The rental company is the long forgotten vendor at weddings. Rarely thanked or even acknowledged, they are one of the most important vendors on site. What will you eat off of, sit on, dance on, what will light your path, without the rental company?
I remember one of my first weddings, where I was hired only 8 weeks before the wedding. I was the one the noticed there wasn’t any rentals on the catering order, or anywhere for that matter. They had simply been over looked. There was also the wedding where the couple had booked the venue before hiring me. At our first site check I was the one to point out that there was absolutely NO lighting at the site whatsoever.
There seems to be some confusion as to the services rental companies provide. On behalf of all of the awesome rental companies out there, I’d like to offer some clarification. (These are simply my experiences with rental companies through the years and are my opinions.)
You need to be very specific about delivery location. The rental company should make a site check if they are unfamiliar with the site, but there are usually many different areas on site to deliver. Let the rental company know ahead of time so that they can schedule accordingly. The rental company has been hired by you and you have rented the venue. Please get approval from your venue for any deliveries. Don’t assume that the rental company will be able to call every venue, especially private properties. This is something a wedding planner would do for you, coordinate all scheduling and deliveries. There is an order things are done. Why have the caterers there to set the tables if the tables themselves are not set up?
Delivery and Set Up Are Not The Same:
Most all rental companies will deliver for one fee and set up/take down for another. Do not expect them to set up your event site for free. That simply isn’t going to happen and is unfair. Most companies I work with offer a very reasonable fee for set up/take down.
If you do opt for your rental company to set up your rentals. Please have a layout, even roughly drawn out for them. Have someone on site to direct. I meet all of my rental companies for delivery so that the set up goes exactly how I want. They aren’t mind readers and they are setting up many events that day. If you want it done your way, be there to direct.
Return Dishes Rinsed:
Make sure your caterer knows how your rental company wants their dishes returned or you could be in for a large cleaning fee. I have found that each company is a little different. I find it’s just the easiest to wipe dishes with a wet cloth into a trash can or sink. It’s fast, efficient and I’ve never had a complaint from a rental company.
Some Advice When Renting…
Look Into The Damage Waiver:
It’s always a good idea unless your rental order is very large. (It’s based on a percentage of your total.) If your order is that large, probably with a tent or something, something horrible would have to happen to cover your waiver. Your wedding insurance should step in then, but otherwise, it’s so nice to have that coverage in case something minor happens.
Wax Is The Devil:
Candle wax is something you will never get away from. Be careful with candles, if wax gets on your linens, you will most definitely be paying for it.
Ask For Help:
If you don’t have a wedding planner, ask your rental company if they think you’ve forgotten anything. They’ve probably worked at your wedding site many times and can offer some great advice. Don’t think they’re trying to up-sell you. There are simply a ton of things you might not have thought of.
Water & Restrooms:
Most deliveries will be quick. But I have had very large installations that can last all day or even two days. This usually happens with a large tent, lighting, draping, etc… If this will be the case at your event, make sure there is tons of water on site and that there are restrooms on site available for the crew to use. (Can you tell that I don’t work at hotels? I work in nature in triple digit heat! lol) This is true though for private properties. Unless you want the crew coming and going from your home, have a restroom delivered. It’s inexpensive and can be removed before the wedding.
I cannot believe how many people, other wedding planners included, do not double check the rental orders. Let me tell you, I work with some awesome pros, but we are all human and we all make mistakes or have an off day at work. Rentals are usually delivered the day before the wedding. If there are any mistakes or shortages, you now have almost 24 hours to fix it. If you show up on Saturday to set up and find the wrong chairs, most likely those are the chairs you are going to use. I count everything on Friday before the rehearsal. I almost never find mistakes, but I can sleep well that night. Sometimes there have been items missing or incorrect items sent. Usually it’s a small mistake and I might just take the incorrect items to the company and exchange them. If something large is missing, like a table or a heater, I simply call them and they now have tons of time to rectify the situation without having to scramble last minute.
Hope this helps. If this all seems overwhelming, and it should, hire a wedding planner. 😉