Whether it's centerpieces or lounge seating, you are more than likely going to need some sort of rental for your wedding. Rentals are a great way to elevate your design or fill in some of those essential missing elements at your venue. Working with rental companies can be a bit confusing or overwhelming, here is some insight to help you navigate the process.
Expect hundreds of dollars in additional fees from the rental company. You may get a little too excited when you see fruitwood chairs are only $4 each and an arch is only $100. Every rental order, no matter how big or small will include some sort of fee. Delivery fees alone can be upwards of $500. Depending on what items you rent, there may be additional cleaning fees or set up fees. To avoid paying double in fees, try to get all your rentals from the same company.
Speaking of set up, most people do not realize that delivery does not equal set up. The rental crew will literally just drop everything off in boxes and you are responsible for setting it all up. To avoid this, you need to make sure to add on set up services through the rental company which will be a couple hundred dollars. You can also ask your venue or planner if they would be willing to set up the rentals. They, of course, will charge you extra labor fees but it may be cheaper than the rental company's fee.
Will call is usually people's instinctual plan to avoid delivery fees. They figure they'll just bring a truck and go pick up everything themselves. While this may work for small things like linens or centerpieces, most rental companies will not allow you to handle their larger items like lounge furniture or arches. They will usually require delivery and set up.
You cannot always see the items beforehand. You can of course browse their inventory online but not every rental company has a showroom you can visit to view their items in person. And you have to keep in mind, the companies that do have a showroom, only set out their best looking items. You have to remember that these items are used, not new. So although the gold chiavari chairs in the showroom look beautiful, the actual ones you'll get from the warehouse may be a little dingy.
Which leads me to, you get what you pay for. When shopping around for rentals, you may notice some variations in pricing, even if it's just a few dollars. But there is usually a reason why one company is charging $12 per chair while the other is charging $9. The company charging the higher amount is typically the one that is replacing their inventory every few years, while the cheaper company hangs on to their inventory until they fall apart.