Monday, May 28, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Wedding Rental Supplies

Your backup for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception is a rental supply store. Most of these rental stores have many things for weddings. They are your backup for almost anything you need for a wedding. They can provide you with any dishes for a place setting, they can provide you with any dishes that can serve your wedding meal and also cooking vessels, linens for your reception tables  and anything that can help you prepare your wedding day meal.

The rental store often has many other things too for your wedding. Many rental companies also can provide you with wedding tents, tables and chairs, wedding decorations, and many other things you might be able to use such as champagne or chocolate fountains or any supplies needed for your wedding ceremony including wedding arches, a wedding guest sign up book, also a cake topper for your wedding cake and a cake serving set, or champagne glasses and many other things you might need for a wedding.

It is highly recommended to scope out local wedding rental services companies before meeting with many of your wedding vendors, you don't need to talk to rental services when you are starting out but your goal is to pick up a brochure or jot down notes on what they do have. Then as you meet up with wedding vendors, if you find things that you are missing, short on having enough wedding supplies, or if the caterer or venue does not have dishes and decorations to the color scheme you want you know your options.

A wedding rental services company comes in really handy if you decide to have an outdoor wedding and can provide you with a wedding tent and can provide you with all the supplies needed for an outdoor wedding. They are also great place to cover your wedding needs for an empty banquet hall or a unique wedding location such an art gallery, museum, or unique building. Anything you might need for a wedding including heaters, air conditioners, misting machines, almost anything you can think of needed for a wedding, the odds are a good rental services company can cover your needs or point you in the direction of where you might find what you are looking for your wedding.

Here are 10 cost saving tips for wedding rentals.

Tip 1 - Use the Word "Party" or "Event" Instead of the Word "Wedding"
Many of your rental service companies are very helpful to help you out for your wedding but in some ways they are a little sneaky too. The key is to be a little careful of what you say, some of these rental services companies have a separate pricing brochure for parties or events, and a higher priced brochure for weddings. When you order supplies, in one brochure the same item may be cheaper in one brochure and be more expensive in the wedding brochure. Keep the word wedding quiet or at least until you have signed a contract. Also when you meet up with a rental service company, if you bring a friend along, also mention to him or her not to use the word wedding in conversation, you just might save a bundle of money.

Tip 2 - Check-in with Caterers, Venues, and Other Brides to Maybe Combine Orders
When you talk with caterers, reception facilities, or other brides that are getting married on the same weekend as yourself, mention you are willing to combine orders with someone else. Just maybe you can combine your order with someone else, you can save money in a number of different ways. The order can be bigger and you get a bigger discount, you might save on one trip to the facility instead of a few, or you can use the same dishes or tables and chairs, one wedding is early in the day, the other is late in the day. Your wedding is on Saturday and the same supplies can be used for a Friday or Sunday wedding. Strike up a conversation, you are willing to combine orders for wedding supplies, you never know you might just get lucky and find yourself saving some money.

Tip 3 - Find Heavy Weight Plastic Plates and Glasses that Look Almost as Good as Fine China
In recent years, some companies have created plastic plates, glasses and silverware that almost looks like fine china. And if you use these type of plates, they can save you a lot of money. But beware, you are at a wedding, the plastic plates and glasses must have that classy look. You must not use paper plates, cheap plastic glasses, or regular cheap plastic silverware. Some reputable companies that sell classy dishes include , , , , , and .

Tip 4 - Inspect Rental Supplies Upon Delivery and Upon Returning
When picking up rental supplies for your wedding, inspect all your rentals. Be sure all rentals are accounted for, you have included all rentals in your contract. You should have a checklist of all the things you are renting and you aren't being short changed. If you have contracted for 300 place setting items, you have counted 300 of all things in your place setting. Inspect all your rentals to be sure nothing you are renting is broken, chipped, or cracked. It does not hurt to ask for an extra discount or some type of extra such as chair covers or extra serving dishes.

Upon returning dishes, make sure all plates, dishes and glasses have been thoroughly cleaned, avoid extra charges for dried food on dishes and for ring glass stain marks on drinking glasses. Inspect all rentals upon picking up and returning, if you don't do inspections, you might end up paying for someone else who did damage to the dishes.

Tip 5 - Check-in with your Local Thrift Shop or Community Center
You never know what your local thrift shop or community center might offer. They may be able to provide dishes and supplies for your wedding at a great big discount and in some cases even free. Check out what these places have before going to a rental supply store. Also check out women's auxiliary groups, some centers help out families by providing dishes that are in storage and some of these centers help out families that are having a tough time covering wedding costs. Also besides dishes, they might be able to help you with kitchen cookware and serving dishes. They may also recruit some volunteers to work your wedding.

Tip 6 - Consider a Coffee Bar instead of Table Service
Over the past decade coffee bars have become popular at weddings. Instead of paying wait staff to serve coffee at all the tables, consider instead of having a coffee bar. You can go either cheap or expensive. If you are going cheap just add a few flavors to your coffee bar. If you are going expensive, provide all sorts of flavors using creams and extracts. Offer all sorts of coffee choices such as coffee made from high class coffee beans, offer espresso, cappucino, latte, or regular and decaffeinated coffee. You also might have goodies along with the coffee bar including dipping chocolate spoons, different types of Italian desserts like cannoli, tiny cream puffs, chocolate eclairs, or fresh baked coffee cake.  Go with the coffee bar you can afford, it could be fancy or simple.

