Since most of us don’t have 200 extra chairs lying around, we often find ourselves renting from an event rental company. Event rental companies take great pride in keeping quality safe rentals available and in stock for weddings especially during peak season, but I do know a few tricks to lower your bill!
Order through your local wedding expo
Vendors, as well as rental companies, spend an extraordinary amount of their advertising budgets at a wedding expo. They often have a discount sometimes 10% or more if you book your viewing right there at the wedding expo. So, bring your calendar if you go, you can see more about what to do before attending a wedding expo in my other blog by clicking here. Ask all the questions you might be wondering, such as: Does the wedding event rental company carried the style of chair you desire? or Do they deliver at your wedding venue? Will the chairs be on carts? Will the rental company set up? And so on
Choose a wedding rental business with a warehouse close to your event. A lot of the fees consist of delivery, and rightfully so. The trucks, employees, and carts are all part of the delivery. Loading the 200 chairs and 25 tables along with everything else that you reserve does take some skill and a lot of labor. So, look around and compare the different delivery fees if you have a couple of rental companies to choose from.
Share the cost
Communicate with your venue and see if there is a bride renting the same items from the rental company the day before or the day after your event. This might take a little bit of foresight and planning between you and your venue, but it could save thousands of dollars not only for you but also for the other bride with a wedding adjacent to your wedding.
Pick up your own items
If you have a small wedding, you might consider picking up your own rental items and avoid the costly delivery fee. I say this with a large word of caution, only do this if you are prepared to load and unload very heavy items and have a truck and/or trailer to transport them. You will need to bring straps and a couple of the strong people to load these items and unload them as well as return them after your wedding. But if you are prepared and have the time and vehicle this could save you a few hundred dollars in delivery fees. Just keep your loading crew handy after your wedding!
Ask your venue
Two things to ask your venue:
1-What items do they have available to use?
2-Are they on the preferred list of any rental company?
These two things will allow you to know what the venue has available whether it’s just a few shepherd’s hooks or maybe they even have some chairs that they don’t necessarily offer but maybe they haven’t dedicated for larger guest lists at discount. Also if the venue has a preferred rental company there is often a discount to be used because of repeat business.
Ask your wedding vendors for a referral
Similarly, like your venue, some of your other wedding vendors might have a connection with a rental company in your area. You just don’t know when less you ask. Be sure to pay it forward and refer your vendors to other brides.
Buy and sell your tables and chairs
While this might be a large cost up front, but you might be surprised with the amount of secondhand tables and chairs available in your area especially if you live in a larger city. Some rental companies also have a off season clearance sales where they sell their old inventories at a discount. While there is great risk involved that you might not even be able to sell this inventory after your wedding, it is a good option to keep in your hat.
Reserve the fewest items possible
It seems pretty common now to have fewer and fewer people show up even after and they send back their RSVP. If you are reserving items from a large rental company, it’s unlikely that they will completely sold out before your big day. Reserve tables and chairs on the low end of your event because if you need to cancel your nonrefundable deposit will be lower. Also, when you get very close to your date, rework the numbers and adjust your guest count numbers. There is no need to have an entire stack of chairs not being used at your wedding.
Read your contract
Always read your contract especially in the wedding industry. Some rental companies have 50% nonrefundable deposits especially on certain items such as tents. Sometimes there it is a cancellation deadline to receive 100% deposit refunded. Knowing this will at least give you time to cancel in case of an emergency and get your money back.
Get wedding insurance
Way too many people look over this inexpensive wedding insurance. In the year 2020, wedding insurance was a blessing in disguise for hundreds of thousands of brides. Depending on which wedding insurance you purchase this could work for emergencies or cancellations.
Use caution reserving tents
Tents are a huge percentage of a rental budget. I’ve noticed a lot of brides hold off on renting tents until they can see the weather for their events. The problem with waiting until 10 days before your event is that most rental companies are sold out of their tents by then or simply can’t rework their delivery schedule that quickly. I have seen brides frantically call rental companies during the rehearsal because the rain was unexpected. Tents are also generally not refundable. You can read more about reserving types for your outdoor wedding through this article.
I’ve been there; in the showroom of a Rental Company with 10 different tables all decorated and very eye pleasing. It is super easy to go hog wild and free, adding things to your list but those little items add up. Thankfully, ordering the rentals usually comes fairly early on your list of things to do, so it’s really easy to be awestruck and have too many nonessential items on your last. You might find that a chocolate fountain isn’t actually on your list of desserts. So, I recommend go back through your list of rentals and delete the nonessentials or the duplicates that you acquire throughout your wedding planning process
Buy your own linens
Linens are also an exceptionally large expense and for good reason. Washing, pressing, and storing linens takes a lot of time and labor. However, many brides do it and if you have a few extra hours a week consider buying your linens from a company like TableCloths Factory (affiliate link here) and iron them at home with a household iron and ironing board. You can also often find used linens either through your rental company or through another bride in an online classifieds. Afterward, if your linens are still in good condition, you can sell them to another bride or maybe just donate them to an animal shelter.
Start your own a rental company
Similarly, to buying and selling your tables and chairs, and entrepreneurial mind could also purchase enough tables and chairs for their wedding and rent them out before and after their wedding. This takes a lot of planning, tracking of your inventories and communication as well as some business skills, but it can be a great way to ultimately eliminate your rental budget.