Peaked tents, chandeliers, chivari chairs, and luxurious linens – they are the basic building blocks of Pinterest-worthy weddings. Most big events require some kind of rental, whether the couple arranges for items directly or they are handled through a venue, event planner, or wedding designer. Since many couples have at least something to do with choosing their own rentals, we wanted to point out that these types of contracts are complex. Not understanding your agreement can set you up for chaos, and can sometimes be a costly mistake.
Here are some details to consider and common mistakes to avoid so you too can have a picture perfect wedding day.
It seems unlikely, but is easier to do than one would believe – in the excitement of engagements and wedding planning, couples have been known to do things like, oh, forget their actual wedding date! Maybe they are thinking of similar important dates, or are looking so forward to the honeymoon that they accidentally focus on the day after. Maybe there are just too many details for the average human being to keep straight. But any rental representative can probably share with you “that time when…” someone booked their tent, reserved their chairs, or confirmed delivery for the wrong date.
The basics are very, very important. Large rental companies are processing thousands of pieces in a manner of hours, and their delicate systems can detect a whole lot of potential problems – but they can’t know when you’ve just made a mistake. If you’re lucky, they may catch it if they compare notes with your venue, but when you are planning your wedding, you can’t rely on luck.
Before you sign, and again when you confirm, make sure you have provided all of the correct important details: dates, times, delivery policies, pick up instructions, and more. Look over it with a fine tooth comb and with more than one pair of eyes. Never assume that you provided, or your salesperson heard, the correct information. See it in writing and be completely sure.
Delivery & Pick Up
Understanding the basic operations of a rental company can be very helpful when trying to understand delivery policies. If you are working with a venue, and not hosting a home wedding, there will be policies to be followed including specific times when rentals can be delivered and retrieved. Additionally, your rental company will likely have a “regular” delivery/pick-up window, and extra early, late, and Sunday fees if you need special handling. Understand your responsibilities to the rental company and the associated rates so you can best plan and anticipate your final bill. Your wedding planner, rental representative, or venue manager can help you choose the best times for delivery and pick up.
Set Up and Take Down
If major event planning isn’t your daily business or your regular hobby, you may be surprised to find out that simply renting tables, chairs, linens, lighting, and décor does not address who will actually be setting up and breaking down your events. The rental company will assume that you have made other arrangements (to set them up yourself, for examples, or have friends or a professional crew set up for you). If you want the rental staff to set up and break down your items, you need to request and generally pay extra for the labor necessary to perform the work.
It really should be less surprising that rental companies have to protect their inventory. While many are generous with very tiny markings on chairs, and the occasional small stain on a linen, they’re not as fond of having their inventory returned to them in with major damage that can be hard, or impossible, to repair. When you sign your names to the contract, you accept responsibility for the actions of your guests, no matter how much alcohol they have consumed or how clumsy they are. Really read the details so you clearly understand what you could be on the hook for after the wedding, and find some key family members or friends to keep an eye on your rowdier guests to prevent damage in the first place.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to wedding rentals, but some attention to detail and a little education about how things work can help you plan a magical, seamless, practically perfect wedding day. If you need some inspiration check out our gallery!