Tip 7 - Consider Using Beer Kegs and Boxed Wine Carafes
A heavy expense at weddings are your liquor costs. If you have an outdoor wedding and the wedding is not too formal the most cost effective liquor you can get for your wedding are beer kegs and boxed wine carafes. These are a lot less expensive that buying bottles of beer and wine or buying cans of beer. Make sure you have plenty of beer drinkers and wine drinkers. If the wedding is formal, make sure you have somebody to operate the keg, for you don't want your wedding guests to get beer suds on their wedding gowns and dresses or beer suds on groomsmen tuxedos.

Some other thoughts on alcohol at your wedding. Unless your two families are dry families, absolutely no one in either side of your families that drink alcohol. Alcohol is expected at weddings. Alcohol adds a lot of cost to weddings. Some ideas to consider. Offer two ticket drinks for all your legal age wedding drinks, offer just a few signature drinks that go with the color scheme of the wedding, if your color is red, have three red drinks, find some good red drinks your heavy drinkers like. Also shut down your wedding bar during the formal dinner part of your wedding.

If the venue allows it bring your own bartender and buy and bring your own liquor and wine. You pay a lot less for your own bartender. You can also buy liquor or wine much cheaper from your local liquor store than what it costs you at the wedding venue, the wedding venue often has a lot of markup on their alcohol. You can save a lot of money by buying really good tasting $5 wine instead of buying the venue's $25 or $50 wine.

Tip 8 - Order a Wedding Tent that Fits to the Amount of Wedding Guests You Have 
Many wedding couples just order a wedding tent and often they order a wedding tent that is too big or too small. You just don't want to pick up any size wedding tent. You want the wedding tent to fit comfortably to the amount of wedding guests you have, get the right sized wedding tent and it makes the occasion very enchanting. If you get the wedding tent too big, you are overpaying for the tent and the event looks like some wedding guests didn't show. A small tent will cause people to be on top of one another and wedding guests looking to escape from the over crowding and the noise.

You want to talk to a tent specialist when ordering your wedding tent. Many wedding tents go with the 10 foot rule. Often round tables cover a 10' x 10' area that seats 8 wedding guests. The head bridal table usually uses long tables which are 80 square feet per 8 bridal party guests having seating room in the back providing a little visual effect in the front of the table. Buffet serving tables also require a 10' x 10' area for each 8' buffet table also allowing room for a buffet line. Also to be considered a stage for the DJ and/or band, an area for a dancing floor, a wedding cake, a wait staff station, and a gift table.

Tent Sizes to Consider for Outdoor Weddings

                          Square Feet                                 3/4 Sections
Weddings For       Needed for Tent                           Needed for Dance Floor
50 People                   20' x 30'                                           9 x 12
100 People           30' x 50'                                        12 x 15
150 People           40' x 60'                                        12 x 18
200 People           40' x 80'                                        15 x 20
300 People           40' x 120'                                         20 x 24

Tip 9 - Comparison Shop with a Number of Different Rental Companies
You might be thinking, let's get this rental thing over with. What you really should be doing, early on in your wedding planning process. You should spend a day or couple of days visiting rental companies in your area. Find out all what supplies each of them has and pick up a brochure or note what the cost of different items are. After you meet with caterers, reception facilities, and ceremony sites, if you find you need rental supplies you now know your options. If a wedding vendor charges you extra for dishes, you can counter I can get them cheaper at a rental supply store and the caterer might then cut their cost for supplies. Also the rental company may have dishes in the color scheme you want. The vendor you are using might not have dishes according to your color scheme. If you know what rental stores offer, when negotiating deals, you are negotiating from a position of strength and will have more bargaining power when dealing with wedding vendors and venues. Make sure you visit rental companies just to know what they have, you don't need to talk in detail with them early in the process, you just need to understand what they have and an idea on costs.

Tip 10 - Checkout Rental Supplies with Hotels, Resorts, and Wedding Bed & Breakfasts
Many hotels, resorts, and wedding bed & breakfasts have wedding supplies in storage for their in-house weddings. Normally these businesses won't advertise their supplies, but if you approach the right person such as the venues wedding coordinator or banquet manager, if their in-house supplies are not needed for an event they may be willing to contract supplies out for your wedding and sometimes you can get the items cheaper than you would from a rental company. Sometimes you can get a particular component, maybe just linens, place settings, particular dishes, wedding decorations, or wedding centerpieces. Sometimes by networking and asking questions, a great deal could fall into your lap. Also check with wedding planners, even if you are not using one, they may have a connection with one of their vendors and help you get supplies a little cheaper saving you some money.

The rental services companies generally have experts to give you advice, make sure you find a sales floor manager that is really helpful that has been with the rental company for awhile at least five years. Find a sales manager that is personable, is knowledgeable, and can provide staff to set your wedding tent up or can set up place settings for your wedding reception or set up chairs for the wedding ceremony. Make sure you review in detail any contract drawn up with a wedding rental company and all needs are addressed.

See you on the other side!


  1. Anyone know tell me if it is very expensive to rent a miami limo in florida? I always dreamed of coming to the wedding in a limousine.