Why/How to Use Rental Products for your Wedding/Event/Party

Save Money and Time to create your great event/wedding/party, within budget.
Susanna de Beer
2 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
Have an arsenal of checklists, education on rental items such as linen and sizing, tent sizing, lighting etc.
Have more confidence in renting products for an event.
Party Tents, what is good and bad, and what could be available to dress up the tent.
Save time and money, by going in educated.

This course is to help anyone that is planning any kind of event, party, or wedding.

The services are also out there, such as DJ, Lighting, Catering, Magician, Bands etc.

Sounds super easy, but there is always more to it than people think.   Saving some money by having a few things handled already by your self, will free up some of your budget for something else that you are not good at, or not able or willing to do. 

You will learn about Planning Points:

  • Picking date:  This can impact budget depending if you are in High Season, or Low Season, or weather seasons.

  • Budget

  • Number of Guests

  • Renting dishes – style of plates, cutlery, and glassware

  • Renting linen – colours, sizes, fabrics

  • Venues – what to ask depending on what you choose

  • Party tents and accessories for in the tent

  • Tables, chairs – size, style of each – Round or Rectangle tables – folding chairs or stacking chairs

  • Sound / DJ / lighting ideas and choices, what to look for and where to get that

  • Delivery and pick up of rental items if needed

  • Set up and take down of rental items if needed

  • Outdoor cooking equipment, serving products – chafing kits, propane burner, BBQ

  • Wedding specific products – pillars, arches, back drop etc

  • Catering / Food Service products – platters, serving utensils, chafing kits etc

  • Red carpet event products – pipe and drape, stanchion post and ropes, easels, sequin panels, sheer panels

Course has been written by a CERP – Certified Event Rental Professional who owns and operates a multi-location event rental business.

End Result:

Be able to identify what products to ask about, what you need, and what needs to be rented and brought in for your event. What to ask rental companies, and how to best work with them.

How to best use your time and money for your event.


The goal here is for anyone about the plan and organize any kind of event, party, or wedding that they are comfortable dealing with rentals, and have the upper hand on what needs to be asked about.

Common thought is I will do this myself, and save lots of money!  Sometimes yes, something they save a lot less than anticipated due to mistakes made along the way with bookings.  On top of it, they have spend huge amount of hours on this, and get very little done. 

The purpose of this is to understand what to look for in the main things of an event:

  • The Venue

  • What you need to rent or bring in, essentially what ever the venue does not have.

  • How to best book what you need, and know how to go about organizing this efficiently.

This course will provide you with some checklists, and forms that can be used to keep all your information in front of you.  Doing research is great, but being able to compare things is even better.  After going through the short videos and demo's of things to look for or learn about, you will be quicker to make your decisions, and be able to book the major components with confidence.

My goal is help you feel confident in going out there to handle all rentals required for your upcoming event, party, or wedding.


What is included?

Tables and Chair options:

Tables: Not all venues have round tables, some only offer rectangle, and if this is not the look you had in mind, this could be a deal breaker or you will need to bring in the tables you wish to have.  Knowing the sizes and the quantity of each size of table that in included can help you plan the layout for your event.

Head Table and Buffet tables are usually the standard folding tables, 6 or 8 feet long depending on facility.  Most common round tables are the 60" round, then the 72" round lastly the 48" round for seated meals.

Cocktail parties or reception rooms are usually filled up with cocktail/cruiser tables that are 24 or 32" tops with a height of 42" so when standing around the table, it is easy to put your drink or food down.

Calculate Tables requirements per guest volume:

60" rounds: seats 8

72" rounds: seats 10

48" rounds: seats 6

6 foot Rectangle: seats 3 people per side - avoid on ends as legs are there.

8 foot Rectangle: seats 4 people per side - avoid on ends as legs are there.

NOTE:  Rectangle table head table, seating is one side usually only, so you need double the count, draw this out for a visual so you are not short seats for the wedding party.

Are table linen included?  If so, what are your choices?  (colour, fabrics etc)

Asking this will help you budget and also plan for your colour choices of your event/wedding.

Most venues will provide the standard black, white or maybe even ivory basic linens.  Most cases this will work.  Of course, there are coloured linen out there as well, and if you prefer a certain coloured linen and the venue does not offer this, can you bring it in and will they set up with it instead? 

How do they handle the take down of the linen you are bringing in?

Do they offer napkins?  What colours are they offered in?

Do they offer accent linens such as runners and overlays?

Adding the extra's will totally transform the room.  Getting this done without a team of people is the challenge most face. 

