Rental items—like chairs, tables and décor—can be easy to forget when you start the wedding planning process. However, if your venue doesn’t include them in your rental fee, they may be necessary.

According to William Richard Jaqua, CEO of HECYES, Inc., which owns the full-service Heritage Party Rentals, there has never been a better time for wedding rentals.

“The equipment has grown with the industry. It is more complex. It is more beautiful. It is more elaborate. There is a wider selection to choose from,” he says.

Jaqua, who been in the wedding rental industry since 1980, points to tents as an example. While tents 20-30 years ago were basic structures, that’s no longer the case.

“We carry a 60-by-20 pole tent made in California by Aztec that is just absolutely gorgeous. It was designed for beauty. And it’s an engineered tent. An engineered tent means that it will withstand hurricane force winds up to 90 miles per hour,” he says. “Nobody produced those types of tents that long ago.”

The range of items available for rent has also expanded. Several companies have popped up in the last couple years that specialize in unique rentals.

Kyle Foster, who co-owns Something Old Dayton with his wife, Mari, says, “We have items that you would not find at a big box rental store but the process is very similar. We rent couches and upholstered chairs and arm tables and vintage silverware, and we do custom elements and style as well. So we add a texture element to a wedding that you may have to pay a stylist to do.”

He refers to the company, which they started in 2016, as an “eclectic event rental,” as it provides both vintage and trend-driven products.

Mari says these that for those looking for a wedding with a unique feel, or those who want a Pinterest-worthy reception, renting these items can be a less expensive solution when compared to doing it yourself.

“Renting your decor saves you time and energy gathering all the stuff yourself; the space storing it before and after your wedding; the stress of trying to sell it afterwards to get some money back; the cleaning, repair and packing up and unpacking; and worrying about who’s in charge of it all. Once you factor in all these stressful tasks, renting becomes really appealing, affordable and desirable for the fact that all of these things are passed off to us,” she says.

In addition to more and better rental equipment, rental companies are also renting out their expertise in a variety of areas.

Current Trends

“The pendulum has swung from very formal to casual,” says William Richard Jaqua, CEO of HECYES, Inc., of the current wedding trends in the Dayton market. In the last 10 years, he says he’s seen more and more couples choose venues like barns for their big day.

“Ten years ago a barn wedding was considered a little taboo. Nowadays, it’s one of the most favored venues,” he says.

Kyle Foster, co-owner of Something Old Dayton, says that barn weddings remain popular, but he’s seeing current trends shifting to more industrial locations.

“We’ve started incorporating a lot more metallic. We found that copper and gold and brass elements are starting to be more prevalent,” he says.
For example, Something Old Dayton can provide styling in addition to the rentals and Heritage Party Rentals allows couples to use its bartenders and servers, even if they don’t use HECYES’ catering company, Heritage Catering.

“Full service means that we view it as an event. We view the gathering, whether it’s a wedding or a corporate event, as an event. We take a total point of view and we look at what we can do to provide goods and services for any particular event,” says Jaqua.

For those just beginning to look at rentals, both Jaqua and the Fosters have some advice.

Kyle Foster recommends familiarizing yourself with prices and deciding on your budget beforehand.

“A lot of people are sometimes surprised about prices. They really don’t know what to expect. They’re trying to do a Pinterest-quality wedding on a dime store budget or a DIY budget, so there’s surprise that they can’t have everything that they want for the money that they want to spend,” he says. “The wedding day is just one day and we’d rather focus on the marriage. So we don’t encourage people to spend an exorbitant amount of money just for one day. So instead of getting farm tables for the 300-person wedding, why not just do the farm table for the head table?”

Jaqua recommends getting started on the rental process as early as possible.

“I would say the most important thing (couples) should know is that every rental company has a limited amount of inventory. I don’t care what they tell you but the earlier you reserve the better inventory you’re going to get,” says Jaqua.

Heritage Party Rentals has a 40,000-square-foot warehouse, but even its inventory is finite.

He adds, “The pickier they are about the quality of the inventory they choose, the better off they’re going to be. They should not be shy about asking questions about the quality of the inventory that they are going to receive.”