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What Are Wedding Rentals?

Everyone’s dream wedding is unique. For some, it’s a black-tie event with caviar, a private concert from Justin Bieber, neon lights, and trapeze artists dangling from the ceiling wearing feather boas and lime green leotards. For others, it’s a quiet backyard get-together with homemade food, a live band, and handpicked florals. That’s why we love what we do — because even if every person in the world had a wedding, no two would be exactly the same. Your priorities and your style are entirely your own, and we personally think that’s thrilling.

Regardless of what your dream wedding may look like, the look of your event is inevitably something you’ll need to consider. What kinds of decorations will you need to bring the vision of your dream wedding to life? How much will it cost? How many of those decorations will you need to search for, or will you be responsible for DIY-ing them? Considering your budget, how realistic is the vision you have for your day? And if you’re planning on DIY-ing them, how much time do you realistically have to commit to it? Is the time commitment worth the amount of money you’ll save by doing it yourself?


In recent years, wedding rentals have become the go-to solution for couples who want to celebrate their big day in style, stick to a budget, and avoid a post-wedding garage full of random shit they’ll never use again. We get asked wedding rental-related questions on the daily, and because rentals are becoming such a big deal in the industry, we figured we’d do all you lovebirds a solid and whip up this guide on the subject. Keep on reading to get the lowdown!




So uh, what exactly are wedding rentals?


Wedding rentals are a relatively new concept. It’s an affordable alternative to purchasing or creating decorations to own. In short, you pay a fraction of the cost to buy your decorations new in order to rent them for the day of your event. You have them for your wedding day, return them afterward, and that’s it! In order to fully understand what wedding rentals are and whether they’re the right option for you, however, we want to first outline all of your decor options for your big day. Here they are …


Purchase to Own


If you’d like to own all of your decorations, you can purchase them on your own. There are plenty of ways to do this affordably (purchasing secondhand, waiting for sales, etc.), but at the end of the day, you will be responsible for storing ALL your items before and after your day.


Pros of purchasing to own:

  • You can resell your decor when you’re done with it

  • You can reuse them for future events

  • If anything is broken or damaged, you won’t have to pay an additional fee


Cons of purchasing to own:

  • You’re responsible for storage before and after the event (oftentimes, you’ll have hundreds of the same thing)

  • It’s the most expensive option

  • Searching for deals and waiting for sales takes a lot of time

  • If you resell your items, you often only make a fraction of your investment back

  • You’ll need to clean and prep all of your items before reselling them


DIY


If you’re the artsy type (or perhaps you’re ballin’ on a budget), then creating your decorations yourself may be the best option for you. This option requires a lot of time, preparation, and research, but if you do it right it can be very rewarding!


Pros of DIY:

  • It’s affordable

  • Creating decor can be a fun activity for you and your partner

  • You can resell and/or reuse your decorations when you’re done with them


Cons of DIY:

  • It’s very, very time consuming

  • If not done correctly on the first try, it can end up being just as (if not more) expensive as purchasing your decorations pre-made

  • Can be high-stress


Renting


If you value a low-stress, low-cost experience, and high-quality decor, renting will most definitely be your cup of tea.


Pros of renting:

  • Low cost (typically, you save 50-90% when you opt to rent over purchase)

  • Low stress, and at the end of the day, you’re not responsible for figuring out what to do with all your decorations

  • Allows you the opportunity to have decorations you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford or find

  • Get the exact number you want/need (no need to purchase a pack of 25 if you only want 10)

  • Gain decor setup experience from the professionals you’re working with

  • The vendor you’re renting the product from most likely has a service for set up and/or tear down, which makes your experience much less stressful

  • You don’t have to “prep” or clean the item for resale or reuse outside of what’s listed in the contract


Cons of renting:

  • If you want to reuse your decor, you’ll have to rent them again

  • If anything is damaged or broken, you’ll have to pay a replacement or repair fee

  • If you’re getting married in a remote or rural location, you may not have a rental company that serves your area


How do rentals work?


Although every rental company is different, they typically function similarly. First, you look at their inventory and decide what you want or need for your day (some rental companies offer consultations where they help you to decide what rentals would be best for you). If a rental company doesn’t have what you’re looking for, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’d be willing to add something to their inventory. More often than not, if it’s an item that other couples will likely want to rent in the future, they will be willing to purchase a new item for you.

Once you choose what item(s) you’d like to rent, you will pay a deposit to reserve them for your day. This is typical of almost every type of wedding vendor. Before your big day, you’ll pay the remainder of your bill.


