He finally proposed and you said yes!  After that initial excitement wears off you realize you now going to have to start planning for the big event (no matter how many guests make the cut – it’s a huge event nonetheless).

You have decided to have the family reunion in your area and you realize the dates is getting closer than you thought and it hits you – “Oh ($h!&@) man  I better get planning.”

Or your baby just graduated from College and you want to throw a get together and realize you need more tables to sit everyone.

No matter what the event is large or small you have to get prepared.  There are things you are going to need that you don’t have – such as Tables, Chairs, Benches, Silverware, lighting, Plates etc.  The below info will mainly be wedding related but pertains to any event.

Then you have to decide for each of the different items – are you going to borrow, buy or rent.  And depending on how many of each you need, that will help you make the decision.  For example if you need 5 extra tables – you most likely don’t need or want to buy them so the easiest choice is to find a rental company that can fit your needs and help make that special day as easy as possible.

Theme: After the rental decision probably one of the more important decisions to focus on is to decide what type of theme you want your event to be.  Do you want a rustic looking wedding?  Do you want a Beachy wedding or party?  Maybe you are thinking Country and Western.  Maybe you have your heart set on a Western Beachy wedding??  Who are we to judge?

Guest: Approximately how many people do you think you will you want to invite?  Just close family and friends or do you need to invite everyone to help make Mom and Dad happy?

Venue:  Where will you host the big event?  You need to find a place that goes well with your theme and more importantly (Since you can decorate usually to fit most themes) the amount of guests you are inviting.  When considering what venue you will go with in addition to theme and guests are:  Do you want it outside.  Outside for cocktails and appetizers then inside for dinner, or will it be a sit-down dinner or buffet style?

Now that you have the approximate number of  guests decided, the theme (and for this example I will stick with a rustic style wedding theme) and the Venue.  You will now want to get to work finding a good rental company.  Do a simple Google search “Rustic Wedding Rentals”, or “Farm Table rentals” and you will find multiple companies that pop up (depending on your area of course).  These sites will offer similar looking tables and prices.  How do you decide?  Best advice is to decide based on the quality of the products.

Rental items can get pretty beat up over time if they are not cared for.  You don’t want a table coming down on a group of guests during the middle of the best man’s speech.   Or you won’t want the tables to show up and look completely different than what you originally thought you had ordered because then you will have to scramble to figure out the next step to fix it.  On the event day you want no surprises – you want the rental items to show up on time and be exactly what you were thinking.

Service is another factor when it comes to deciding on what company to go with.  Is the rental company just trying to sell you then upsell you?  Or are they listening to what you want to help make event day go without a hitch.

Delivery days and costs weigh on the decision making.  Make sure the delivery price is reasonable and when will they deliver and pick up.  Will they work with the event coordinator and the venue and the other vendors such as the florist.

Rental Costs:  I mentioned above the rental cost are usually similar, but what is a realistic price for items?  Below is a general estimate (But can vary based on time of season or location) on typical items you will need to rent.

Table Rentals

o   48” Round folding Tables: ~$7.00

o   48” Round folding Tables: ~$8.00

o   4’ Rectangle Folding Tables: ~$6.00

o   Farm Style Tables

4-6 Foot: ~$50-60

8 Foot: ~$70

o   Belly Bars/Standing Bars: ~$30-40

Table Cloths

o   Round & Rectangle: ~ $6-$10

o   Floor Length: ~$12-18

Chairs –

o   Plastic Folding Chairs: ~$1.25

o   Wood Folding Chairs: ~$3.00

o   Farm Table Benches: ~$25-35

Plates: ~.50 – .75 each

Glasses:  ~ .50 to .75 each

Additional Items to consider and not forget when renting:

  • Cake Tables
  • Not every wedding does cakes anymore but you will always want to have dessert so if not a cake table don’t forget the dessert table – cupcakes and candy perhaps?
  • o   Also  a cool option in addition or instead is a Smores Bar – those can be a lot of fun for the guests and kids at kid friendly weddings
  • Cake stands
  • If you are hosting a cocktail and appetizer hour while the wedding party is doing pictures – you might want to consider the Belly Bars or Standing Bar tables.  These are great for the guest to get social while they chat eat and nibble on the apps.
  • Speaking of bars – if your Venue doesn’t have a Cocktail bar you will definitely want to add that to the list of rentals.  Most rental companies will have this.
  • Consider Lawn party games for the kids and adults if the venue is larger or outdoors.  Such as Cornhole, Outdoor Jenga, or Bocce Ball
  • Lighting is also important to give it the rustic night under the stars look.
  • When ordering glasses and plates – always consider ordering a few extra – no matter how careful everyone is – stuff is going to break so better to be prepared than not have enough dishes for everyone to eat off of.

Well there you have it.  Obviously this is not an end all list of items but it will hopefully get you started in the right place and get you off to the best event ever.  Good Luck!