The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Rentals

From sleek, chic and minimal to decor that oozes vintage charm, there’s a wide world of stylish pieces ready to rent. Don’t forget the photo booth!

Gatsby glam. Boho chic. Minimalist zen. If you can envision your ceremony style and décor, you can create it in real life. Such is the state of party and event rentals today. And while the biggest cities offer the widest range of options, if you do some online digging, you’ll be surprised at how much is available, no matter your wedding locale. 

wedding seating
Photo courtesy of Taylor Creative Inc.

Tips for Your Rentals

Make it fun! Consider renting crowd-pleasers such as cotton candy makers and popcorn machines. For outdoor areas, offer games like bocce ball and a beanbag toss.

Your best source for rentals? Ask your caterer, floral designer or venue site manager for referrals. Or go to, a website run by the American Rental Association. Type in what you’re looking for (anything from tables to tents, etc.), and your location to find companies in your area.

How much do you need? Order at least three to four dishes, glasses, stemware and flatware pieces per guest, says Jenny Orsini, owner and creative director at Jenny Orsini Events in New Jersey. For a cocktail hour, you’ll need at least three glasses for each person. And order at least 10 extra chairs for your ceremony, plus 10 extras for your cocktail party and reception in case any chairs arrive cracked or broken.

The essential questions to ask

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Have you worked events at our ceremony/reception venue(s) before? (A very important question, especially for tent rentals!)
  • Can we view item selections before renting?
  • Will we be able to view actual rental items from your supply, or will we be shown samples?
  • Will we be able to contact you on the day of our event? (Get the name and cell phone number of an in-charge person in case of problems and needed solutions.)
  • Are setup and delivery fees included in our order? Or are they extra?
  • What are delivery charges for our locations?
  • How much is required for deposit?
  • When is deposit due? (Most companies require a non-refundable deposit, roughly equal to one-third of the total rental package price. This amount is usually due when you book your rental items.)
  • When is final payment due?
  • Which methods of payment do you accept?
  • When will our rented items be delivered to the venue? Arrange for a time that allows setup without pressure, at least several hours before your event starts.
  • Will delivery workers bring all rented items inside the venue and set everything up? Or do you offer ‘tailgate service’ delivery, wherein the company just drops off your rented items in a driveway or at the venue entrance, leaving you to carry everything inside and set up yourself?
  • Will someone instruct us on how to operate the rented item? (Especially key for lighting rentals.)
  • When will delivery workers return to collect all rented items after the wedding?
  • How do we prepare rented items for pickup? Do we have to clean dishes, glasses, flatware first, or do we load dirties into their crates?
  • How will rented chairs need to be arranged for pickup? Some companies require you to fold chairs closed and some require sliding them into padded delivery bags in which they came.
  • What are the costs and details in case any items are broken or lost?
  • What is your cancellation/refund policy?

Here, we'll break it all down category by category.

Next: Tables, Chairs, and Linens