Some venues will set up with linen you provide.  Some will require you to send someone or yourself at a certain time to take care of this as they still need to set the tables with the dishes and glass ware.

Not to mention, once the linens are on, everything else in the room can be done.

Back drop or Background drapes

These are common behind the head table.  Does the venue have this?  Do you want or need this?  If they do not have it and you need or want it, outsourcing this is an option.  Sometimes this is a needed items behind the head table if the wall behind it is not appealing.  This is often the case if the venue is simple like using a legion or community hall.  Fancier venues, this is less of a requirement, and more of a want, and depends on the bride or co-ordinator.

Chairs: Chairs come in all kinds of styles.  Do you like the chair they offer?  If so, great!  Less to do. If not, what are your options?  You can potentially use chair covers, or bring in a rental chair you do like.

Larger "access window"to the room is best: Having a larger set up window will help a lot to get more people in there to get the room transformed to your liking.

Vendors:  Are you allowed to use vendors of your choice or is there is list you have to choose from.  Vendors could be for floral, linen, chair covers, dishes, glasses etc. Anything you need that you do not own and that the venue does not have.  They need access to getting the timing up front is best, so when you book vendors, they know when they can go there, and often, the smaller the window of time, the higher the delivery fee is from vendors.  Take not of this.

Drop Off's from other vendors, example florist if using floral centre pieces: (if set up is not possible at that time)

The florist may need to drop off centre pieces, and place them, without linen on the table, they cannot do this. Unless venue will place the centrepieces after set up.  Another potential outsourced vendor is the fancy back drops, they need time to set this up as well.  Simple back drops can still look great in pictures, however the sky is the limit with backdrops.

Dance Floor: Do they have this? Is it build in to room, or provided or at a fee?  Do you like what they have to offer, if not, are you allowed to bring one in that suits you better?

Bar: Is this included or open for you and your guests?  Fee?  Can you provide your own if this saves you money?  Do you have to use their alcohol and or food or can you bring that in yourself?  Corking fee for wine on the tables or at the bar?

Music, lighting, sound: Does the room have this pre-done/wired or installed?  If not, do you want this, if so, can you bring in a vendor to take care of this?

Summary: Knowing what the venue staff will do for the booking fee up front is super important for your budget.  They may include placing your linen and floral arrangements as part of the room set up, this can save you that labour fee with your vendor.  Often, in lower season, the venues tend to be more flexible in their offerings as they are really looking for a booking.  High season usually offers very little negotiations.  This goes for your vendors as well.

Public Space Rental Venue

Renting public space through the city you live in such as a pavilion, look out point, park that has great surroundings or view to hold the ceremony.  Great view, great photo's, but typically comes at a price tag you may not be expecting.

Ceremony needing rental equipment the city does not provide or set up, meaning you are renting the space for two or three hours only, and you have to fit your ceremony in that time slot.

How to handle this: (example of what can happen)

Before actually booking your "sought after" or "dream ceremony spot" if it is a public space, be aware of the costs tied to this choice if you need rental equipment brought there. 

Rental companies charge delivery fees, often based on a window of time.  If you have the space for only three hours, and you need it for one hour only, then the following happens:

Hour 1:  Rental company has to go deliver chairs, tables, or what ever else you need.  Most likely you will need them to set this up in to your ceremony seating or what ever your layout plan is, this comes with a fee as well.  This has to be completed in less than 1 hour as your event starts.

Hour 2:  Rental company has to disappear for 60 minutes as your attendees arrive as this is a public space so they will not risk inventory to be stolen.  Your event happens, and the rental company has to be back at the tail end of your function to take equipment away to not risk having anything missing. 

Hour 3: Take down and load out of rental products, again within 1 hour time frame as your rental window is closing, and most likely the next rental window starts so the next rental company is coming in to set up.

These short window increases the delivery fees in most cases.   In this area the delivery is tripled over a full day delivery window, plus set up fees, and take town fees.  Often these costs are not thought about when booking the venue as we see the view, the surroundings are forgetting about costs that are not known yet.  Secondly, often the crew that does the set up has to wait around the corner, hence you are "paying" for their idle time, as in most cases in 1 hour, there is not enough time to go elsewhere to delivery something else or set up another event.


Tent Sizes and Styles

What size of Tent do I need?

Great guidelines to consider are the following:

# of guests = "X"

If setting up as cocktail party - standing room only:  "X" multiplied by 8 square feet per person (X) = the total square foot of the tent you need.

If setting up ceremony seating:  "X" multiplied by 10 square feet per person (X) = the total square foot of the tent you need.

If setting up a wedding with rectangle tables: "X" multiplied by 12 square feet per person (X) = the total square foot of the tent you need.

