A lot needs to be pulled together to bring a wedding to life. One of the big essentials that most couples need to deal with is wedding rentals. If you need to rent furniture, decor, or anything else for your celebration, here is a guide to perfecting the art of event rentals.
Determine Exactly What You Want to Rent
You’ll need to work on a list of the items that you’ll need to rent for your wedding. While this will inevitably vary from wedding to wedding, here are some of the most common event rentals that you may need for your celebration:
- Tables, Chairs, and Linens: These are likely the first things that come to mind when you think of wedding rentals. Unless your venue provides them, you’ll need to rent these essentials for your celebration. Before researching rental companies, you’ll want to determine not only the number of tables, chairs, and linens that you need but also the style and shape that works with your wedding aesthetic. Be sure to remember that you’ll need seating for both your ceremony and reception, as well as tables for cocktail hour. You may also need tables for displaying escort cards, a guest book to sign, or other miscellaneous items.
- Dinnerware and Glassware: Of course, you’ll need the plates and utensils to enjoy your food, as well as ample glassware for the reception tables and the bar. Keep in mind that some of this may be included in your catering package – speak with your caterer to determine what you need to source yourself.
- Dance Floor: Depending on your venue, you may need to rent out a dance floor to keep the party going at your reception.
- Tent: If you’re having an outdoor wedding, you may need a tent rental – especially if you don’t have an indoor backup space in case of bad weather.
- Electricity: While many outdoor venues will be equipped with power sources, you’ll need to talk to your venue coordinator to determine whether you need a generator to power lighting, the DJ booth and sound system, and anything else that may need electricity.
- Restrooms: If your venue has limited restrooms (or if your wedding space is further away from the restrooms), you’ll need portable restrooms available for guests.
- Smaller Decor Pieces: Some couples will scour vintage stores to find items to decorate their wedding space. This can be great for items like mirrors, vases, decorative books, or lanterns. However, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll actually want to keep (or deal with re-selling) these items after the wedding. If not, it may make more sense to rent decorative pieces.
- Larger Decor Pieces: In most circumstances, it makes more financial and logistical sense for couples to rent out large decor pieces – such as accent tables or arches.
Don’t Be Conservative with the Number of Items You Rent
It’s better to have more rental items than you need than less. The last thing you want is to not have enough seating for guests, or for the bartenders to run out of glassware before the night ends. For items that you’re renting in multiple, be sure to order extras to be on the safe side. With chairs, it is recommended that you have at least 10 extra seats for each event. For dishes, you’ll want at least three extra per guest, as well as three extra glasses (of each type) per guest.
Ask Your Vendors for Referrals
Be sure to ask industry professionals about the best wedding rental companies in your area. If you’re working with a wedding planner, they’ll be able to steer you towards some great resources. If not, your florist and venue coordinator will likely have some industry insights on the companies you should choose.
Limit the Number of Rental Companies You Use
There is a good chance you’ll end up using more than one event rental company, as different places may specialize in the different types of items you need. However, in order to save yourself a headache, try to reduce the number of rental companies you work with. Of course, a single company is best, but try to go with no more than two or three. It will make the coordination of receiving and returning these items far easier.
Ensure All Policies and Conditions are Clear
Once you pick the wedding rental company (or companies) you’ll be working with, you’ll want to make sure all parties are completely clear on the different rules and requirements that need to be followed. This means you should be fully aware of the cancellation policies outlined in the vendor contract. You’ll also need to make sure they agree to the delivery, set-up, and pick up times to ensure everything runs smoothly on the big day.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!