When it comes to pulling off a wedding, there are a lot of pieces you’ll need from tables and chairs to linens, place settings, servingware, and table numbers to the dance floor and that vaulted tent complete with chandeliers. If your venue or catering company don’t provide everything you need to pull off your reception, or you’re looking for a few personal pieces, have fun exploring the world of rentals.
Rental companies can also act as design houses and prop stylists, arranging everything from place settings to dessert buffets to mix and match seating around the fire pit, complete with cozy blankets and adorable s’mores bags that you’ve been ogling on Pinterest. If you’re in need of unique decorative elements or have a serious theme like romantic, rustic, or boho, rental companies are a great place to start. You can score unique items to set your wedding apart without having to lug it all there yourself or figure out what to do with it after your big day.
Arrange a time to speak with a few of rental companies, either by phone or in person. Prepare beforehand with a list of everything that you’ll need, and have a figure in mind as to what you’re able to spend on all rentals.
If you’re still not sure what you need, look at the amazing work our contributing experts have done.
- Jenn Elliott Blake
- Camden Chitwood at Emerson Events
- Rebekah Carey McNall
- Jaime Dydaewicz at Coordinate This
- Jessica Sloane
- Lauren Sozman at Loli Events
Event designer Rebekah Carey McNall of A&B Creative says that choosing elements that are personal to the couple is “one of the most important elements of wedding design.”
“I love collaborating with couples to weave in aspects of their personalities, their history and cultures into their wedding design,” she says.
When you speak to a rental company, get a quote of what your rental items will cost and an idea of what the rental terms will be so that you’ll be prepared to make a decision.
WHAT SHOULD YOU RENT FOR YOUR WEDDING?
Think back to your Top Three Things and the things that matter to you most. As you’re deciding what details and decorations you really want to incorporate into your wedding day, ask how it relates to these priorities. Make sure each of your details is adding to the emotional tone you’re trying to set for yourselves and your guests. For instance, a gumball machine equals super exciting if you’re going for fun and whimsical. But if you already know you’re going for a Great Gatsby-inspired wedding dress, stick with details that suggest period piece glam instead.
What areas of your venue(s) do you actually need to decorate? If you’re marrying indoors or in a large empty space (think event halls or ballrooms) and you want to personalize the space more, think of how you want your family and friends to interact with the space and where you want to draw their attention. Lighting, table arrangements, backdrop walls, and other details can transform a blank space into a personalized venue. If you’re getting married in an outdoor venue, nature might do the decorating for you. You can focus on the centerpieces and maybe a few aisle markers without going overboard to decorate your venue. Keep things in line with the environment around you, so focus on natural looking flower arrangements or even loose groupings of wild flowers. Small tea lights can add ambience without taking away from your surroundings.
When planning out your decorations for the day, event stylist Jenn Elliott Blake recommends that you “minimize the quantity of details and focus on the quality…simplify things. Invest in details that will bring life to your day (choose a stunning bouquet by the best floral designer in town and forgo arrangements down the aisle, maybe just some pretty and simple foliage for the ceremony instead?). Or get creative with the centerpieces if you’re on a tight budget – maybe not large flower arrangements, but again some simple and beautiful greenery down the center with candlelight to enhance the dimension and mood.”
WORKING WITH A WEDDING DESIGNER (OR PLANNER)
Of course, this is where your wedding designer shines. If you already hired a wedding designer, trust his or her instincts and expertise and let her pull together the wedding of your dreams. If you haven’t hired a wedding planner or designer, some will sit down with you for a basic design consultation, mapping out the colors, textures, and pieces you should look for so you can pull it all together.
SIGNING THE CONTRACT
Once you find a rental company that suits your needs, arrange a time to sign the contract. Your contract should include the information below:
- Who: name and contact info (your’s and their’s)
- What: everything they’ll be providing
- Where: the location of your events
- When: dates and times of service and when items will be delivered and picked up
- How much: cost per item, delivery and set-up fees
- Receipt: the deposit paid, the balance due and due dates
- Uh oh: cancellation policies and emergencies
Share this with your wedding planner, venue manager, or catering manager so that everyone is on the same page.
If you don’t decide to rent your wedding, make a plan for what you’d like to do with the decor after the big day. Many smaller venues will allow you to donate decorative items after the wedding for future couples. You could also sell items like vases, cake toppers, and decorative elements that couples might be in need of. And of course, it’s always fun to work a few items from your wedding day into your home together.