Rentals, Rentals, Rentals

Wedding Planning Tips


Wedding rentals refer to the various items and services that couples can rent for their wedding day. These rentals typically include everything from furniture and décor to tableware and linens. Some common wedding rentals may include:

  1. Furniture: This includes chairs, tables, lounge seating, and other furniture pieces for both the ceremony and reception venues.
  2. Décor: Decorative items such as arches, backdrops, lighting fixtures, aisle runners, and signage can be rented to enhance the ambiance and style of the wedding.
  3. Tableware: Couples can rent plates, glasses, flatware, and serving dishes to set their tables for the reception dinner.
  4. Linens: Linen rentals include tablecloths, napkins, table runners, and chair covers, which can add color and texture to the reception space.
  5. Tents and Canopies: For outdoor weddings, tents or canopies may be rented to provide shelter from the elements and create a comfortable environment for guests.
  6. Audiovisual Equipment: Rental companies often offer audiovisual equipment such as microphones, speakers, projectors, and screens for ceremonies, speeches, and entertainment.
  7. Dance Floors: Portable dance floors can be rented to create a designated space for dancing at the reception.
  8. Catering Equipment: This includes items like chafing dishes, beverage dispensers, and serving trays, which are essential for catering the wedding meal.
  9. Transportation: Couples may choose to rent special transportation, such as vintage cars, limousines, or horse-drawn carriages, to arrive in style or transport guests between venues.
  10. Miscellaneous: Other rental items may include portable restrooms, heaters or fans, generators, and even photo booths for capturing memories with guests.

Renting these items can be a cost-effective and convenient way for couples to create their dream wedding without having to purchase or store large quantities of décor and equipment. Wedding rental companies typically offer a range of options to suit different styles, themes, and budgets, allowing couples to customize their rentals to fit their specific needs and preferences.

Most of the weddings we execute involve at least the following: tables, tablecloths, napkins, chairs, cocktail tables, plates (often dinner, salad, and cake), forks, knives, and glasses (water, wine, beer, rocks as needed). Less frequent rentals would include patio heaters, table number stands, bread baskets, beverage dispensers and tubs, lounge furniture, and lighting.

Some differences between rental companies are quality of the products; delivery windows and charges; minimum order amount; and if dishes/glasses/silverware need to be returned scraped, rinsed, or washed (all of which are decidedly different amounts of labor).

If you’re handling your rental orders yourself, it’s probably worth calling a few different companies to ask them these questions and get a general quote started. When reaching out to wedding rental companies, it’s essential to approach the process strategically to ensure you find the right rentals for your big day.

Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Plan Ahead: Start your search for wedding rentals well in advance, especially if you’re getting married during peak wedding season. Popular rental items can book up quickly, so it’s best to secure your rentals as early as possible.
  2. Determine Your Needs: Make a list of the rental items you’ll need for your wedding, including furniture, décor, tableware, linens, and any other specialty items. Having a clear understanding of your needs will help you communicate effectively with rental companies.
  3. Communicate Your Vision: Clearly communicate your wedding theme, style preferences, and any specific requirements you have for your rental items. Provide inspiration photos or a vision board to help rental companies understand your vision.
  4. Schedule Consultations or Site Visits: If possible, schedule consultations or site visits with rental companies to see their inventory in person and discuss your needs face-to-face. This can help you get a better sense of the quality of their rental items and their level of customer service.
  5. Read Contracts Carefully: Before signing any contracts or making any payments, carefully review the terms and conditions outlined by the rental company. Pay close attention to details such as rental periods, delivery and pickup fees, security deposits, and cancellation policies.
  6. Ask About Delivery and Setup: Inquire about delivery, setup, and pickup services offered by the rental company. Some companies may include these services in their pricing, while others may charge additional fees.
  7. Get Everything in Writing: Once you’ve selected your rental items, make sure to get a detailed written agreement that outlines all the terms and conditions of the rental. This will help prevent any misunderstandings or disputes later on.

photo credit – Stories by Victoria

Some other general things to note about rentals:

If you’re not sure exactly how many guests you’re going to have (i.e., if you’re placing your order before the RSVPs are in), put your initial rental order in for the high amount. The vast majority of rental companies will let you change your order with no penalty up to about three days before delivery, which means that if you need to drop two tablecloths, it’s no problem. However, if you need to add two at the last minute? There’s a chance they’ll be entirely out of your color of choice.

Generally you’re going to pay a flat delivery and pickup fee, no matter how many items are in the order. Because of this, it’s best if you can only have one rental order, so if you want to rent specialty items, talk to your caterer or venue to see if they’re placing a rental order and you can add onto their existing order. (Note: Most catering companies don’t actually own full sets of dishes/glassware/linens; they’re renting them for every event. See: Storage.) This also makes it easier on the return side. With two orders you have to make sure things get separated appropriately and not sent back to the wrong company.

Make sure to line-item read your rental order carefully a week before the event. And maybe have someone else read it carefully too. You want to realize that they put the wrong pickup time on the order before you’ve sat around for an hour at the end of the night waiting for the truck to show up. (Um, let’s just say: personal experience.)

Have you ever wondered why most weddings feature floor length tablecloths? Standard event/rental tables are…ugly, even when they’re not beat up.

Cotton and polyester linens almost always cost the same. Cotton is always way, way nicer, so request it if you can (and make sure to request it from your caterer if they’re running your rental order).

If you don’t have someone washing racks of glassware throughout the event, you’re going to need to either order a ton of glasses (think: three per guest), or come up with a system that really gets people to only use one glass. (I recommend a mix of name tags and a clear sign at the bar asking people to please hold onto and reuse their glasses!)

Always order approximately ten extra plates/forks/knives/napkins. You may have one or two show up chipped, or have a guest drop one, or realize you forgot to include your vendors in the headcount (and they need to eat off of something!).

If you’re serving cake, don’t forget about an extra set of plates and forks to serve it on!

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photo credit – Emily Elizabeth Studios