The Art of Budgeting for Rentals

The Art of Budgeting for Rentals,
Contributed by Chris Bolton, Lonsdale Event Rentals

Salutations and Congratulations.

If you are reading this you are most likely preparing yourself for one of the most exciting, emotional and memory making times in your life. The idea of putting or pulling a Wedding together, big or small, can be overwhelming, even daunting. With the right professionals, words of wisdom by ones close to you and, of course the right Rental Company, you will find things much more manageable.

It is always good to start with the fun stuff like planning the time of year, where it will take place and the overall look and feel of what you would like to create. Then it moves onto Budget. Not my favourite part either but it must be done. Almost like when building or renovating a home there will be a budget, but it is always good to plan a 15% contingency into your spreadsheets. This way when you are having to think fast on your feet and need to throw a little money in a place you had not anticipated, it is there. When all goes to plan, and you stay right on budget you get to apply it to an upgrade come Honeymoon time or put it towards a down payment on your first place together. How exciting.

Ok, how do you Budget for Rentals? The sky really is the limit when it comes to Renting. I propose (pun intended) to offer you a Moderate Budget based on a 100 person wedding. You have secured the Caterer and they are taking care of all of the Service Ware. I am envisioning a space that is just a Bare Bones Space. No Tables, or Chairs. We will be just discussing cost/person for Table set up. The information I am providing will be an average cost, nothing too precious and no lower end products.

I have included the Basic Folding Table with Linen (I suggest going right to the ground to hide ugly legs).  I would highly suggest going the extra mile and renting linen napkins, this is where you could inject some colour too ~ you don’t have to go all matchy matchy. We have the budget for the classic Folding White Wooden Chair.  A full set of moderately priced cutlery usually contains a Dinner Fork and Knife, Dessert & Tea Spoons and two smaller Salad/Dessert Forks. 1 for Starters and 1 for Dessert. There will most probably be a Champagne Toast at some point and I have included a straight forward Flute, but Retro Saucers are making a come back. I have budgeted for simple Glass ones, but, Crystal really makes an impact with guests. The feel and the sound of it when all those toast go around really elevate the guests experience. You can budget doubling the price for Crystal vs. Glass. Stemless Crystal Wine Glasses are a good choice as well. *Hint* they can double as water glasses.  For this article I have chosen the Classic Glassware selection. Champagne Flute, an all purpose - Medium Wine (the medium Bowl will help spread the wine out, but I do love a Big Bowl for “swirling” and getting my nose right in there) and a water goblet. As for the Dinnerware we will have an 11”Dinner Plate, an 8”dessert Plate, a 6” side plate. I have included a Cup and Saucer for each guest as well for tea or coffee. That’s about it.


The Break Down:

China – 11”, 8”, 6” Plates and a Cup and Saucer in our house ‘Tashi” White Porcelain =  $2.11/guest

Cutlery = Dinner Knife and Fork 2 x Salad/Dessert forks, Dessert and Teaspoon in Bel Air = $2.35/guest

Chair/Table and linens = $9.45/guest.

Glassware – Champagne, Wine and Water = 1.65/guest


Based on all of the above it works out to be around $15.50/guest. The way to cut back would be to go with a more economical chair, don’t go to the floor with linens, cut a piece or two of cutlery and/or dinnerware (depending on menu). Keep in mind Late Night/ After Hours Returns are pricey so if you can, make friends with your venue and see if you can leave them for a next day Pick up. That cuts down on a lot of unnecessary charges.