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Wedding Rental Calculator

What, How Much, and Whether or Not You Should Rent for Your Wedding

When you think of planning a wedding, the first thing that comes to your mind probably isn't what type of chair you will need to use or how many of your guests can fit at a five foot round table. Just guessing.

People daydream of beautiful lace dresses with long trains or a three tier cake with buttercream icing, but often overlook the bones of what makes a wedding possible. Wedding rentals aren't always glamorous. They aren't always sexy. They can be, but we'll get to that. Unfortunately, when planning a wedding, most people start with sexy and, by the time they are ready to "settle down" and work out the details of the big day, their budget is stretched too thin to invest in the rentals that will serve as the foundation of the wedding.

Is it even worth spending all that money to rent items that you will only use once?

Not if you're someone who has a rich uncle who can loan you the money to purchase everything outright.

But if your uncle is like the rest of us, he probably doesn't have the initial capital to invest in dozens of tables, hundreds of chairs, and all of the silverware, dinnerware, and glassware you will need to serve your guests. For us "long run thinkers" who can't stand the idea of paying for items and using them once, we get it. In the long run, purchasing is always cheaper; it simply isn't practical unless you are using these items enough to get a significant return on your investment, and for most brides who only intend on getting married once, that simply isn't the case.

There are other benefits to renting as well. When you work with a rental company, you get the benefit of having a team of people to help you plan and organize the details of your day. It's like having a second wedding planner just for all of your rental needs. They can deliver and, in most cases, set up and take down all of your items, so that all you have to worry about is the whole marriage thing. After the vows are exchanged and the party is over, just return your items and that's it! No clean up required. After all, who wants to worry about dirty linens or dishes on your honeymoon?

Okay, you convinced me to rent. What exactly do I need?

Well, it depends.

Wedding rentals are drastically different than renting a few tables for a baby shower. Even assuming that you are renting for a wedding, rental needs vary drastically from bride to bride. It's safe to assume that regardless of the size and style of the wedding, you're probably going to need some tables and chairs. Sounds simple, but there are a lot of different options to consider. Do you want round tables or banquet tables? How big? Do you need table cloths to go with them? How many chairs can fit at each table? Do you want a basic folding chair, or should you upgrade to one with a padded seat? You get the picture.

Now your guests have somewhere to sit, but if you are celebrating at a venue that doesn't provide their own items for dining, that is another expense to consider when renting. You may need to look into different types of glassware, silverware, and dinner plates to accommodate your guests. The style and cost depends on the formality of your wedding. If you are planning for a small wedding with close family and friends, the basics will do. If you know that the mayor and his family are guests at your celebration, you may want to consider more formal dining options.

The last thing that often gets overlooked are things like tents, bars, and stages. These are the things that can, quite literally, make or break a wedding. If you spent the entire wedding budget on your Vera Wang dress, but it gets ruined in the rain because you don't have a tent, does it really matter? You know what they say; hope for the best, plan for the worst. If you are having an outdoor wedding, do yourself a favor and rent the dang tent. If nothing else, it buys you the peace of mind knowing that, in the event of rain, you're covered.

How do I know exactly how many items I need for a wedding my size?

Put your thinking caps on. We're gonna do some math.

To illustrate how the most common rental items work, we are going to use the example of a wedding with 200 people.

For individual items like chairs, plates, and glassware, it's pretty self explanatory - one item per person; however, if you are considering adding additional items like salad forks or dinner plates, you may need to adjust accordingly. We usually recommend renting an additional five to ten individual items to avoid a crisis when a fork inevitably gets dropped or someone shows up who didn't RSVP, ugh. For our example, we are going to play it safe and say 210 dinner plates, knives, forks, and white padded chairs.

Tables are a little bit harder to calculate because it is a shared space. Fortunately, you have a lot of options to choose from dependent on style, taste, and your venue's capacity. The most common table sizes and calculations are shown below. For more comfortable seating arrangements, we recommend seating the minimum number of people per table within the range listed.

4 ft Round Table: 108 Inch Linen is Floor Length, Seats 6-8 people

• 200 people / 6 people per table = 34 tables

5 ft Round Table: 120 Inch Linen is Floor Length, Seats 8-10 people

• 200 people / 8 people per table = 25 tables

6 ft Round Table: 132 Inch Linen is Floor Length, Seats 10-12 people

• 200 people / 10 people per table = 20 tables

6 ft x 30 Inch Banquet Table: 90 x 132 Linen is Floor Length, Seats 6 using sides only and 8 using ends

• 200 people / 6 people per table = 34 tables

• 200 people / 8 people per table (one at each end) = 25 tables

8 ft x 30 Inch Banquet Table: 90 x 156 Linen is Floor Length, Seats 8 using sides only and 10 using ends

• 200 people / 8 people per table = 25 tables

• 200 people / 10 people per table (one at each end) = 20 tables

The last, and definitely the hardest figure to calculate, is tent rental. There is so much to consider before renting a tent. What is going to be included under the tent? Tables? A buffet? A bar? DJ? Band? The more you include under the tent, the larger it will need to be. We recommend calling or coming into the showroom to have one of our professionals calculate the dimensions of a tent that will meet all of your rental needs.

Ultimately, your rental needs are completely unique to your wedding. While we wish there was a universal formula to calculate the exact number of tables, chairs, and linens needed for your event, it really depends on a variety of factors, primarily the number of guests and the style you are trying to achieve. For help calculating your rental needs, head to our website, call us at 859-266-1197, or come into the showroom, and let us help you plan your event, your way!


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