Depending on your specific wedding venue, you may need to rent a variety of different items for your ceremony and reception, including tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, tents, and lighting. The price of these rentals can add up quickly, especially when you consider any additional delivery and setup fees. Luckily, there are ways to bring in the pieces you want without blowing your budget. Here, six ways to slash prices when borrowing furniture and decorations for the big day.
Decide what matters most.
Instead of spending a ton on all of your rentals, splurge on the items that matter most to you in terms of aesthetics and functionality. For example, if you want your reception tables to be the focal point of your party, it's worth spending more on tablecloths and flatware. If a serious party is your biggest priority, then splurge on those fancy string lights and an epic dance floor. The rest of your rentals can be less expensive to balance the cost.
Choose your timing wisely.
Thanks to supply and demand, rental costs tend to rise for more popular wedding dates. Consider planning your wedding for another day of week (like a Sunday afternoon) and or during a less busy time of year (like the winter). Costs will also be even lower for a weeknight wedding, but keep in mind that many guests may have timing conflicts.
See what your venue has to offer.
Before you book your venue, ask about their policy on rentals. Some full-service event locations will provide tables, chairs, dinnerware, and other items for a celebration—often at no additional cost. However, if you're planning to get married somewhere that doesn't host many weddings, you may have to provide everything yourself. You can slash your spendings by sticking with venues that include full or partial rentals, and making the most of what is on offer before bringing anything in.
Make your rentals work double duty.
If your ceremony and reception sites are in close proximity, there's no need to rent separate chairs and accessories for each event. Instead, make the rentals work double duty by reusing them. Have family members or venue staff move the items during your cocktail hour. You may also opt to change the look of them by making budget-friendly alterations; for example, add cushions or sashes to the chairs.
Wedding planners often have close relationships with a few different rental companies, so, if you're working with a planner, take advantage of their contacts to score discounts. You may also cut costs by booking rentals far in advance (more than six to eight months out) and sticking with one single company for all items.
Split items with another couple.
A few months before the wedding, ask your venue if they have another wedding booked for the same day—or on the days before or after—your own celebration. That couple may be willing to share rentals and split the cost evenly with you. If you do this, make sure to plan the logistics of delivery and pickup with the other couple to avoid hassle and confusion.