Rental stores carry almost everything, from candelabras to coffee makers. They feature specialty wedding items for your ceremony and reception. You'll find such things as serviceware, portable bars, arches, tents, chairs, tables and all the tableware, dishes, glassware, flatware, and much more. Many shops also carry disposable paper products, decorations, and a selection of bridal accessories.
Visit a rental shop while planning: It's smart to visit a showroom for ideas, and to see the types and styles of merchandise and equipment in stock. Brochures describe all the different items available for rent: style, colors, sizes and prices. Rental shops also offer terrific decorating ideas. Meet with one of the shop's consultants and discuss your wedding plans step-by-step. They can help you select just the right wedding items to suit your style and taste, as well as help you determine quantities needed.
Decide on formality and budget: Keep in mind the colors and decor of your site. Pick linens or paper products and tableware that will complement the room. Prices vary depending on the formality you choose; cloth linens will be more expensive than disposable tablecloths.
Rental items for all occasions: Don't forget the rental store for all your wedding-related party needs - rehearsal dinner, showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays, anniversaries, and theme parties.
Deposits, delivery, and setup: Reserve your items as far in advance as possible, especially during the summer months when outdoor weddings are popular. A deposit will secure the order for your date; a limited number of heart-shaped candelabras is available, and items are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Most items require a charge for delivery, setup, and pickup. Make sure you ask in advance about these charges, and include them in your budget. You can also make arrangements to pick up and return the items yourself.
Tent rental: A tent often serves as an ideal back up location for an outdoor wedding or reception, in case of unsuitable weather conditions. Many tents feature transparent vinyl siding that can be raised and lowered as needed. A tent supplier can recommend sources for any portable heating or air conditioning that you might need.
Important Note: Never use canvas tents treated with mineral oil for waterproofing; they are extremely flammable.
Tent Capacities: The following are estimated capacities for tents of typical sizes under normal conditions:
16' x 16' accommodates 45 reception, 32 buffet with seating, 24 served dinner 20' x 20' accommodates 65 reception, 56 buffet with seating, 40 served dinner 20' x 30' accommodates 100 reception, 86 buffet with seating, 60 served dinner 30' x 30' accommodates 180 reception, 124 buffet w/seating, 100 served dinner 40' x 40' accommodates 350 reception, 280 buffet w/seating, 240 served dinner
Choosing a Tent Site: When arranging tents with a single transparent vinyl side, consider the position of the sun during your event; if the clear portion faces due west through an evening reception, the sunset may be blinding. Also, be certain that you do not pitch your tent over low or uneven ground that might accumulate water runoff.
Returning items: If you don't arrange delivery and pickup services with the rental company, you will want to put someone in charge of picking up and returning the rented items for you. You will be responsible and may forfeit any deposit for items that are damaged, broken, lost, or late. Make sure you inform your parents ahead of time, or assign a reliable friend to keep track of rented items and return them safely to the place they were rented from.
Theme wedding: Theme weddings are very popular and can include Western, Mardi Gras, and Jazz. Props to enhance your decor are available at most rental shops. The couple can also personalize their wedding by incorporating hobbies and personal passions into their theme.