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A complete guide to hay bale seating and decor for your wedding

Samantha / 17 November 2016

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bales seem to be standing the test of time in terms of wedding decor and we can absolutely see why.  As a relatively cheap and versatile option they can be both practical and decorative to use in creating a relaxed, country or festival vibe for your wedding day.

If you head on over to Pinterest you would be hard pushed to not come across some hay bale inspiration, we even have our own board dedicated to them. Throughout the years we have featured many weddings with hay bale seating and decor and provided previous posts on hay bale inspiration here, here, here, here and here. Today, however we thought we would provide you with some new inspiration and summarise some of our favourite uses. You’ll also hear from hay bale gurus Partybales along with our advice to help you with planning, how to source them, and how to incorporate hay bales into your wedding day.

Hay bale seating decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale seating and vintage blanket decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Ceremony hay bale seating 

Whether you are planning an indoor or outdoor ceremony, if you are wanting to create some laid-back charm, then hay bales could be perfect for your guests seating. Cover with vintage blankets, lace table clothes, hessian or coloured sheets to tie in with your ‘theme’ and to add a little comfort. Alternatively, use the bales as a base for planks to create benches.

Hay bale seating decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale ceremony seating with hessian rugs for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale seating decor wth vintage lace cloths for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale bar or drinks station

What’s a more perfect way to welcome guests to your reception than with a hay bale bar or drinking station to set the tone for the rest of your day.  Stack them high to create a bar or top with pallets to provide a functional space. Make a feature of it and stack them up with buckets, trays and drinks then accessorise with rustic handwritten signs for guests to know they can help themselves.

Hay bale bar inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale bar inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale bar inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale bar inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale decor

Hay bales don’t just need to play a practical function, use them to create focal points and decorative elements throughout your big day. Think of using them to prop up table plans, hold directional signs, create a beautiful aisle archway or to make a photobooth backdrop.

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale sofas and social areas

Hay bales can make amazing seating not just for your ceremony but for your wedding reception too, to either create social areas for guests to gather and relax or for the seating at the wedding breakfast. We just love the hay bale sofas, covered with vintage and crochet blankets they really transform indoor or outdoor spaces.

Hay bale sofa with vintage blankets for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale seating inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale sofa seating for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale soafeinspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale seating inspiration for a relaxed wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Hay bale planning advice

So we’ve convinced you that you definitely need to incorporate hay bales in some way in your big day, now what about the practicalities of sourcing some yourself? There are a few options that you can consider:

1) Ask your venue – if they are based on a farm or country home they may be able to provide them for you or have a local supplier that can.

2) Get in touch with a local farmer or riding stable – you don’t know unless you ask, but remember they are quite sizeable so consider transportation.

3) Speak to PartyBales – eliminate all logistical worries by speaking to PartyBales, the number one supplier of hay and straw bales to rent or buy for weddings and events. They are seasoned pro’s with a plethora of hay and straw bale knowledge and as such have kindly answered some frequently asked questions for us to help provide planning guidance.

Firstly, are the bales made of hay or straw?

Bales can be made of both hay or straw. Hay bales are predominantly used for animal feed and straw for animal bedding. Our preference are straw bales as they are brighter in colour and lighter to move around. Straw bales tend to give the ‘iconic’ image people have in their minds when they think of ‘hay bales’. 

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // Party Bales // The Natural Wedding Company

Can you order hay bales any time of year?

Yes, at PartyBales we have bales available to hire all year round. We stock bales in the dry so having access to bales during the winter months is not an issue. 

How far in advance should you consider ordering your hay bales?

The sooner you can order the bales for your big day the better as this ensures you secure one of the delivery slots on one of our vans. During the Summer months we were fully booked, so were advising customers to book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

We have some brides and grooms booking two years in advance, some booking a couple of months in advance and several coming in a day or two before their wedding in a panic saying they have been let down by their supplier and desperately need bales – we obviously help where we can, as we believe every happy couple should have their dream wedding. 

When do hay bales get delivered for your wedding? Do you have to think about storing them? And if so how is best to store them?

