As your wedding date approaches, your ‘to-do’ list of dealing with seating charts, caterers, décor, and all the other little details, may have you feeling a bit overwhelmed. While in the midst of planning, there are a few specific items that are often forgotten or overlooked. If you are planning on your own, or even if you have some help, this list will make sure you have everything you need for your big day!
- Trash Cans and liners– Even if you are not using disposable plates or cutlery, this is a must! When groups of people get together for a celebration, there will inevitably be garbage accumulated. Some venues will provide cans and trash bags, but make sure to verify if that is included in your contract. If renting trash cans, be sure to make sure if the liners are included. If you are renting from FRER, two liners are included in each trash can rental. It is recommend to place extra liners in the bottom of the can, to make them easily accessible when switching out full bags. To make the cans a bit more pleasant to look at, or to have them blend in with the event, FRER has can covers available. White coverings create a more refined look for the trash can, and blue recycling covers provide a specific location for aluminum can or glass and plastic bottle disposal.
- Sound Equipment– Amplifiers, extra speakers, and microphones are all important items to have on hand to ensure your guests can hear everything from vows to music. Most professional DJs will provide their own sound equipment for the reception, however, you will want to make sure if their pricing includes use of the equipment for the ceremony. Venues may or may not include sound equipment in their rental fees. Be sure to check the type of sound system the venue uses, if you are renting microphones, as you will want to make sure they are compatible. If this will not be included with either the DJ or venue, you will most likely need to rent this equipment. When renting, take into consideration the space where you will be using the equipment, as outdoor and indoor venues may have different sound needs. For very large outdoor areas, with large groups of people, you may want to consider renting a companion speaker to go along with the amplifier. This will ensure everyone can hear what is happening, even if they are in the back row. You will also want to know if you are using the equipment for speaking, music, or both, as different types of Amplifiers may work great for one option, but not for another. If you are providing your own music playlist, be sure to know what type of connection you will need, in order to hook up your music player to the amplifier.
- Fans and/or Heaters– Depending on the time of year you decide to host your wedding, you may need to provide fans or heaters to keep guests comfortable. Not all venues are air-conditioned, so when planning a wedding in the Spring, Summer, or even Fall, you may need to have fans ready in case of warm temperatures. This goes for tented weddings as well, as the tent may block the sun’s rays, but the temperature may still leave guests feeling over-heated. For winter affairs, be sure to find out if your venue will be heated. Outdoor, tented, or barn weddings, may not have heaters included. Be sure to discuss with your venue, or rental company, the best options for your heating needs. Depending on where you are hosting the wedding, you may need to have both heating and cooling options available, as Spring and Fall events may experience an unexpected heat wave or cold front.
- Electricity– Using lighting outdoors? Using fans or heaters? Make sure you have an electrical source! If you have an outlet nearby, you may just need an extension cord, or a power strip to make sure everything can be plugged in and powered. Keep in mind that for some items, such as frozen drink machines, you may need an outlet designated for that item only, due to the draw of electricity. If you are outdoors, and away from buildings or other electrical sources, you may need to rent a generator. When renting a generator, be sure to know the amount of wattage or amps you need to power, to ensure you rent a generator powerful enough to provide electricity for all of your needs. In some cases, you may need to rent multiple generators, so be sure to check with your band or DJ to see what their power needs may be.
- Tents and Walls– Whether it’s a 10’x10’ pop-up canopy for some shade, or a fully walled 40’x100’ Pole tent to protect from weather, don’t forget about tents and tent walls! For outdoor events, tents can come in handy for any time of the year. In the warmer months, providing a tent for guests can create a nice shaded area to keep cool, and out of the sun. With larger tents, used for hosting the guest seating, it is common to have walls on the North and West sides of the tent, to block from any weather systems that may move through while the event is taking place. Window walls are a great option for keeping the weather out, without blocking the view! During cooler seasons, a fully walled tent, with a tent heater, can create a wonderful outdoor space for guests to enjoy, without feeling the cold.
