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Inspiration » Wedding Planning » Wedding Rentals 101: What You Need to Know

Wedding Rentals 101: What You Need to Know

by Allison Hata
wedding rentals


The logistics of renting all the furniture, dishes, and equipment you need for your wedding is something that is easy to overlook in the early stages of planning. And it’s quite possible that you won’t even have to give a lot of thought to wedding rentals later on. One of the biggest benefits of using a traditional wedding venue is that they often handle most of the rentals for you.

If you’re having your wedding in a non-traditional setting, however, the cost of rentals is something you should take into account. It’s also important not to forget logistical issues. Will the rental company set everything up at the location? How and when will they expect you to return everything? How many tables, chairs, dishes, etc. should you order? These are just a few of the things you may need to know when handling rentals.

Dealing with wedding rentals can seem overwhelming at first, especially if you’re planning everything yourself. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

General  Tips for Wedding Rentals

For any kind of event rentals, there are some general tips to follow:

  • Check online reviews.You can get an idea of the quality of the products and how reliable and easy to work with the company is. WeddingWire may include reviews of companies in your area.
  • Minimize the amount of rental companies you use, especially if you aren’t working with a wedding planner. To make the logistics easier, working with just one company is ideal.
  • Have a good idea of what you need. Make sure you order the right things for your event.
  • Rental companies may present you with an overwhelming amount of options. Remember that you don’t have to go with the priciest.
  • Order the maximum amount you think you may need. Not having enough chairs, dishes, or glassware can really put a damper on things.
  • Make sure to ask about cancellation and refund policies.
  • If you’re having trouble deciding on a company, vendors such as you caterer or photographer may be able to give you recommendations based on their experience.
  • Make sure delivery, set-up, and pick-up times are clear for all parties involved.

Renting Tables

When it comes to tables, it can certainly be helpful to have an idea of what you want before talking with a rental company.

As you are no doubt aware, tables come in different shapes and sizes. Rectangular or banquet tables that seat 6 or 8 guests are a popular option. However, 60-inch and 72-inch round tables are the most efficient space-wise–they let you seat more people with fewer tables.

Of course, your needs will be specific to the venue of your reception or cocktail hour, and you should always keep the space you are working with in mind.


Rental companies can help you figure out the correct linen sizes, but we’ve included some basic information below about the different types of tables and the linen sizes you may need for them:

wedding rentals - tables

If you’ll be using the same tables for more than one event, you may also want to order some extra linens in case of stains!


When renting chairs, the most important thing is having enough! Of course you should also try to find something comfortable. Plan on having at least ten extra chairs for each event that requires seating, just in case.


  • When looking for dishes and flatware, make sure you order the right things for what you are serving. Your caterer can likely help you understand what you need in terms of dishes and glassware
  • An important question to ask when renting dishes is how the company want them returned. If they expect you to wash dishes instead of just scraping them, you may want to look at other options.
  • You will want to get about three extra dishes per guest, in case any are lost or broken. Likewise, order plenty of glassware–at least 3 glasses of each type per guest.

Renting a Tent

You may also consider renting a tent for outdoor events. This can be one of the more complicated rentals, but rental companies can help you figure out what will work for you. Some general tips to follow:

  • If there are plenty of options, shop around for a good deal. As with other rentals, you probably don’t need to go for the priciest option.
  • Knowing the cancellation policy is especially important with tent rentals, because you may decide you don’t need one at all if the weather is perfect.
  • Some tent features you may want to include are flooring (in case of rain) or heaters (if you are planning a wedding during the colder months).

Other rentals

Depending on the events of your wedding, you may also want to rent lighting or amplification.

For outdoor lighting and amplification, generators may also be necessary. You’ll want to make sure you have space for them a sufficient distance away from main area of the event, as they can be noisy and produce fumes.

There are lots of other things you can rent. Look for anything extra that might go with the theme of your wedding – larger rental companies may have surprising options!

Get Started – Plan ahead for wedding rentals

  • Use your guest count and the events of your wedding to calculate how many chairs and tables you will need.
    • Remember that you can use Joy to quickly get a guest count and see the number of guests and households attending. Just click “View Counts and RSVP Summary” at the bottom or your guest list page.

  • Write up a short description of your wedding – number of guests, the different events and which are outdoor and indoor – so you have it ready when speaking with rental companies.

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