Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know About Wedding Rentals

Updated 08/13/14

Harwell Photography

Once you've decided on a wedding venue, it's time to start working on the smaller details. Before you pick centerpieces or your menu, it's key to line up all of the rentals you'll need for your big day. But how do you know what you really need? Depending on your venue, all of your furniture, dinnerware, and glassware may be included. If not, we've got all the tips you need to decide what to bring in to turn your venue into your dream reception space.

First things first: Check out your venue's furniture and tabletop options. Don't like what you see? Negotiate to waive any charges for renting from a third-party source. If you've booked a raw space, get ready to rent everything down to the last fork.

Table Shapes Decoded

Who knew there were so many different options for wedding tables? Here, we're breaking down the details of the top three most popular picks: square, classic, and long rectangles. Choose one of mix it up, which looks fabulous and is very practical. You can adjust table shapes and sizes to fit your various groups of guests.

Square: Square tables are modern and ideal for small parties. You can generally only seat eight guests at each one. Venues tend to offer only round or rectangular, so you'll like have to go outside if you love the look of a square table.

Round: Classic round tables are budget friendly. You'll need just one centerpiece for each, and found tablecloths cost less.

*Long Rectangle: *Long rectangles are trendy — especially those seating 16 or more. They require extra centerpieces, upping your flower bill. With reclaimed wood tables, skip the linens and go with runners instead.

All About the Chairs

Chairs are the thing that pulls a room together, so they're a great place to splurge. Our four favorite stylish upgrades? Infinity (perfect for a garden party), Chiavari (available in tons of cool colors), Chameloen (Gatsby-approved for an art deco soiree), and Louis (ideal for a formal or vintage-chic look).

Still feeling overwhelmed by rentals? Here, our checklist of the things you absolutely must have at your wedding. So if your venue doesn't have any of the below, be sure to plan to get it on your own.

Cocktail hour tables and chairs

*Escort-card table

Reception tables

Cake table



China and chargers

Tablecloths and napkins


Glassware and stemware

Centerpiece holders

Candle holders

Dance floor

Band rises or DJ table *

Related Stories