Wedding Rentals 101: Everything You Need to Know

Wedding Rentals 101: Everything You Need to Know

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Once you selected a wedding venue, you can start perfecting the details. Before deciding on décor details, it’s important to secure the necessary rentals for your wedding day. While some venues will include furniture, dinnerware, and glassware, others will require you to bring in outside rentals. If your venue is bare, you’ll need to rent every single item down to the forks and napkins. So try to negotiate with your venue to waive any charges for using a third-party rental company. Not sure where to rent? Ask your caterer, floral designer, or venue manager for quality referrals.

Here’s our checklist of key rental items you may need for your special day:

1. Tables
  • Essentials: Rent guest tables in a collection of rounds, square, long family-style, or a mixed arrangement of tables in various shapes and sizes. You may also consider sweetheart and buffet tables etc. for cakes, desserts, wedding gifts, guest book, bridal party, and newlyweds.
  • Don’t Forget: If you don’t have a wedding coordinator to handle this task, provide layouts of your ceremony and reception sites to your rental agent so that he or she can suggest appropriate table choices and arrangements.
2. Chairs
  • Essentials: Chairs for the ceremony, cocktail party, and reception are must-have pieces.
  • Don’t Forget: You may likely need high chairs and booster seats for the small children and a pair of decorative chairs for the newlyweds at the sweetheart table. Also, musicians may require a place to sit and lay instruments.
3. Linens
  • Essentials: Secure guest table tablecloths, table runners, cocktail party and reception napkins, as well as linens for the wedding cake, gift, sweetheart, and photo tables. You may also need chair linens, a great way to add color and texture to your venue site.
  • Don’t Forget: Keep table linens from flying away in the wind at outdoor receptions with napkin rings and hidden clips. Also, rent table pads to protect wooden tables from damaging water stains and spills.
4. Dishes
  • Essentials: You’ll need appetizer plates for cocktail hour, serving plates and chargers for reception dinner, as well as dessert plates.
  • Don’t Forget: Unbreakable plates for the small children (you won’t want to be responsible for expensive breakage.)
5. Stem & Glassware
  • Essentials: Champagne flutes, bar glasses in multiple sizes, red and/or white wine glasses, beer mugs, soft-drink glasses, water glasses, and coffee mugs.
  • Don’t Forget: Martini glasses for serving dessert and suitable glassware for your signature cocktails. (Solidify your drink menu before you order glassware.)
6. Flatware
  • Essentials: Cocktail hour party utensils, knives, forks, and spoons for the reception dinner.
  • Don’t Forget: Serving utensils, if you’re having a reception with family-style service. You’ll also need serving bowls and platters.
7. Lounge Furniture
  • Essentials: Create a nice area for guests to rest their feet. Plan a family room layout with a couch, ottoman, armchair and coffee table arrangements for guests to relax.
  • Don’t Forget: Before ordering furniture rentals, measure doorways to confirm that larger pieces can be delivered into your party venue.
8. Lighting
  • Essentials: Lighting for the ceremony area, cocktail party space, reception area etc..
  • Don’t Forget: Check with your venue manager about their electrical capabilities. You may require a generator to help power your event.
9. Heating & Cooling
  • Essentials: Portable fans and electric or gas heating units for outdoor weddings.
  • Don’t Forget: Events that lead into evening hours can be cooler than expected. Likewise, fans are needed to keep elderly, pregnant and/or special-needs guests comfortable on a hot summer day.
10. Dance Floor
  • Essentials: Many venues will include a dance floor. For those that don’t, determine the size of the dance floor you’ll need based on how many guests are attending.
  • Don’t Forget: If desired, you can also project your customized monogram onto your dance floor using a gobo projection.
11. Tent
  • Essentials: If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, it’s a great idea to have a tent as a plan B option in case of inclement weather. Aside from possible rain, your guests should also be kept comfortable and protected from blazing sun or billowing winds.
  • Don’t Forget: Find out from your venue if tents are allowed. Request that your tent rental company conduct a site visit to evaluate the space and suggest the perfect tent size and flooring options.
12. Electricity
  • Essentials: If you’re having a backyard wedding or a celebration at a rural venue, a generator rental may be necessary.
  • Don’t Forget: Think about how much electricity will be required to power your wedding. Your event space needs electricity to power the special lighting, your caterer needs it to prepare the food, your DJ needs it to play music, and your maid of honor and best man need it to give their toasts via a microphone and set of speakers.
13. Portable Restrooms
  • Essentials: This is only necessary for some venues (e.g., remote outdoor locations or backyard weddings with very limited restrooms). If needed, provide portable restroom rentals so your guests can spend more time socializing and getting down on the dance floor and less time waiting in long bathroom lines.
14. Floral Accoutrements
  • Essentials: Fresh, blossoming flowers will make your venue look like a dream, but how do you encase them all? That’s where your floral designer can help you. For beautiful displays, rent arches, aisle marker stands, vases, vessels, votives, lanterns, candelabras, etc.

Featured Cover Image: Nicole Berrett Photography

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