When it comes to weddings, rental pieces have the power to enhance your venue in ways that you never imagined. Regardless of the space, they can add a special sophisticated touch or be completely transformational in a sparse setting. Our rental walk-through will assist you in selecting pieces, outlining what to expect and illustrating why it is all worth it.
How to Rent Right
Rental pieces can revamp any venue into a chic and personalized atmosphere. Here are a few general tips to guide you through the process of considering wedding rentals.
Limit Your Helpers
Bring along only one or two members of the wedding party or family when selecting your rentals. In fact, it may be best to tackle this task with only your fiancé. There will be many choices to consider and decisions to make. Selecting rentals can become more difficult when too many opinions are injected into the process.
Know Your Needs
Ask your venue what elements are included in their fees. If they provide tables, chargers and china, additional dollars may be available for upgraded rental chairs and linens.
Mix and Match
Love the look of luxe details and décor but don’t have the pocketbook to afford it? No worries; you can still have your ideal tablescape. Consider decking out your head table or sweetheart table with different chairs or table shapes than the other guests’ seating. Have fun mixing and matching. If you opt for selections that coordinate, you’ll still achieve a balanced look. This is a great way to incorporate finer, high-end details that would otherwise be unaffordable to do on a larger scale.
Know Your Numbers
Always ask vendors if they have enough of each item to accommodate the size of your guest list. If you have a large guest list, consider combining multiple colors or styles to achieve the necessary volume. Don’t forget to confirm your final head count with the rental company; it’s absolutely vital to provide so they set aside their inventory accordingly.
Ask About Delivery
Clarify your venue’s rules and guidelines on rental delivery and pick up. It is likely that your venue and the rental company have worked together on prior events, so they are probably familiar with the protocol and the space. However, be sure to inquire about delivery fees and late fees to avoid any accidental penalties.
A fresh and fun trend popular in ceremony seating for small weddings is to arrange your chairs in a spiral formation with the couple situated in the center. Picture the scene of Dorothy from the The Wizard of Oz as she starts on the yellow brick road.This layout will give every one of your guests a great view as you say your vows.
The most important consideration when formulating your perfect reception is to envision the tables in the space. What are its dimensions and shape? If you’re working with a large venue, consider using rectangular and square tables to give you a sleek look while seating guests comfortably. If you are planning an intimate wedding with 75 guests or less, long banquet tables will give guests a more interactive experience that feels like home. Consult your wedding or reception planner about the options—they will know what will work best in the space.
There are many different styles and treatments to transform reception chairs. The most popular chair rental is the chiavari, an elegant spindle-back chair that can be rented in a variety of colors. Although these chairs are a fabulous option for completely transforming the space, they may not be one of your top budget priorities. If this is the case, consider chair covers. Chair covers come in many different styles and treatments to suit a variety of moods. If you plan on covering your chairs, again keep your guest count in mind. Completely covering a large number of chairs can quickly make your space look like a sea of fabric or overwhelm a tight budget. It’s important to consider the entire scene, all the while keeping the table settings and centerpieces as the focal point.
Beyond Tables and Chairs
While the foundation of your layout begins with placement of the tables and chairs, event rental companies have so much more to offer. From table linens to centerpieces and backdrops to cake stands, consider elements that will prove to be a cohesive complement to your space and your style.
The options for table linens are endless. Tablecloths and napkins are available in a cornucopia of colors and a variety of fabrics. You will also find a multitude of options in standard linen fabrics along with a varied selection of colors in textured or specialty linens. Simply covering tables in floor-length linens will dress them up and add significant interest to the space.
Many reception venues include plateware in the facility fee. If you are looking to save on plateware rentals, simply dress up the standard white plates with colored napkins and chargers. If your vision includes stepping it up a bit more, consider renting plateware and flatware. Utilizing gold flatware and gold-rimmed plates will create an elegant and sophisticated ambience. Remember to bring along your menu when selecting rentals to ensure you are including all the appropriate dishes.
Whether you choose round, rectangular or square tables for your set up, centerpiece design is truly the heart of the tablescape. Be certain to ask about the various options and confirm quantities available for each. All your centerpieces need not be identical; however, they should certainly complement one another. Consider mixing it up while maintaining a coordinated look with tall centerpieces on some tables and shorter versions on others. This combination creates a more dynamic landscape. Renting the perfect container rather than purchasing can ease your budget and save you from dealing with disposing of them after the event.
The best way to make guests feel special is to pay attention to the details. Providing a unique table experience will leave a lasting impression. It is easy to add special touches through napkin rings, menus or small tokens of thanks. Having your guests find a thoughtful detail at their place setting will make them feel welcome.
Fill the Space
Many reception venues are large, open rooms. To create a cozier atmosphere, separate the space into smaller sections. Consider renting backdrops and lounge pieces to create unique areas for guests to gather after dinner. Another rental essential is an assortment of well-dressed cocktail tables, allowing guests to easily socialize during the cocktail hour.
Vintage rentals are very versatile and can be used with any theme or style of wedding. If you love the rustic look, renting vintage suitcases, lanterns or beverage dispensers can be a great way to incorporate that look and feel. Looking for a more refined reception? Vintage rentals often have gold and silver pieces that can be used for floral centerpieces or serving trays, imparting sophistication and charm. Regardless of your style, vintage rentals can add a unique look to your décor.
Out of the Ordinary
There are many rental items available that would never come to mind prior to planning a wedding. When it comes to the outdoors, you can rent tents and even portable restrooms for venues that do not have bathroom facilities. Many rental companies provide dance floors, partitions, and lighting. Special lighting can be another great way to enhance your venue. Consider spotlighting elements such as your wedding cake or simply illuminating the walls with your wedding colors to pull guests into your distinctive atmosphere. You can use lighting to showcase elements that you want guests to notice or to disguise aspects of the space that you wish to downplay.
Damage to rental items is always a concern, but there are several ways to limit that exposure. If you are using wax candles, be certain to purchase dripless candles and place all candles in proper candleholders. Also, let the soft wax cool before removing the holders from the tables. It is a good idea to have the same person unpack and repack your rental items to ensure they are all accounted for and packed properly for transport. Ask your venue for the best place to store rental boxes during the reception so they are not accidentally thrown away.
Last but not least, don’t forget to line-item read your rental order carefully at least one week before the event to confirm the accuracy of the order. This should assure that any errors are caught well before your big day. When reviewing the order, remember to confirm the delivery and pickup time noted on the order.
Photo: The Mullers Photo Co.