Figuring out what to rent for a wedding is an oft-forgotten part of planning. Without sticking to a wedding rental checklist, your guests won’t have chairs to sit on, glasses to drink from, and forks to eat with. To help keep costs down, these items (and many more!) are usually rented, rather than purchased, from a trusted wedding rental company or may be included with your venue or catering packages. Either way, you should finalize your rentals about two to three months before your wedding.
This wedding rental checklist will ensure that you’ll have all of these must-have items to ensure your big day is a success.
You might have heard just about everyone ask, “Do you have a Plan B?” If you're hosting an outdoor wedding, it's a good idea to have a tent at the ready in case of inclement weather—and that doesn't just include rain. Your guests should be kept comfortable and shielded from blazing sun or billowing winds. But that’s not all—a marquee entrance tent, gutters, a stage for your musicians, climate control, clear sides, and pole covers may be needed, too. In some cases, you may need a generator (more on that below) and a separate catering prep tent. Are you a fan of draping fabric across the tent's ceiling? Include that as well.
Tables and Chairs
Obviously, tables and chairs an important part of your wedding rental checklist for you and your guests to sit during the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception—but don't forget about other spots throughout your wedding where tables and chairs are necessary. Your musicians need a place to sit and rest their instruments. Add another table for your gifts and cards, another for your seating assignments, another for your cake and desserts, and another for your favors. You also may be surprised at how many different types of chairs and tables are available, whether you're going for long farm tables with crossback chairs or modern square tables with Ghost chairs. Work with your venue coordinator and rentals company to figure out where tables and chairs will be needed based on your guest list and other details of your event.
Many venues will have a dance floor included, but for those that don't, you’ll need to include it on your wedding rental checklist. Depending on how many guests are attending, you'll be able to determine the size of your dance floor—industry standard dictates around 4-and-a-half square feet per guest, figuring that about half of your guests will be dancing at the same time. Wood is the most common type of dance floor available, but there are other options.
If you're hosting a backyard wedding or a wedding in a rural venue, you may need to rent a generator. Think about how much electricity it requires to power your wedding. Your event space needs it to turn on the lights, your caterer needs it cook and bake, your DJ needs it to play music, and your maid of honor and best man needs it to give their toasts via a microphone and set of speakers.
Linens and Napkins
There are a wide variety of table linen styles and fabrications out there—pick the ones that suit your overall wedding theme and style the best, and don't be afraid to mix and match. We love sequined, striped, honeycomb, and damask designs.
Dinnerware, Flatware, and Barware
How else would your guests be able to eat and drink? When it comes to thinking about what to rent for your wedding, don’t forget chargers and serving plates, forks, knives, spoons, red and white wine glasses, water glasses, champagne flutes, highball glasses, rock glasses, and coffee mugs. And maybe something extra special for those signature drinks like mason jars.
Fresh, lush flowers will go a long way to make your big day look amazing, but what do you put them in? That’s where your florist comes in. Many florists provide rental items to support their arrangements. Opt to rent arches, aisle marker stands, vases, vessels, votive candles, lanterns, candelabras, etc.
Give your guests a quiet area to rest their feet and chat. Arrange a family room layout with vintage couches, armchairs, coffee tables, maybe a rug, and more.
Note: This should only be included on your wedding rental checklist if you’re hosting a backyard or tented event where restrooms aren’t easily accessible (or if you’d prefer your guests not use the restrooms in your home, in the case of a backyard wedding). Restrooms are obviously a requirement, and rented restroom trailers are usually quite spacious and well-appointed.
Talk to your vendors (particularly your caterer) about other types of items you might need to add to your wedding rental checklist. For example, bartenders need coolers for cocktails to reach the perfect temperature, your waitstaff may need pitchers to serve drinks, and if you’re hosting a buffet or family-style meal, you’ll need serving dishes and more.