What to ask when booking event rentals

The BIG Day is so exciting but yet so stressful, but vendors like us are here to make it much more enjoyable.  Lots of brides don’t have the budget to hire a wedding planner and end up doing the planning themselves.  So they end up talking to a lot of different people throughout the process.  If you are not a very organized person, this could be a problem making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

I have lots of brides who contact me directly, which I like because I can build that customer relationship with them and make sure we are on the same page throughout the planning process.  I do have a couple of people that work for me when I need them but I am the sole contact up until the day of the wedding and afterwards.  This way there is never any confusion on what the couple is renting, when they are having it delivered or picked up and when they are returning it.

Not everyone comes to look at furniture before renting, actually I would say 75% just look at the pictures online then decide what pieces they want to use.   I always encourage a client to come take a look so they know exactly what they want and what to expect.   Not everything I have is online, sometimes it takes me a while to update my inventory page.  People also come and see something in person that catches their eye that didn’t online.   Certain pieces of mine are true antiques and in antique condition (after all, I do specialize in vintage) but on pictures you cannot always tell. My advice to you is always always always make sure you know what you are renting, don’t be surprised the day of your event!

If you cannot make an appointment to go see things, make sure you ask every question you can think of over the phone or in an email (see list of questions at end of article).  Trust me, you will not annoy any vendor with too many questions (at least not me)!  Ask for additional pictures, there are ways more pictures of inventory than what is published on a website.  Be sure to read your contract over, know if you can cancel, change, get a refund, etc.  Know what happens if you have that crazy friend who always spills their drink, and it happens to be on the white couch you are renting.  Most rental companies have similar policies, but if this is the only time you will be renting, you may not know what those policies are.

Always inspect your furniture upon pick up or delivery.  Make sure you look it over with your vendor and note anything you see on any piece before using.  Just in case it got dirty during loading, you don’t want to be charged for the cleaning fee.  After all, this is not brand new furniture, it is rentals, meaning it goes from place to place being used by different people.  Things happen and I have had to repair, reupholster and professionally clean pieces after just one event.  It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen!

When all is said and done, if you had a good experience with your rental . . . .  leave your vendor a good review!!!  This way other people who are currently in their search will know what to expect when working with that company.  And send them pictures, I love seeing my inventory in use, and more than likely you will end up on my website!  Who doesn’t want to send a link to their friends showing off that their event pictures are published on a website, with the possibility of being shared on other social media outlets.

Some questions you should probably ask

  • How long is the rental period (24hr, 12hr, 36hr)?
  • How do I secure my rental?
  • When should I make my reservation?
  • Can I change my mind and add or take away inventory once booked?
  • What is your delivery/pick up fee, can I pay for just one way?
  • What is your delivery range?
  • If I pick up do you provide tie downs and covers?
  • Is there a security deposit?
  • What happens if I don’t return my order on time?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Do I need to clean rentals before returning them?
  • Do you have a cleaning fee?
  • What happens if something is damaged slightly, damaged beyond repair?
  • Do you give discounts for large orders?
  • Do you have packages available, do you make custom packages?
  • Will you set up and break down, is there a fee for that?
  • Do you offer hourly rentals?
  • Do you do free consultations?
  • Are there styling services available?
  • Do you have any specials right now?
  • When can I come view your inventory?
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
  • When is my final payment due?