Questions to Ask Your Rental Company
Before meeting with a wedding rentals vendor, it's helpful to have a rough idea of what you will need, an approximate guest count, and information about the reception location. The more info you can give them about your reception, the more accurate the quote. I've included some helpful questions below to ask when working with a variety of wedding rental vendors (linens, vehicles, photo booths, silverware/dining, chairs, lighting design, floral, furniture, decorations).
What items are available for rent? Some companies will niche market in only one category. Others may have bundled options to save you time and money. It never hurts to ask.
What is the rental fee? Do you have a price list? Some vendors resort to an all inclusive package, while others can give you several options. The second is more flexible with strict budgets. Any company you consider should be able to fully explain the differences of their various packages.
Have you worked at my reception location before? This is a biggie for event design and rentals. Not only is logistics a factor, but also facility layout. Any reputable person that has worked the facility before will be able to give an honest recommendation on what you need. They can base this off past clients, and future accommodations. There is no right or wrong way to plan a wedding, so make sure they completely understand your vision.
Do you provide delivery, set-up and pick-up? Is this included in the cost? Once again, logistics is a biggie. Some people have a limited coverage area while others will travel to Timbuktu. They should remove the stress involved with prepping by setting up the items being rented. Their price should also include tear down. The last thing you want to be stuck with is a bunch of center pieces that are due back at 10am the next morning?!
When will the items be delivered and picked up? Get this written out in detail in your contract. I have heard many horror stories because of a communication breakdown. You know what the most important part of your wedding is right... it is the part that gets screwed up. Your wedding has to be perfect. I recently was doing a wedding were another vendor ended up being 10 chair covers short for the whole room. They realized the client added on guests last minute and forgot to tell them. They had to run across town during rush hour to pull things together last minute. Always keep your vendors in the loop.
Will you move decorations from the ceremony to the reception site if needed?This is mostly done for floral arrangements. You paid the money for them, might as well get the biggest bang for your buck! But who will transport them to the reception? All you have to do is ask.
If tents are needed, do you recommend one large tent, or multiple smaller tents at my reception location? Different sized tents have different costs. Different locations require different sizes. Tents are cool. Tents are big. Tents allow your parents to invite 3,000 people who you've never met or heard of before. Oh yeah, you have to feed those people. Tents also require a small army of people to build, air condition, decorate and tear-down. Either way factor in the labor vs. sq footage.
What is you policy on damaged or missing items? Accident happens, and linens/chair covers are notorious for getting misplaced. Knock on wood that something doesn't happen, but hey Murphy's Law. It is best to have them go over a common problem situation with you. For example, if you go with lighting design, then they might require 3.5 feet of space between the tables and the perimeter of the walls to account for guest walk space.
Who will be my contact on the day of the wedding? Make sure you have a contact person that WILL be available the day of. This person should have a good understanding of the services you reserved.
How far in advance must I book your services? Vendors that do a stellar job tend to stay busy. On average, popular dates will book from 1 - 1.5 years. Some companies can handle multiple events on any given day. It is important that they do not stretch themselves to thin. They should have a backup plan for emergencies.
What is your cancellation policy? When you book 1 - 1.5 years out, a lot can change. We don't want things to, but unfortunately thing might. Since this happens on occasion every year, they should be able to answer your questions. Just keep in mind that wedding vendors reserve your date and turn down thousands of dollars in business to set aside their services for you.