For weddings we generally deliver bales the day before the wedding and collect them the day after the wedding but can also be flexible to your requirements and deliver them on the day or several days before – what ever you require really. By delivering the bales the day before allows the bales to be put in place and decorated if needed.

Generally, if the bales are delivered the day before the wedding they can be put in place straight away, they are normally left in place until collected. The bales can always be covered in a tarp to keep the bales dry if there is a risk of a shower. If you need to store the bales, they can just be stacked two high until ready to use. 

I’ve heard that the bales can be full of bugs that bite you, is this true, or a myth, or perhaps it’s a hazard of bales from a farm but not yours?

Bales can have bugs in them, they are a natural product that often sit in open barns. Our bales are stored in a closed environment with the aim of minimising any creepy crawlies!  

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // Party Bales // The Natural Wedding Company

Are hay bales comfortable to sit on without covers on?

We believe that bales are comfortable and its more of a myth that they are not but perhaps this is down to personal preference. We actually get plenty of comments from customers about how comfortable the bales are. Bale covers can be used to help provide some extra comfort. We find that straw bales are softer and more comfortable versus hay. Bale covers are often used for decoration to help the bales fit with the wedding theme. 

If you are planning to use hay bales as seating for your ceremony how many should you consider ordering? e.g. – One hay bale seats two people?

If you opt to use bales as seating they would fit ‘two average sized adults’ on a conventional bale. So for example if you had 100 guests you would want to use 50 bales. The beauty of using bales for ceremony seating is you can arrange them how you want to work with your venue and overall look and feel of your big day. 

Can you use hay bales in indoor venues?

We have hired bales at indoor venues and had them in marquees and tipis before. Those hiring the bales are responsible for the bales whilst on hire. Health and Safety and insurances obviously needs to be taken into consideration. It is also key to ensure that the venue or marquee/tipi provider are aware about the bale hire and are happy to have bales in their venue. 

Do they shed hay/straw everywhere, and if so is this something to consider in terms of your venue?

Naturally hay and straw bales will shed as they are not solid structures. This is something that should be taken into consideration and discussed with the venue. The straw/hay can always be brushed up or blown away with a leaf blower on some surfaces prior to your big day. 

Hay bale decor inspiration for a relaxed wedding // Party Bales // The Natural Wedding Company

Some great advice and answers from PartyBales a big thank you to them for sharing with us. If there is anything we haven’t covered or if you have any other questions drop us a comment and we will see if we can help. We hope we have helped inspire you and provided the help that you need to make your hay bale visions a reality, and don’t forget to check out our Hay Bale Pinterest board.

Images: (Main Collage 1-4, clockwise) Bamber Photography via Rustic Wedding ChicCluney Photo via Glacier Park WeddingsRebecca Douglas Photography via Rock My WeddingLinda Ellis Photography via So You’re Getting Married; (5) Neil Thomas Douglas via Rock n Roll Bride; (6) Lover of Weddings via Rustic Wedding Chic; (7) Potters Instinct Photography via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings; (8) Feather and Stone via Wedding Chicks; (9) Kevin Barre Photography via Wedding Chicks; (Collage 10-11) Michelle Boyd Photography via Southern Weddings & Dave Lapham Photography via Southern Weddings; (12) Lauren Lucia; (13) Campbell Photography via June Bug Weddings; (13) Jessica Cruz Photography via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings; (14) The Robertsons via Style Me Pretty; (Collage 15 + 16) Beaux Arts Photographie via Green Wedding Shoes; (17) Jessica Oh via Brendas Wedding Blog; (18) Paige Williams Photography via Wedding Chicks; (19) Neil Hanson Photography via The Budget Bride Company; (20) Tracey Buyce Photography via Every Last Detail; (21) Travis Kaenel via 100 Layer Cake; (22) Kacie Lynch via Glamour and Grace; (23) Sylvie Gil Photography via Style Me Pretty; (24) Adriana Klas; (25) Anna Hardy via Rock My Wedding; (26) Lisa Dawn Photography via Rock N Roll Bride; (27-29) Party Bales

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