- Lighting– Will your event last into the evening or night time? Is the forecast calling for clouds or rain? Try shining some light on the situation! For tented events, light packages provide the perfect amount of safety and background lighting. Want something a bit more festive? Colorful gels can be placed over the lights to give your event a fun and unique glow. String lights, such as bistro, café, or twinkle lights, can also be great options to add some ambiance. String lights are not typically recommended as general lighting, unless you are using several strands! Consider a lamp post, or lighted fichus tree, to add some additional lighting to your event space.
- Signage/Sign Holders– You may need to provide directions or signage to ensure your guests know where to go. Using chalkboards, or easels to hold signs, provides a great ways to guide guests to your event site or simply to their seats. Designating parking areas, letting guests know which side to sit on for the ceremony, or listing the menu, are all great ways to utilize signs and give your guests specific directions to ensure everyone is on the same page. If you are doing assigned seating, don’t forget table numbers and stands!
- Serving Items– Most catering companies will provide at least some, if not all of the serving items needed for your reception meal. However, you will want to be sure to discuss with your caterer the exact items they do and do not provide. Chafers, with sterno fuels and holders, serving spoons, and water pitchers, are all items you will may need for your meal, and are important items to make sure are included with the caterer’s fee. Serving bowls, or platters, for family style service, tongs for buffet items, and butter dishes, or salt and pepper shakers, for each table, are other items to remember. Be sure to verify with your caterer if they will provide place settings, or if you will need to rent those items. If hiring a bartending service, make sure to find out if glasses are included in their service, or if you will need to supply your own.
- Extra Dishes, Silverware, Glasses, and Napkins– One, or more, of your guests may drop a plate, a fork, or a glass on the ground, and will then end up needing a new one. If you only have an exact amount of place settings, your poor guests will be out of luck. Hopefully none of your guests are super clumsy, but there’s always a few in every group. Having back-ups ensures that any accidents do not prevent any of your guests from enjoying the meal. Extra napkins always come in handy! Using them for spills, moving hot items, or even as décor, having extra napkins around can be a lifesaver. You will also want to make sure that when ordering dishes, and silverware, that you have enough for all of your guests, with a few extras, for every course. Most guests will expect a separate plate for appetizers or salads, the main meal, and dessert. You will also want to make sure you have forks designated for each course, as well as any steak knives for meats, and spoons for ice cream or tea and coffee service.
- Water and Ice– No matter what time of year it is, your guests will need to keep hydrated. Especially if you are serving alcohol, having water available will be something your guests will appreciate. In the warmer months, having water and ice available for guests is a must! Do not rely on your venue to supply water, as this may not be something available for outdoor, or rustic venues. Check with your bartending or beverage service to see if water is included with your selected drink package. Having coolers, fill ‘n chill tables, or insulated beverage dispensers, can be great options to ensure everyone is able to stay nice and hydrated.
- Items for You– With all the planning, and organizing you’ve been stressing out about for the big day, make sure you don’t forget the most important part… YOU! Many brides are so concerned about getting all the items they will need for their guests that they end up forgetting chairs, or place settings for the bride and groom. Remember when planning for the big day, that it is YOUR big day! When renting items, such as chairs, plates, glassware, etc., be sure to include enough for your guest seating tables, head table, and the bride and groom. This is another time where ordering a few extras of items can come in handy, as an extra guest, or a forgotten couple, can easily be taken care of with extra items at the ready.
By keeping track of this list of items, you will be sure to have everything you need on your big day. Of course other general items such as linens, food, music, and guest seating, are also important, but are typically much easier to remember. So take a deep breath, make a check list, and stick to it! Need any help making sure you have all the rental items you need? Contact Front Range Event Rental to talk to an Event Coordinator, to ensure all your rental needs are fulfilled! Thanks for reading, and happy wedding planning!