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How to Decide What You Need to Rent for Your Wedding Day

Wait! Hang on a second. You mean that I can’t just book a venue and then show up and everything will be beautiful and perfect? I have to rent individual items?! First of all, we hear you! Rentals can seem super overwhelming. Some venues require you to rent all of your items, but many other venues include items. So you have options! Before you panic, check out our blog on Top Questions to Ask Your Venue Before Booking. Let that be your starting point, and then circle back here when you know what your options are from the venue you book. See you soon!

Welcome back! Now that you’ve booked your venue, if you're still feeling overwhelmed by all of the rental possibilities, you’ve come to the right place! There is no reason to stress because we’ve got you covered! Not only will we give you an overview of all things rentals in this blog, but we are also always happy to recommend rental companies that fit your style, budget, and overall theme! If you book a Partial or Full Service planning package here at MDP, we will provide mood boards for you, along with rental options as well, if you want to go with upgraded rentals. We live for the details and would love to go over rental possibilities and ideas with you!


Let’s be honest, your guests are going to be up dancing the night away, right? So you may be wondering, why are we fussing over the table top details? Great question: In short, there are 2 main reasons.

One: Photos photos photos photos. You and your spouse-to-be are investing a significant amount of time and money into this day, and it should be everything you dreamed of. When you look back at your wedding album, you should see a beautiful portrait full of your favorite people, and the prettiest backdrop of a gorgeous reception space.

Two: Your event experience! Your reception space should capture the essence of the day that you are creating and be personalized to the two of you. Also, when it comes down to the celebration, a large part of the day is the experience for your guests, so why not WOW them with gorgeous decor?! When your guests walk in, their eyes will scan the room as they search for their table. What do you want them to see? How do you want them to feel? This experience is really what we are creating when we choose tabletop items! For more in-depth details on tabletop options, check out our blog Tabletop.


Let’s talk linens! They come in different fabrics, textures, colors, shapes and sizes, and include tablecloths, overlays, napkins, sashes, etc. The most important thing to note about linens, is that they are the easiest way to incorporate your color scheme into the space. Your venue/caterer will likely include white and ivory linens in simple fabrics, and maybe a selection of napkin colors, so we highly recommend bringing in the linens that you want and adding in a fun pop of color or a specialty linen for your sweetheart table, cake table, and/or welcome table!


Whether you want a blush colored water goblet, or gold rim champagne flute for toasts, renting glassware is always an option! If your venue/caterer includes glassware, great! You can start there and add the pieces that you want that fit your vibe and color scheme. You are going to make updates to your catering proposals and rentals up until a month before when you provide your final guest count so…make that upgrade to a different water, champagne, or wine glass!


Just like with glassware, whatever your venue/caterer may include is a great starting point. If the venue has silver flatware, but you want gold, go for it! If your venue/caterer does not provide flatware, get exactly what you want! If you have all white and gold details, get the gold and white flatware!! Always remember the caterer and your wedding planner are there to help with quantities, as you will need double salad forks for dessert, as well as double dinner knives for salad and entree. If you have a buffet or stations, there are other options we can guide you with! Every little detail adds to a great tablescape, and flatware is no exception!


China, along with glassware, flatware and linens, can come from your venue/caterer. If they’re included, great! We promise that no one will judge you for using a standard white banquet plate. But if you’re looking for something a little bit different, a little extra special, we love a good decorative plate. The possibilities are endless!


What is a charger? you may wonder. We’re so glad you asked! A charger is essentially a decorative plate that your salad plates and dinner plates will rest on top of. They add depth and dimension to your tablescape, and can be a great way to bring in color, especially against a white linen. If you’re doing stations or a buffet though, we suggest skipping the chargers. Save your guests the awkwardness of walking up to the buffet with the charger, thinking it’s their plate. But if you’re doing a plated meal, 11/10 would recommend renting chargers!


From ceremony and reception chairs, to custom lounge settings, furniture rentals have a high impact on communicating your wedding style to your guests! Just like with tabletop rentals, envision the experience through your guests eyes, and let that guide your furniture selections. What kind of atmosphere are you looking to create? The answer to this question is key to choosing the right pieces! Check out our blog on Furniture Rentals for more ideas and examples!

Lounge Pieces

Not only can lounge settings be gorgeous additions to your space, but they are also practical! When choosing lounge pieces, you will want to select coordinating items that fit your wedding vibes and color scheme. Your wedding planner and rental specialist will be able to help you design the perfect lounge setting! Don’t forget to pull out your Pinterest and mood boards for inspiration! When in doubt, add a lounge vignette to your cocktail hour space or even near the dance floor!

Ceremony and Reception Chairs

We can definitely appreciate a nice white garden chair for your ceremony, and we love a classic gold chiavari at the reception. BUT did you know that there are actually so many different chair styles and colors to choose from?? Carefully chosen chairs can definitely add a level of class and elegance to your wedding, in the same way that stained “hall rental” chairs can ruin it. Trust us when we say, we have seen it all! Some of it we wish we could even unsee LOL! But rest assured, we’ve got your back! Our Furniture Rentals blog has everything you need to know about chair types, and in what settings they look best!

