Once you begin to think about the design of your wedding day and what it will all look like, you’ll need to decide what items you will source through a wedding rental vendor and what decor items you will purchase. If you are getting married in northern Virginia or the Washington, DC area more broadly, there are so many options! Whatever you choose, you’ll want the items at your wedding to be representative of who you are as a couple and to help share the story of your love for all your guests to experience. Here we’ll share some commonly overlooked details and what no one tells you about wedding rentals and decor!
Look at what you already have around you that could be used for decor. If you’re looking for a vintage lounge set, is there a relative who might have something that you could borrow? If you do need to purchase something, what could you buy now that you think you could reuse after the wedding so you get additional use out of it? Think frames for displaying photos, pillows for your lounge furniture, or even a custom-made table for your sweetheart table or head table that then becomes your dining table in your home. Maximize your dollars by finding ways to use items as decorations in your home after the wedding day is over.
The style of your meal matters for the type of wedding rentals you’ll want to secure!
Check with your planner, caterer or the rental company on the recommended quantity for each type of wedding rental item you’ll secure. More often than not, caterers are the ones managing rental orders and working with the rental company to adjust quantities. You should always order extra china, glassware, flatware and napkins. Guests may drop a fork, break a glass or dirty up a napkin and need a new one.
On the flip side, if you’re renting chairs for the ceremony, calculate how many people will be standing during the ceremony and subtract them from the chair count. This includes the couple, officiant (if included in the guest count), bridesmaids, groomsmen and any flower girls or ring bearers old enough to stand during the entire ceremony. None of these people need a seat during your ceremony!
The footprint of your tablescape refers to the size of how items on your guest tables are arranged, such as the china, flatware, glassware, and centerpieces. It’s essential you know the exact dimensions of the tables where your guests will sit and eat. You don’t want your tables to look too full or too empty, and placing the recommended amount of guests per table will ensure your seating arrangements look great and provide enough room and comfort for your guests.
If you’re going to have chargers, we’d suggest sticking to fewer guests per table than the maximum the table can accommodate. You don’t want your guests to be cramped with place settings on top of each other. If you’re having bread and butter plates or multiple glasses for water, champagne and wine, those will also take up valuable table space.
To create the appropriate amount of space for your tabletop designs, you may need to rent more tables than first thought to make sure the tablescape has room to breathe and every element can be fully seen. If you’re spending more for upgraded flatware, you don’t want it to be hidden underneath the sides of your plates for no one to see!
If you take nothing else away from this article, please, please make sure you thoroughly read your contracts before signing and submitting payment. Here are some details you’ll want to be clear about:
Make sure you know when the rentals can be delivered for your wedding. If you’re unsure, confirm with the venue prior to booking your wedding rentals. Some wedding rental vendors may assume they can deliver items the day before the wedding and pick up a day or two after. However, not every venue will allow that, especially if the venue often has weddings each day during the weekend. You don’t want to move forward with a quote that was based on next-day pick up only to realize the cost will go up significantly because you actually need same-day delivery. Next-day pick up is usually the more cost-efficient option.
Your wedding decor company may also have a “minimum” amount that needs to be spent before your order can qualify for delivery. This could be a year-round policy or you may see this just during peak wedding season. See if you can pick up smaller items via Will Call at the rental company’s location or have a family member rent a U-Haul if getting larger furniture and want to save some money on the delivery fee. Just know that if you have a Saturday wedding, some rental companies won’t open again until Monday for you to return the items, so if you’re renting a U-Haul, you may be holding onto it all weekend.
Don’t forget – the more rental companies, the more delivery fees. Try to consolidate your order and get as many items from one rental company as possible to get the most bang for your buck. You could also get delivery from one rental vendor and choose to pick up from another to balance it out.
This is when you need to think through the logistics. Working with an experienced wedding planner or coordinator will be a huge help in this area. Wedding planners are used to helping pack up at the end of the night and will be aware of all the items you’re bringing that need to find a way home once the wedding is over. Anything you bring to the venue must go home! Many venues in northern Virginia and Washington, DC require all wedding rentals, decor and other personal items be taken out of the venue the same night as the wedding. If you’re getting married in the DC area and this is the case for your venue, you’ll need to have some family members or friends who you can reliably trust to help stick around and load up a car and potentially drive it off the property if the venue doesn’t allow any vehicles to stay overnight.
Regardless of whether you rent or buy your wedding decorations, strive to make your wedding design unique and personal to you! It will be far more memorable and speak to your relationship in a greater way.
Are you looking for a modern rustic farmhouse touch and want an elevated dining experience for your guests? Learn more about our hand-made farm table wedding rentals and reach out for availability!
Such excellent guidance Christina.
Thank you, Rosanna!
This is a really well written article and everything is properly explained. Thank you for sharing this great list of planning an unforgettable airbnb wedding. Waiting for more such posts!