Or should you work with what your venue has to offer?

By Sara Dickinson
September 25, 2019
jamie and michael wedding ceremony chairs
Credit: Sally Pinera

Maybe you fell in love with your wedding venue for its convenient location, stunning views, or exceptional in-house catering, but typically, you start with a blank slate when it comes to aesthetics. An easy way to make your venue reflect the theme or vibe you're going for is to upgrade your wedding rentals—namely, your tables, chairs, dinnerware, linens, and lounge furniture. But are they worth the cost?

Before you do anything else, consider whether some staple items from your venue like lighting or barware fit the look and feel you're going for. You definitely don't want to blow your budget by upgrading every last detail. But even upgrading your venue's silverware or chairs can make a big impact on the way the space will feel on your wedding day.

"Enhanced rentals are well worth the investment and can transform even the most neutral of spaces!" Alicia Fritz, founder of A Day in May Events, says. "Our client's tastes and styles have led them to the venue but the desire to make it their own and add personal touches, especially with a residential feel, are at the heart of our wedding planning goals." Consider renting some lounge furniture to make your venue feel more comfortable or upgrade to rustic farm tables in place of your venue's traditional tables to make the space feel more cohesive with your other décor.

According to Jonathan Stamper-Halpin and Alison Szleifer, co-founders of Two Kindred Event Planners, "If there are elements of your venue that you aren't in love with, like a loud carpet or outdated window dressing, rental upgrades are a great way to personalize the space and give it your unique touch." They suggest upgrading your tablescape with matte gold silverware, modern glassware, or an eye-catching matte black dinner plate.

On the other hand, if your budget is limited, consider working with as many of the venue's items as possible so that you can allocate your funds for other elements like the music, flowers, or food. Another tip from Stamper-Halpin and Szleifer—"If you're having a buffet versus a plated meal, the upgrade isn't worth the expense because your plate, flatware, and napkins will most likely be picked up by guests at the buffet and not pre-set at their seat."

Work with your planner and your venue to determine which wedding rental upgrades will make the biggest impact on the event, and when in doubt, upgrade the rentals that will make a difference on the guest's overall experience. After all, they probably won't remember the upgraded linens, but they may remember the upgraded chair that kept them comfortable during the ceremony!


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