If setting up a wedding with round tables: "X" multiplied by 15 square feet per person (X) = the total suare foot of tent you need.

This takes in to account the space for head table, buffet table, DJ table, Gift Table to some extent.  Dance floor may also fit, or you may need to opt to go slightly larger to have some room to move around and make it feel spacious.


Pole Tents, Frame Tents, Clear top Tent, Sail Tents, and I am sure many more styles to come to add to this list.  The styles vary with look, and what you need.

Things to consider with POLE TENTS - they must be staked, they are a tension tent, so if you cannot drive long stakes in to the ground to secure the tent, then this style will not work for you event. 

ALWAYS ASK:  It is super critical to go over with the tent company what your needs are.  See check list as attachment that can be used to guide you to what you need and also provide the tent crew with their needs to make sure you are getting what you want and need.

Download the Tent Sizing PDF so you can add the notes needed to keep on top of requirements and what to ask.


Does your city, county require you to have a permit to have a temporary tent up?  Check with your county or city hall office to make sure.  If possible, get this in writing.  Keep this in your file, should someone come around to check.

Often no one comes around to check on private property, however if the permit is required, the tent companies would know this, and may ask to see it at installation time.  Public spaces in my own area all require a permit, and they do take a few weeks to get.  Be aware of timing, and requirements.

Accessories for Tents

Lighting, Fans, Pole Covers, Draping/Liners, Flooring


There are more and more options coming available for tents.  Tents at fairs look so different from most wedding tents due to their condition, and how they are decorated or decked out.

Liners/Draping add a lot to the feel of the tent.  Lighting, on dimmers always best.

Lighting Options:  Quite a few options out there, ask the company what they offer, most common we see today are Standard Halogen lighting, Chandeliers, Bistro/String lighting.  Each is priced differently of course, and the look is very different from one to the next.  Asking the tent company for images is a great way to decide which look you prefer best, and also what will fit your budget.


Great option if the budget allows it.  Standard flooring comes in a variety of options depending on where you live.   Most common tent flooring that we see at the moment is grey composite flooring that snaps together and follows grade.  This is being used in this area to do the entire tent or just a 12x12 or 16x16 foot dance area only.  Budget plays a factor in most cases.

Tent - Heating and Cooling

Heating / AC

Adding heat or AC is also area dependent.  Here we see more heating than AC being added as we operate further north in a 4 season area.  AC units and forced air heating is done on a per size of tent basis.  Tent companies will know what their units can heat/cool, so they are the experts to tell you what you will need.

Propane patio heaters are also used from time to time, but they are usually only used in smaller tents.

Linen - covering you tables and chairs

General Information about Table Linen
Guest Table Linens - Formal
Guest Linens - Informal, not to the floor
Buffet, Cake, DJ, Head Table Linens
Videos about Linen on per table size basis - how to choose sizes
Chair Covers

Sounds - DJ - Lighting

Do I need a DJ or not? What about a live band?


Choose your caterer, then know what they need from you. Be a team.



Caterers do not just typically do just food.  Ask what they offer so you know what you will not have to take care of your self.


Questions to ask:

·      Are they licensed, and do they need to be?

·      Do they carry liability insurance?

·      Do they serve alcohol, as in run a bar throughout the evening?  If so, do they have a permit or license for that.

·      Do they specialize in a particular food?

·      Is the meal full-service or buffet style?

·      When can a sample be tasted of choices?

·      When does your decision need to be provided?

·      Do they offer kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free?  Additional Fee?

·      Children’s plates?  Vendor plates?

·      Do they provide or take care of the dishes, glassware, flatware, serving ware?

o   They may rent it, or they may ask you to rent these items if they do not have that in stock themselves.  If they do own stuff, ask to see it so that it will meet your needs.

·      Do they provide wait-staff?  Included or what is additional fee?  Is this just during meal or entire evening?

·      Attire of staff at the event?

·      Provide a bar or run a bar?  Charge by person or consumption?

·      Does Caterer provide alcohol or do you need to provide or does venue provide?

·      Do they need a prepping area?  How big? What time do they need access to the venue space?

·      Will caterer set out the menu cards or place cards? (If you have this)

·      Who will be on-site day of event, is it the same person you are planning with?

·      What comes at an extra charge? Expected gratuities?

·      If buffet, how is food arranged on the plate?  Do they have images to show you from previous events?  Presentation wins points in most cases.

·      Costs per person: compare buffet to served

·      Referrals?


Dishware, Glassware, Flatware, Serving platters and more.

About Glassware
About Flatware
About Dishware
About Serving ware
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