Renting for a Memorable Wedding

For the bride and groom who want their wedding to be different, your area event and party rental professional can help you dream it up and make it happen. Choosing the right rental company is key to the success of your wedding.

What’s for rent?
Just about every type of special-event equipment you can imagine is for rent–gigantic tents, small canopies, wedding arches and candelabra, fine serving pieces, party decorations, food service equipment, coolers, roasters and grills, elaborate lighting, tables, chairs, silverware, china, gazebos, linens, candelabra, portable bars, dance floors, portable toilets,….the list goes on and on. And it’s all for rent.

Some rental centers even have complete event planning services to help you find caterers, florists, photographers, musicians and professional decorators.

What to tell the rental store
Decide on the date, time, location and approximate number of people who will attend. Set your budget and in addition to the type of special event you wish to have (a dinner, for example), decide what ambiance you wish to create. Should it be informal or formal, simple or elaborate? (a buffet versus a catered, sit-down dinner.)
If you are planning to rent a tent, find out if there are underground sprinklers, wires, cables or sewer easements at the site. When erecting the tent, rental personnel otherwise will assume the location is free of these potential dangers.

Selecting a rental firm
The rental company you select may depend on the size and type of event you have in mind. Event-related businesses range from the small–a department in a general rental store–to the huge, a party rental operation with multi-store chains. You will need to find a firm that has the resources your event requires. Larger operations, of course, have more diverse inventory and more resources to pull together.

Look for a rental center that is a member of a business or trade association, such as the American Rental Association, whose member rental businesses set high standards for business practices.

When choosing your rental company, interview those in your area. Don’t talk about price of each chair, table, or whatever. More importantly, get a feel for the attitude of the company. This is the biggest event in your life – you want to choose a rental company with whom you are comfortable. And ask yourself these questions. Is the store open at convenient hours for you to set a planning appointment? Is the company ready to take over all the details of your wedding? Is the store’s owner going to be involved with your event? Do you feel the salesperson may be over-promising resources? Do you feel confident the operation is organized? Can it accommodate last-minute changes that often make or break an event? Can it supply you with references? You’ll want to choose a company with a good “bedside manner” —  they’ll sooth your frazzled nerves and assure you all the details are addressed.

In general, the reliable rental companies all have similar pricing. If a company’s fees seem to be priced way below market, look out – in this case, the cliché “you get what you pay for” usually applies.

The rental contract
You have the right to be serviced with the equipment agreed upon in your contract, in top condition, delivered or available on time, and picked up on time.

The rental company has the right to expect you to be responsible for the equipment while it is in your possession, including providing on-site security, when necessary. For example, if you are renting an expensive tent overnight, it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s still there in top condition in the morning.

Make sure you understand the store’s rental rates, store hours and policy for returns. Rental equipment is available at daily, weekly or even monthly rates. Generally, the rental store is responsible for equipment maintenance and immediately should replace equipment that breaks down. But when damage occurs because of a customer’s negligence or abuse, he or she is responsible for repair or replacement.

Depending on the time of year your wedding will take place, allow the rental company from two to six months lead time. If your wedding is in June, contact the rental center early, at least six months in advance, because June is a very busy month for wedding rentals. Make sure the equipment you want is reserved. If your event is in February, a much more leisurely time for rental businesses, two months in advance probably is enough lead time.

ready, set. . .rent
Okay, so now you know the in’s and out’s of renting.  You can find your local rental companies in bridal magazines, on the Internet, bridal shows or through one of your other vendors. Interview a few of them to find the right one you feel will take your dreams and make it a reality!

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