Guest Tables and Sweetheart/Head Table

Selecting tables is a foundational part of creating your reception space. If your venue provides tables, that’s great! Either way, let the creativity flow as you decide what tables to rent. Do you want traditional round tables for your guests with a mix of feasting tables? What about a head table vs. a sweetheart table? This is a great time to break out your Pinterest board to see how your options line up with your vision, and to share your thoughts with your planner and rental company! Work with them to see what works best for the space, and then confirm with the venue to ensure you have the amount of room you need with those selections! Whatever you go with will need to fit into the venue space along with the number of bars you need, possibly a photobooth, your dessert table, your welcome table, etc. So dream big, and then consult with the pros!


If you’re working with a venue that does not have bars, you have a couple of options! Usually whoever you hire to bartend will pull together some tables and linens to make a bar set up. But! You can rent a bar, or bars, that will elevate the space and overall experience! Most rental companies offer a selection of styles and colors to choose from, so you can choose what works best for your vibes and color scheme! Check out our blog on Bars for inspiration and ideas!


If you are hiring a band, you will likely want to rent a stage! Make sure to use your floorplan options for reference when working with the rental company on size, and also know what your band requires as far as square footage. When choosing aesthetics, same as everything else, match your wedding vibes!! An insider tip: If you are wanting a white stage, go with a white front and a black top. Between the equipment and shoes, your white stage will be covered in smudges and scuffs in no time! A white front still will fit your vibes, while the black will be a simple foundation for your band and their equipment! For more info on stage options and rental recommendations, check out our blog, Stages!


Here at MDP, we LOVE a good installation. We will always encourage you towards your installation dreams because they are the elements that take your wedding atmosphere to the NEXT level. Installations have the ability to elevate, and even completely transform your space like nothing else can!! Not to mention the luxurious side of them! There are few things more grand than a gorgeous, well-placed installation. When choosing your installations, we recommend working closely with your planner to strategize on placement in accordance with your floorplan! For everything you want and need to know about installations, check out our blog Installations!


Floral installations. Where do we even start? The textures of the flowers and greenery? The eye-catching colors? The lush fullness of the arrangements? The grandeur of the overall installation as a whole? The possibilities for floral installations are seemingly endless, and their beauty is often unmatched as far as statement pieces at a wedding. Whether you are looking for an elaborate ceremony arch, or a ceiling installation that makes you feel like you’re in a hanging garden, the key is to find the right florist and rental company! Not all floral work is created equally, and for installations, you want to make sure that you are working with the best vendors!


Draping is probably the most transformational installation type, with many applications! Common draping practices include everything from the inside ceiling of a tent, to floor to ceiling coverings of the walls in a blank space venue. But draping can also be done to frame doorways, or even can be used as backdrops (more on that later). Not only do you have options in placement, but also in colors, fabrics, and lighting! You will definitely need to collaborate with your venue, your rental company, and your wedding planner, in order to bring your draping dreams to life!


Head table backdrops are such a vibe! If you are looking to really create a statement focal point around your head or sweetheart table, we highly recommend having a backdrop! This can be floral, draping, wooden or colorful installation, and is even the perfect place to hang that custom neon sign with your new last name! Oh yes, we know you’ve been eyeing that sign! We recommend you order it, and then chat with your rental specialist, and/or florist, to start dreaming up that backdrop and a successful way to hang it! And if you’re not wanting to have your table to be the main focal point, put a backdrop up behind your bar or stage! Want to attract your guests' eyes to your gorgeous cake? Backdrop! Basically, you have options, and we love options!

Seating Chart and Signage

Ok so if we’re being honest, we are obsessed with the trend of turning your seating chart and signage into an installation. First of all, it is so luxurious, and second, it sets the tone for your guests! When they walk in and see a champagne wall with their name by their glass, or a giant welcome sign surrounded by pillars of flowers, they know they're in for a treat. If you’re still looking for that statement piece for your reception space, 11/10 would recommend a signage installation!


When it comes to custom lighting options, you definitely want to trust the experts! Once you understand your lighting needs based on your venue, you can start to explore what you WANT! Chandeliers draped from your tent? Yes please! Bistro lighting over a sunset garden reception? Let’s go! There’s also options for more subtle lighting like pin spotting and uplighting. Check out our Lighting blog for the full rundown on all of your lighting options!


Tents allow for so much versatility! Obsessed with the open field that your family owns and want your wedding there? Pop up a tent! Dreaming of a lush outdoor garden reception during rainy season? Tent it! Not only do they make tents in so many styles and sizes, but options that you have for decorating are abundant! We personally love a good chandelier and floral installation combo. 11/10 would recommend renting a tent for your outdoor wedding! Need to know more about tent types and see some examples? We’ve got you covered in our Tent blog!


Just like with everything else, if your venue has a dance floor, GREAT! If you need to rent one though, there are a few things to keep in mind. Knowing your guest count and floorplan options will help you to determine the correct size with the rental company. Also, while we all know your dance floor will be crowded with people after dinner, during dinner, it will be part of the backdrop of your reception! Choose a dance floor that fits with your theme and color scheme, and one that you'll be happy to see in all of your first dance photos! For more dance floor details, check out our blog Dance Floors!

Hopefully now you can see that while rentals can seem scary, they aren’t and are SO FUN...honestly our favorite parts are the details! Partner up with a great wedding planner (we are SO here for you), pull together your inspiration board, and you’ll be good to go! When in doubt, check with your rental vendors! They live and breathe this world, and are always more than happy to share insight and answer any questions that you may have throughout the rental process!

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