An engaged friend recently asked for help with chic chair backs. She wanted to give the plain chairs in her venue a mini facelift without breaking the bank. Chair covers are an obvious option, and you'll find a huge selection at both and, but for something a little more original, why not try one of the easy decoration ideas below.

For a pretty touch, simply tie coloured ribbons to the chairs. Lengths of satin ribbon cascading down from the chair back will create a decadent look, and bows created using wire-edged ribbon will make a feature of plain chairs.

Tie a heart decoration on one side of the chair. These gilded versions (pictured, from £1.50 each) at are perfect for a December wedding. Guests can take them home after the wedding and hang them on their Christmas trees.

Speak to your florist about creating floral chair backs to coordinate with your floral table centres. If your budget doesn't stretch to a floral garland per guest, then just decorate the chairs at your Top Table. It'll certainly mark it out from the rest.

Draw attention to your seat and your groom's with pretty vintage signage. In the latest issue (November/December 2010), you'll find a picture on page 42 of wooden 'Bride' and 'Groom' signs which look really cute hung to chairs with ribbon.

Place names
For a modern reception look with uncluttered tables, tie your place name tags to the backs of chairs. Just make sure you use a bold colour and clear handwriting so that guests can find their place setting easily.