It’s almost your big day and the vision you’ve created is about to come to fruition. You have everything lined up with the wedding rental companies. You're in your final details meeting with your venue coordinator when they inform you that the rental delivery policy requires items to be dropped off hours before your wedding and must be picked up at the end of the evening.
This is a common scenario that plays out week after week, leaving brides scrambling to figure out how to logistically make the delivery, execution, and pick up of all the rentals take place. This is a costly dilemma that adds to the stressful final weeks leading to your wedding and puts a strain on your already stretched budget.
Why does this happen? It simply comes down to brides not knowing what questions to ask the venue during the touring and contract signing process. Venues do not generally go over those details at the time of contract signing because brides have not typically started booking rentals until further into the planning process. Rental companies do not generally inform renters of the venue's delivery policies as it's the renter's responsibility to know what their venue policy is and what is written in their contract. This is why it is extremely important to ask questions and read you contract in full before signing and before booking additional vendors.
Linens, specialty chairs, fancy china, centerpieces, décor, and furniture vignettes to name a few, are an increasingly popular part of nearly every wedding. And many of the rentals require lengthy assembly times. When renting these items it is important to have a discussion with your wedding venue early on (preferably before signing a contract) to understand the policies, timelines for delivery/pickup and what responsibilities the venue will assist with. It is highly recommended to have that information written in the contract to avoid any misunderstandings or communication disagreements, especially if there is a change in staff or policy from the time you signed to the contract to the day of your wedding.
Understanding how rental companies operate, the capacity and role of your venue and your responsibilities as a bride will help make your planning process smoother and give you the ability to budget properly for rental expenses and delivery fees, while avoiding those costly mistakes.
Many delivery companies deliver on Thursdays and Fridays and pick up rentals on Mondays and Tuesdays. Typically this is due to the fact that rental companies are usually handling 50-200 events each weekend (depending on the size of the city and rental company) and cannot make that many deliveries in a single Saturday morning. The same goes for pick us, as most weddings end around 11 pm on Saturday evening, it would be a impossible task to be in that many places at the same time.
If a venue requires same day delivery and/or pick up, your rental company will charge hefty labor/delivery fees to accommodate the request and will most likely require a minimum rental amount to offer the service since it is a limited service.
In many cases, your rental company may already have a full weekend and no available trucks/staff to deliver or pick those items up so you may be left scrambling to come up with an alternative option. This is where the stress factor really starts to become a headache and the spending can get out of control.
Knowing this information going into the rental process will help you create an appropriate budget and avoid added stress weeks before your big day.
When renting items from rental companies, understand who is doing what. Rental companies typically offer delivery only. Set up of your rental items is usually an additional cost and needs to be scheduled in advance so they can plan for staff and time on the job. This applies to the tear down of the rentals as well.
Do not assume that your venue will set up any items. If you have a planner or coordinator, do not assume they will handle set up and tear down. Anything that takes people and time to set up and take down requires payment to those people, so assume you will be charged accordingly for that service.
Some venues require rentals to go through them. Yes, those venues will upcharge for those items you can rent on your own, however there are multiple advantages to renting through the venue versus renting the items on your own.
Generally when the items are rented directly through the venue all of the delivery and pick up logistics are handled by them, thus eliminating the stress of added fees and coordinating times. In addition, that upcharge amount is usually inclusive of their staff setting up and taking down those items, again ensuring that the details of your day are being handled.
Additionally there is a responsibility that the venue is assuming on your behalf. If items become damaged or misplaced the venue assumes responsibility for the cost of those items, assuming it’s not caused due to negligence by a guest of the wedding.
If your venue allows you to book rentals directly, but cannot tell you if items can be delivered ahead of your day and picked up on the following Monday until 30 days before your wedding, it’s best to assume the worst and budget for that possibility. Many venues will book a last minute rehearsal dinner or event up to 30 days before your wedding, but if they do not book the space they may allow deliveries ahead of time. The rental companies will not be able to add a Saturday delivery/pick up that close to the event date due to other renters that have already reserved those delivery slots. You don’t want to risk the chance of losing those time slots, so it would be best to reserve that slot instead of taking the gamble.