We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again... it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to hiring furniture for your wedding. But as a newly engaged bride-to-be, it can be tricky knowing exactly when to start looking for and locking down furniture pieces for your big day. With so much to organise and so many different vendors to book for your wedding, where exactly does furniture hire fit in?
After working in the industry for over 6 years now, we have a general timeline that we recommend when it comes to securing furniture and decor based on our previous experience. Keeping in mind that some furniture items book out faster than others, this timeline is basically a guide on which items should become a high priority, and which items can wait a little longer.
So if you’re feeling a little unsure as to exactly when you should be looking to hire furniture for your wedding, take a look at our 12-month timeline below for some helpful guidance to get you started!
10-12 months: Dining tables and chairs
If your wedding is being hosted on a weekend, after a public holiday, or any time during peak season (spring and autumn), we recommend locking in your key pieces at the 10 to 12-month mark to avoid disappointment.
Your key pieces are basically those items that your wedding would not be able to function without, which also just happen to be the pieces that book out first. For a sit-down reception, this means your dining tables and dining chairs!
We’ve written an entire blog post about the importance of hiring your dining tables and chairs early, because we’ve seen first hand the stress that sets in when brides are frantically searching for these crucial items at the last minute! Trust us on this one… if you've definitely decided on a sit-down reception, you want to get these booked in asap.
If you’re having trouble figuring out your table layouts, or are unsure about your guest numbers, don’t stress - we have a 10% reduction policy in place allowing you to reduce your numbers by 10% closer to the date as your RSVPs come in.
8-10 months: Cocktail furniture and statement pieces
Whether you’re planning a full-blown cocktail reception, or a relaxed cocktail hour before dinner, you’re probably going to need some occasional seating for your guests. We recommend securing your cocktail furniture at the 8-10 month mark - so think about items like dry bars, stools, service bars, lounge packages and ottomans.
We have a huge range of cocktail furniture to choose from, although we have noticed these items booking out most weekends due to the recent trend towards cocktail-style weddings. If you’re unsure about how much cocktail furniture to book, and what styles to include, you can check out our previous post on hiring furniture for a cocktail wedding.
6-8 months: Tableware and catering items
This is the time to start securing all of your catering items and tableware - so crockery, cutlery, glassware, napkins and charger plates. You should have a pretty good idea by now of what your menu is going to look like (for example, alternate drop vs feasting style), and the kind of beverages you’ll be serving throughout the day.
Don’t forget to include entree, main and dessert sizes where appropriate. It’s also worth organising some additional glassware for cocktail receptions to allow for cleaning and washing during the evening. We have our 10% reduction policy in place for all tableware that is dependant on RSVP’s, so you can amend your numbers closer to the date!
4-6 months: Decor, textiles and accessories
At this stage, you probably have a clearly defined vision in mind when it comes to the look and feel of your wedding. Now you can start organising those final touches for the day - rugs, cushions, vases, candle holders, cake stands and other decor and accessories that will help to pull it all together and complete your setting.
This is also your chance to triple check that nothing has been overlooked or forgotten - you can refer to our furniture hire checklist to make sure you’ve covered all of your bases!
1 month: Finalise guest numbers
With 4 weeks to go until the big day, you should have now finalised your RSVP’s and can update your quantities accordingly. Once that’s been done, you can now rest easy knowing that you have everything you need to deck out your wedding and can tick “furniture hire” off your list for good!
We know that planning a wedding can be an overwhelming process. If furniture and decor selections are a priority for you, then keep the above timeline in mind to ensure that you can get your dream pieces secured without missing out. Our process allows you to secure those key pieces first, and then add others along the way as your plans come together.
Want to talk through your furniture and decor selections with one of our friendly team members? Get in touch at any time for a complimentary consultation. We love helping engaged couples bring their dream wedding to life!