoffensive, are not elegant or pretty. You know what IS elegant and pretty and would look gorgeous with these gold linens? Yeah. You know what's coming.
Just to torture myself, I e-mailed the caterer to inquire about chiavari chair pricing. I held out some tiny hope that maybe, because it's Pittsburgh, which is generally less expensive than other cities, they wouldn't be as pricey as they are in other areas. Ha ha. No dice. $8.80 per chair, working out to a bill of $1400 total. For chairs. CHAIRS!!!
I definitely can't (and don't want to) spend an unplanned $1400, and if I could, I know that it would be better put toward providing something extra-nice for my guests to enjoy, or paying for my bridesmaids' hair and makeup and dresses, or something else practical and logical. But, oh man, damned if I haven't been hit with a major pang of lust for those chairs.
I guess it's just that, added up, a lot of wedding stuff has to do with looks and visuals and making and having pretty things. Which, don't get me wrong, I love. I'm having so much fun being able to express myself visually and to incorporate Mr. O's and my aesthetic taste into our wedding choices. It feels great to look at my wedding dress or our flower choices or our reception space and think, "I picked that, and it's special and beautiful and really represents me/us, and I love it!" On the other hand, getting invested into the visual aspect of wedding planning also makes it kind of a bummer to know that you'll look at a particular portion of it and think, "ugh." Caring about the details has made me more inclined to want every detail to be pretty, I think.
Is this ridiculous? I know if I were reading this post a year ago, I would have scoffed at it. I have not lost sight of the fact that they're just chairs!!!, but at this point, I have invested so much time and thought into this flippin' wedding, and I so want the results of all that mental energy to be pretty and special. I suppose the upside (if you can call it that) of this chair temptation is that the amber gold pintuck linens I'm coveting will probably also turn out to be subject to a hefty upcharge, putting them out of the question as well.
Sigh. Have any of you found yourselves tempted by a splurge that you knew was objectively frivolous, but you just couldn't help wanting?