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Hay bale seating inspiration

Charlie / 10 June 2010

I recently got an enquiry from a bride-to-be asking for help.  She is planning a low key, DIY wedding on a budget, and I suggested hay bales as a possible option for seating.

Hay bales are great because they’re a good height for seating, they are natural, you can usually find somewhere local to source them, and you can dress them up in all kinds of ways.

Finding hay bales
I would recommend finding a local stables or farm and finding out whether you could borrow they hay bales rather than buy them.  That way you don’t end up with a barn full of hay bales at the end of your wedding, and you should be able to negotiate a reasonable price or even just to leave a deposit until the bales are returned.

Accessorize your hay bales
Quilts, blankets, picnic rugs, and cushions are all great for accessorizing your hay bale seating.  If you are looking for vintage quilts or old blankets, make sure you check out carboot sales, charity shops and ask friends and family.  Depending on your budget, you could always opt for recycled wool picnic blankets available from Hen and Hammock.

Inspiration – below are some great examples of hay bale seating.  Be inspired!

Hay bales placed next to each other to create a long bench, with cushions in alternating colours…


Image: Beth Helmstetter

Rustic and ‘au naturale’ hay bales – pile up vintage blankets and quilts for people to sit on…


Image: Country Living

As simple as it gets – but maybe a bit uncomfortable for some bums!


Image: Country Living

Here the hay bales have been simply draped with material or throws to provide a more cushioned seat…


Image: unknown

Here blankets (or you could use towels) have been laid over the hay bales and fastened with twine to keep them in place…


Image: Once Wed

Hay bales have been used to create rustic seating for an outdoor ceremony, covered with an eclectic mix of blankets…


Image: Ruffled

Cut out pieces of material to cover the tops of your hay bales, then simply tie the corners up with twine to hold them in place…


Image: Style Me Pretty

You can just see that padded cushions have been added to these hay bales for added comfort…


Image: The Knot

Another great example of using material to cover the tops of hay bales – not only does it make them nicer to sit on, but they look lovely…


Image: W Scott Chester Photography

And possibly my favourite left to last – how ingenious is this?!  A hay bale sofa!  Complete with vintage style quilts and throws…


Image: Joy Marie Photography

Comments

rachel thomas on 25. August, 2010

you’ve inspired me! hay bales would be the perfect solution for our autumnal lakeside wedding. thank you!

Malinda on 12. March, 2012

My best friend is getting married in May & would like to use haybales. I ahve found a place that will rent bales, deliver, set-up, pickup. Because it is a May wedding however, they are very concerned about the bales getting wet(even from heavy ground dew) & causing a bad odor. Suggestions?

Charlie

CharlieB on 16. March, 2012

Hi Malinda, thanks for your message. I’m not an expert so these are just the sorts of things I might do if I was having haybales (which I nearly did at my own May wedding last year) – I’m guessing that they are being delivered a day or two before the wedding by the sound of it if you are worried about dew. I guess the best plan would be to store them somewhere dry until the wedding, but if that’s no possible, maybe you might need to cover them or sit them on ground sheets so they don’t have contact with any moisture. It’s hard to say what else without knowing how they are being set-up, do get in touch with my by email charlie@thenaturalweddingcompany.co.uk if you have any other questions and can give me a bit more detail. Best wishes, Charlie xXx

chris on 10. July, 2012

We are selling our great looking used hay bale covers on ebay now… take a look:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300740185572

Charlie

CharlieB on 12. July, 2012

Thanks for sharing Chris, they look lovely!

Claire on 9. September, 2012

We are getting married next June and I was worried that june would be too early in the season for newly harvested hay bales, so I’m guessing we would have to buy bales that are being harvested now….will they be in ok condition by June next year? I thought they may be a bit tired looking and possibly full of bugs depending on where they ad been stored???? Eek….so not a hay bale expert!! Any advice would be great!! X

Charlie

CharlieB on 17. September, 2012

Hi Claire, thanks for getting in touch – I’m not sure myself, so I’ve asked for advice via my Facebook & Twitter pages so I’ll see if anyone can provide more helpful advice :) I’ll be in touch with any info I get back xXx

Charlie

CharlieB on 17. September, 2012

Hi Clare, I’ve got some great advice and tips via people on Facebook (will also pop in an email to you just to make sure you get it):

* We got married in June and got bales easily enough but I think it’s right to think about it now as the weather this summer may effect availability. Try local farm supplies to your venue.