When your wedding day rolls around, you will either pick up your rental items or your rental company will deliver them to you. Some companies even offer set-up and tear-down services to ensure your experience is totally stress-free! Be sure to clarify this detail beforehand and plan your logistics around it. Once your event is over, you will either return the items yourself or they will be picked up by the rental company. Again, be sure to clarify when the items are due back. Typically, you will have a few days after your wedding to return them.





How much do rentals cost?


We get this question all the time! And truthfully, there’s no catch-all answer for this one, so we’ll answer to the best of our ability. Wedding rentals cost a fraction of the cost to purchase an item new. For example, let’s say you want to rent out some vintage goblets for your wedding reception. Typically, these would cost about $10-15 each to purchase. If you choose to rent them instead, they'll likely cost about $2 apiece. If you’re wanting to determine whether or not rentals would be a cost-effective choice for you, here’s what we recommend: write up a list of your dream decorations, along with the costs to buy them new. Once you have a total estimate for what it would cost to purchase all your decor new, submit an inquiry with an event planning or rental company to receive an estimate for the cost to rent. Compare the two totals as you wish!


What do I need to rent for my wedding?


That, friend, is completely up to you. What does your dream day look like? If it includes something you don’t currently own, odds are, there’s somewhere you can rent it. And as we mentioned before, if you can’t find it available for rent somewhere, as long as it’s something that future couples will also want to rent, there are plenty of companies that are willing to purchase something new in order for you to rent it from them!


With that being said, if you’d like a general guide to what items we recommend renting for your wedding, see below!


If you’re having your day at a professional venue …


Most venues provide a handful of necessities so you don’t have to rent them. Big rentals like tables, chairs, linens, sound system, etc. are typically included in the price of a venue reservation (but don’t assume, always ask your venue). Assuming that your venue includes these items, here’s what we recommend for wedding rentals:

  • Faux greenery

  • Votives and candles

  • Vases

  • Dinnerware

  • Table runners

  • Table numbers

  • Platters and cake stands

  • Signage

  • Donut walls

  • Backdrops and walls for photo ops

  • Lighting (chandeliers, string lights, etc.)

  • Hanging fixtures and decorative chandeliers

  • Frames or sign holders





If you’re having a backyard wedding, or your venue doesn’t provide those larger items …


You may not have access to free (or included) amenities for your day. If that’s the case, reference the below list for what we recommend you rent:

  • Faux greenery

  • Votives and candles

  • Vases

  • Dinnerware

  • Table runners

  • Table numbers

  • Platters and cake stands

  • Signage

  • Donut walls

  • Backdrops and walls for photo ops

  • Lighting (chandeliers, string lights, etc.)

  • Tent

  • Tables

  • Chairs

  • Portable restrooms

  • Generators

  • Dance floor

  • Sound system

  • Portable bar





Are rentals right for me?


If you haven’t gathered by now, we’re strong proponents of wedding rentals. It’s a great way to reduce cost, stress, and the amount of waste you produce on your wedding day. But, with that being said, rentals are definitely not right for everyone. If any of the below bullet points sound like you, you may not want to rent …

  • If you can’t get a Return on Investment (AKA you can’t resell your purchases), you don’t want anything to do with it

  • You live for DIY projects, even if it means it’ll put some more work on your plate

  • You like having complete control of your decor, and you don’t trust someone else’s items


Still unsure whether or not wedding rentals are right for you? If the below bullet points resonate with you, then you’re just the kind of person who should rent …

  • You value a low-stress experience

  • You want a dream wedding, but you also don’t want to spend more money than necessary

  • You don’t want to have to bother with figuring out what to do with all your decor after your wedding is over

  • You want to minimize the amount of waste you produce on your wedding day (you don’t want to purchase things just to throw them out afterward)

  • You value your time above all else. You don’t have time for the sourcing, researching, and coordinating that comes with figuring out your decor on your own






So, to wrap it all up …


No matter what your dream wedding day looks like, there are plenty of ways to make bringing your vision to life a possibility. If you’re interested in getting started with your wedding rental journey, we’d be thrilled to help you! You can start by checking out our inventory on Pinterest, and if you’re ready, you can submit an inquiry with us here!

If you’re not psyched on the idea of wedding rentals, but you’d like some help creating the dreamiest wedding day ever, our design, planning, and coordination team is ready to help you make it happen! If you’d like, you can click here to learn a bit more about our services.

Thanks for reading, and happy wedding planning!

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