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Everything You Need to Know About Renting Reception Tables

A wedding table checklist for every bride.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: PHOTOPHILCRO

Selecting tables for your wedding reception isn't the most exciting aspect of planning, but the functional pieces of furniture are necessary for seating guests, as well as holding the cake, buffet items, party favors, escort cards, and more. Some venues supply tables for weddings (along with other party necessities like chairs, dinnerware, and linens) while other venues, especially those that don't host many events, require you to use an outside rental service. Before you order your wedding tables, you'll need to decide exactly what you want to rent—that means the style and quantity. To help you determine what you need (and how many!), check out our wedding table rental guide below.

 

Expert Advice: Party Rental

 

Choosing the Size

Look on any rental service website and you'll see that tables come in a variety of sizes and shapes—usually round, rectangular, square, and high-top. Depending on their size, round tables typically accommodate anywhere from a handful of guests up to 12 or 14 loved ones. As a rule of thumb, 30" tables comfortably seat two or four guests while 72" tables can seat up to 10 guests comfortably. Square tables are ideal for seating small numbers of people, since most typically fit four or eight guests.

 

Keep in mind that some rental companies only offer rectangular and round tables, so you may have to look elsewhere for square-shaped ones. Rectangular tables (sometimes called banquet tables) seat from anywhere from four to 10 guests depending on the length.You also have the option to connect several rectangular tables together to create one large communal table, which seats dozens of people in one attention-grabbing arrangement. High-top tables, which accommodate two or four people and necessitate bar stools, are ideal for cocktail hour.

 

The Aesthetic Factor

Some rental tables—like the beautiful wooden farmhouse varieties that have become hugely popular—look elegant enough to stand alone with only a few centerpieces as décor elements. But since a majority of rental tables look plain and simple, couples often choose to dress them up with rental linens like tablecloths and runners. The way you arrange tables within your reception space also contributes to the overall look of your wedding reception. Before renting, use your venue's floor plans to determine a functional and visually pleasing layout. Don't hesitate to recruit your wedding planner or rental agent for help. Most couples find that renting tables in a variety of shapes and sizes takes advantage of their space while adding visual variety.

 

The Rental Process

Like all elements of a wedding, tables must be booked in advance. Start researching companies online four to six months before the wedding, and place an order as soon as possible. Venues, wedding planners, caterers, and florists may also be able to recommend a reliable rental service company. Once a couple decides on the tables to rent, they'll usually place an order online, over the phone, or in a showroom. Most companies will give a quote for the tables beforehand. Then, prior the ceremony, the rental service will drop off the tables at your ceremony or reception site. Sometimes, drop-off service requires an additional fee, and sometimes it's only available for those who spent a minimum amount on rentals. After the ceremony, the rental company will pick up the items for returns, often charging you for any damaged or scratched pieces of furniture.

 

Pricing for Renting Tables

Naturally, large rectangular tables cost more than simple folding tables. Exact prices depend on the company and the products you're ordering, but expect to pay $8-$12 for the average rental. More elaborate varieties (like farmhouse tables made of high-quality wood) can cost hundreds of dollars. Keep in mind that you'll probably need to pay for a deposit (sometimes as much as 50%) in addition to the delivery and set-up fees.

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About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...

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