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Wedding Rentals: Five Rules Every Couple Should Know Before Renting

Updated on February 8, 2012

Renting Chairs? Better Know the Five Rules

Five Rules for Wedding Rentals

Planning a wedding inevitably leads to renting equipment. Often you rent equipment or products for a wedding that you have never rented before, and if you owned it, you wouldn't need to rent it. As you enter this new territory, it is important to ask the right questions to end up with the right results. Whether you are renting chairs, a P.A. system, D.J. equipment, or a bouncy castle, demand the highest level of service from your vendor. Follow these five rules.

Rule #1: Know what you need.

The kinds of rentals you will need likely depends on your venue. Hotels, churches, and event halls probably already have everything you need. If you have decided on an outdoor wedding, you might need to rent chairs and a P.A. system. Many rental companies will also rent decorations, such as arbors.

If your wedding has fewer than 75 people, it is not likely that you need a microphone to be heard. If you are trying to save money, think about whether you need a P.A. System.

If your ceremony is only 10 minutes long on the beach, do you need chairs? Does the arbor improve the ceremony site? Asking yourself these questions can keep you from renting moree than you need.

Rule #2 Calculate Rent vs. Buy

While it is not likely you will want 100 chairs after your wedding day is over, some rentals cost as much as buying. A P.A. system can cost over $100, but a mic that ties into a speaker system you already own might only cost $20. Buy the mic and enjoy endless evenings of karaoke. You save in the end.

Coolers, for example, are often just as cheap to buy as they are to rent. Compare prices before you rent.

Rule #3: Demand Excellent Service and Flexibility

No matter how much you look at your guest list, it will change last minute, so make sure your rental company is willing to reduce your rentals at the last minute. It can save a lot.

If you get any inkling that the rental company's service is less than excellent. Look around for someone else. On your wedding day, it doesn't matter where the white folding chair came from. It matters that is was delivered on time, set up the way it was supposed to be set up, and that is was ready to use when it arrived.

Rule #4: Ask lots of questions.

When was it cleaned? Has the equipment been tested? Are there batteries? How does it work? Which attachments or wires will I need for an iPod?

These questions are not ones you want to ask the day of the event. Write them down and ask them ahead of time. If you are renting technical equipment, ask to be trained on the exact unit you are going to receive. You want to know how it works before it arrives.

Always ask to see an itemized invoice before you pay. The invoice should detail any set-up and delivery costs. Then you can decide for yourself if it is worth the extra money.

Rule #5: Convenience is King

The whole point of renting is to save yourself money and worry. If the rental company cannot guarantee important details such as the set-up time or the cleanliness of the equipment, find another rental company ASAP. It doesn't do any good to save a few dollars on the rental, if it means you are going to wiping down chairs on your wedding day.

How many chairs can I fit?

If you are renting chairs, you will probably find yourself asking how many chairs can fit into a space. Figure each chair needs at least 5 square feet. A folding chair takes up about 5 square feet. That is not to say a chair and occupant will inhabit a 2.5 x 2.5 ft. space. It is more like 2 x 3. (Remember the legs sticking out front.)

How does this help you? If you are renting chairs for an indoor space, you will have to get measurements of the room to know how many square feet the room has. If you are renting chairs for an outdoor space, you can find precise measurements using your local county's GIS website. Search for the name of your county + GIS, and it should show up.

This website will allow you to find the area of your wedding site. You can even draw a polygon. It will calculate square feet for you. Divide the area by five. That's how many chairs can fit in that area.

Remember to subtract chairs out for an aisle.

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