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Guide to Your Reception Rentals

You may need to supply some, if not all the rental items required to host your wedding reception and serve your guests. Be sure that you understand the rentals included in the venue fee before you book it. Every venue is different, so you have to clarify with the venue manager, which items the site provides and which rentals you need to provide. Be sure that everything you have agreed upon is in writing.

You may require to provide some, if not all, the items listed below.


Guest Tables

36-inch rounds seat 4-6 guests

48-inch rounds seat 6-8 guests

60-inch rounds seat 8-10 guests

6-foot rectangle seats about 8 guests

8-foot rectangle seats about 10 guests

Cake Table(s)

Appropriate size depends on the size of the cake, groom's cake, smaller cakes, cupcakes, and whether they will be displayed on the same table or separate tables. A 48-inch round typically works great for a wedding cake, and a rectangle table may be best for multiple cakes.

Head Table

Seats bridal party and often consist of rectangular tables placed end-to-end.

Sweetheart Table

In place of the head table, a small table that seats the couple. The wedding party, parents, and grandparents can sit at a guest table.

Buffet Tables

You will need to provide several food stations, such as meet carving, beverages, etc. if you have decided on a buffet dinner. Depending on your buffet set-up, 60' round tables or 6' to 8' rectangle tables may be used. (The catering company may provide buffet tables and linens for the tables.)

Gift Table

The size of the gift table will depend on the number of guests expected to attend.

Guest Book Table

For your guest book, a small round table or cocktail table may be used.


Seating will need to be provided for all reception guests for a seated dinner or buffet. For a cocktail-style reception, you may able to go with enough chairs for half or more of the number of your expected guests.

You may need to rent linens and chair covers from the same rental company that is providing the chairs and tables. Chair covers are not always required because of the lovely chairs available for rent these days.


For a formal sit-down reception, provide complete place settings at the tables. Plates and silverware can be located at the buffet if it is a buffet reception where guests serve themselves.


A large tent may be required for receptions held outdoors to shield you and your guests from the sun or rain. A smaller tent (20x20 feet) will accommodate around 40 guests at a sit-down dinner, a 20x40 around 200, and a 60x100 around 500 or more. Depending on the reception area, you may require to rent several smaller tents rather than one large one. Talk to several party rental companies to discuss the possibilities.


You may want to rent heaters if your reception is outdoors, and the temperature may drop below 65 degrees. There are electric and gas heaters that come in various sizes. Gas heaters are more common because they do not have unsightly and unsafe electrical cords. For outdoor events during warmer weather, portable AC units may be necessary.

Dance Floor:

The dance floor size will depend on the number of guests you anticipate. They vary from 12x12 up to 20x30 or larger. The rental company can assist with the size you will require.


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