* Straw bales are better because they dont absorb water like hay bales and they are cheaper.. We were going to have them for our wedding in June this year and they seemed to be plenty around but it was too wet and windy to have outdoor stuff in the end unfortunately.

* Just a word of warning, Straw bales are quite uncomfortable to sit on – Just think how scratchy stubble fields are to walk through. Also it is very difficult to find straw or hay bales in the small sizes as above. Most farmers seem to produce the large oblong bales these days which are impossible to pick up and move! Neither the straw or hay bales will be ready in June, so you will definitely have to buy last years bales (which were harvested this summer!)
I would suggest finding a friendly farmer now, buying your bales and getting him to keep them safe and dry for you until next June. If you have your heart set on bales, buy them now, don’t chance it that there will be some still available next year! They will be absolutely fine!

* I was married in June this year and they were available then….the small square ones are not as easy to find in the North East though. The bales are from the previous years harvest.

* You should be fine as we always have small bales – just using last of 2011s now. Might be worth finding the bales now and paying for them to be sure as small bales less popular now in some areas.

Leanne on 23. November, 2012

Hi,
I’m getting married may2013 and would love hay/straw baled for seating. Can anyone give me advice where to start looking for these please? My venue is in Horsham. Thank you x

Charlie

CharlieB on 25. November, 2012

Hi Leanne, I am always especially thrilled to hear from other brides getting married in May as this was when we got married :) My advice on looking for hay or straw bales for your seating would be to look out for local farms (some even advertise hay/straw for sale) or a local riding stables, and go and enquire about borrowing/hiring/buying straw or hay bales for your wedding. As no damage should come to them at your wedding it may be possible to just rent them for the day, or put down a deposit which you can get back when they are returned. We borrowed a few like this for a small party from a local riding stables and they just took them back afterwards. I would recommend going to speak to some now as by May I think that farms are beginning to run low on hay/straw bales as they get used up over the winter months. Best wishes and I hope that helps, Charlie xXx

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hana on 17. February, 2013

Hello,

I am having a hale baled seating. My wedding is in April very near to Horsham. An amazing farmer from West Chiltington can happily sell you bales or you can use the ones after my wedding!

Regards Hana

leanne on 22. March, 2013

Hi Hana,

wow, that sounds great. Do you have the name of the farmer? how much are they to buy? how many are you having and how much would you sell them on for?
id be very interested in them!

leanne

leanne on 22. March, 2013

By the way , just out of interest. Where in Horsham are you getting married Hana?

Leanne

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Moor Road Shavings on 10. August, 2013

Hi Guys! Iv just had a client order for their wedding, our bales are waterproof packaged bales as i know alot of people wouldn’t want straw getting onto their fancy outfits! perfect for a wedding seating arrangement, the woman dressed our bales up and looked amazing with accessories and matching pillows! if anyone would like prices etc please contact me, we do deliver in bulk and can help set up at an extra cost, all our bales are £4.80 (25kg bales) Thanks, Danielle x

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Penny on 18. March, 2014

Hi – i am hoping you hay/straw bale experts may be able to help me. I need to find some hay/straw bales for our wedding near Padstow in Cornwall in June this year – would anyone happen to have any contacts who may be able to help?

Thanks

Charlie

CharlieB on 29. March, 2014

Hi Penny, other than maybe asking at local farms or stables, there is only one company I know who have started hiring out hay bales for events – this is their website http://www.partybales.com/.

Best wishes,

Charlie x

sinead on 19. April, 2014

hello penny I to am getting married in padstow and am looking for hay, I think asking local farms is a good idea I will check out charlies link also xxxx post if you have any luck xx as to will I x

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