Wedding Rentals

Planning a wedding requires a lot of work and consideration. Figuring out when, where, and how many people are coming is just the very beginning of the planning process. Luckily, we’ve broken down some of the crucial things you need to plan for and some of the most common wedding related party-rentals out there. Here are some of the key points you need to have figured out before you can start working out which party rentals you need.

When is your wedding?

The most popular months for outdoor wedding receptions are mid-May through September. These months usually have the best weather, but there is always a chance for colder-than-expected temperatures or the chance of rain. The exact date of your wedding can determine whether or not you need to get sidewalls or heating/cooling solutions for your wedding tent rental. During the summer months, we also suggest using a mosquito abatement service. Nothing can ruin a good reception like a bunch of mosquitos flying around!

How many guests are attending?

The trick with planning for your number of guests is to start high and then reduce if you can. Depending on the venue you’ve chosen, the number of guests might have to be adjusted. Regardless of venue, available space is not always something you can control. Keep in mind that guests are not the only thing that take up space under a tent or in a banquet hall. Buffet tables, dance floors, bars, D.J. booths, tables, and chairs all take up space.

What time is the reception?

You might find that you’ll need lighting for the space or for your wedding tent. Here are some general lighting times for Illinois.

  • May: The sun sets approximately 8:00pm.
  • June: The sun sets approximately 8:30pm.
  • July: On the 1st. the sun sets approximately 8:30pm and by the 31st. the sun sets at about 8:00pm.
  • August: On the 1st., the sun sets around 8:00pm. By the 30th., sun sets around 7:30pm.
  • September: The sunsets start at 7:30pm on the 1st and by the 30th sunset is around 6:30pm.

What it comes down to is if you’re planning a reception during the evening, count on needing lighting for your tent. There are tons of lighting solutions available from various tent rental companies. Everything from warm globe lights that line the perimeter of the tent, to string lights that hang from the ceiling, to chandeliers that descend from the center of the tent. Remember that lighting a tent usually needs at least one 20-amp circuit within 50’ of the tent and should not be on the same circuit as any other electrical devices such as band equipment, coffee makers, etc.

Where is the wedding reception?

When it comes to outdoor wedding receptions, the most common reception locations tend to be backyards, churches, parks, or private venues. These venues can limit the size and style of tent that can be used. Backyards, churches, and private venues (like country clubs) can also have limited areas where tents can even be installed, but have the upside of being more flexible for delivery and removal of any party rental equipment. Venues such as forest preserves and park districts usually have unlimited space available, but have strict restrictions of when exactly the area can be used, which leads to exact windows of time for delivery and removal and equipment.

Make sure to check out bathroom facilities in your chosen venue to see if there are enough to accommodate all your guests. It’s possible that you’ll need to rent portable toilets or a trailer unit.

Equipment Logistics

One other aspect of choosing a location for your wedding would be power delivery and power availability. Find out how much power is available, where it is available, the distance of power sources to any tents you’re going to set up, and how much power is going to be required for all the equipment you’re planning on renting. DJ’s, bands, and generators all require power, so this is one thing you can’t afford to overlook!

If you’re renting a tent for your wedding, consider how the tent will be secured to the ground. Frame tents can be staked or secured with weights or water barrels, but pole tents have to be staked. Some harder surfaces might not be able to be staked, so just keep it in mind when choosing which tent and which location your wedding will be at. When tents are secured with stakes, all tent companies are required by law to contact a service called JULIE at least 48 hours before the event to ensure that all public utility lines underground are marked. This way, the tent stakes wont go into a water main or anything. JULIE doesn’t mark private lines such as sprinkler systems, swimming pool lines, septic tanks, etc. It is up to the property owner to make sure these lines are marked.

What kind of meal will be served?

Most weddings have either buffet meals or served meals. These both have pros and cons, so depending on various factors, you may want to choose one over another. Buffet meals require more room than served meals, because the buffet stations are usually placed throughout the tent. Sometimes buffet tables will be reused after the meal for sweets stations, coffee stations, desserts, etc… If the tables will be reused, make sure you have another set of linens available.

Served meals and family-style meals don’t require the space that buffets do, but they do require more wait staff. Your caterer will be able to tell you the exact number and size tables that they will need for food service, and can also request a prep tent or prep area with extra long tables for their use. If coffee is being brewed on site, just make sure that the power outlet used for the equipment is on a different electrical circuit than the D.J., band, tent lighting, etc. Coffee pots draw a surprising amount of power.

A good rule of thumb for table needs would be one buffet table for every 50 guests, and one bar setup for every 100 guests. We’ve found that only about a third of guests tend to drink coffee.

Will there be bars, or just beverage stations?

Beverage stations and bars require their own space. Beverage stations and self-serve bars are typically single-sided and do not require wait staff to attend them at all times. Traditional bars require bar tenders and therefore need more room than a beverage station. Bar tenders also need work spaces and an area for additional supplies. Most bartenders we’ve talked to say that a bar table with a riser shelf and a back bar is the ideal setup for them. Don’t forget to add a meal in for your bar tender!

Will there be a D.J. or a band?

If you’re having a D.J. at the reception, an 8’ long table for their equipment may be needed. Some D.J.s will ask for a riser so that all their equipment isn’t just sitting on the ground. D.J.s and bands need power as well, so be sure to ask them how many electrical circuits they need to power everything! Remember that the D.J. or band play through the whole reception, so be sure to include meals in to cover them!

Will there be a head table?

Head tables are dependent on how many people are in the bridal party. Many brides are choosing not to have a traditional head table these days. Sweetheart tables for only the bride and groom are increasing in popularity. This way members of the bridal party are able to sit with their guests. Round, oval, and square tables are all viable options for head tables. Traditional head tables are easily installed on risers that are eight feet deep and at least as long as the table itself. Head tables are usually not included in post-wedding receptions or celebration parties.

Will there be other decorations?

There are lots of tent accessories that are available for tent decorations and general lighting. These include:

  • Fabric coverings
  • Glove lights
  • Back lights
  • Colored lights
  • Center pole sleeves
  • Leg drapes
  • Chandeliers
  • Par lights
  • Lanterns
  • Pole lights
  • And more!

Decorating your tent can add that extra bit of flair to your wedding. So be sure to ask your tent rental vendor what decorations they have available!

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