When to Hire Furniture For Your Wedding: A 12-Month Timeline!

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Furniture hire timeline

“When do I need to hire furniture for my wedding?” would have to be one of our most frequently asked questions! Throughout your wedding planning experience, it can seem like there are endless things to organise - especially when it comes to locking in all of the suppliers and products you’ll need to bring your wedding to life. So where exactly does furniture hire fit in?

After helping hundreds of happy couples, we now have a general timeline that we like to recommend based on our previous experience. Keeping in mind that some furniture items book out faster than others, this timeline is basically a rough guide on which furniture items you should lock in first, and which pieces can wait until you finalise your plans.

If you’re currently wondering exactly when to hire furniture for your wedding, keep reading for our suggested 12-month guideline 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 furniture pieces at the 10 to 12-month mark to avoid disappointment. We also recommend securing your key pieces at this time if you’re planning a blank canvas or marquee-style wedding which requires you to build your wedding up from scratch. Your key pieces are basically those items that your wedding can’t 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 couples 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’ll want to get these booked in asap to give yourself peace of mind before the day.

If you’re having trouble figuring out your table layouts, or are unsure about your final 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.

Styling by  The Events Lounge  / Image by  Figtree Pictures

Styling by The Events Lounge / Image by Figtree Pictures

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 to keep your guests comfortable! We recommend securing your cocktail furniture at the 8-10 month mark - this is when you’ll want to think about booking pieces like dry bars, stools, service bars, lounge packages and ottomans.

While we do have a pretty huge range of cocktail furniture to choose from, we’ve also seen cocktail weddings growing in popularity - so if you have your heart set on specific pieces or a certain style, this is the perfect time to lock them in. If you’re unsure about how much cocktail furniture to book and which pieces work well together, you can check out more cocktail wedding styling ideas here.

The 8-10 month mark is also a good time to secure any of those one-of-a-kind statement pieces like backdrops, drink carts or ceremony arbours. If we only have 1 or 2 of each item, it’s first in best dressed!

Image via Figtree Pictures

Image via Figtree Pictures

Image via Figtree Pictures

Image via Figtree Pictures

Image via  Katie Grant Photo  / Styled by Victoria Cameron

Image via Katie Grant Photo / Styled by Victoria Cameron

6-8 months: Tableware and catering items

With 6 months to go until the day, this is the time to start thinking about securing all of your catering items and tableware - crockery, cutlery, glassware, napkins and charger plates. By now, you should have a pretty good idea of your requirements based on 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. Remember, we also have our 10% reduction policy in place for all tableware that might be dependant on RSVP’s, so you can amend your numbers closer to the date!

Image via Tweed Coast Weddings

Image via Tweed Coast Weddings

Photo by Bryce and Lauren

Photo by Bryce and Lauren

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, market umbrellas, candle holders, cake stands and other decor and accessories that will help you create a cohesive look and complete your setting.

This is also your chance to triple check that nothing has been overlooked or forgotten (common culprits include signing tables, napkins and cake forks) - you can refer to our furniture hire checklist to make sure you’ve covered all of your bases!

Image via Ivy Road Photography

Image via Ivy Road Photography

Image via Kirk Willcox

Image via Kirk Willcox

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 hire quantities accordingly. Once that’s been done, you can now rest easy knowing you have everything you need to deck out your wedding, and can tick “furniture hire” off your to-do list!

We know that planning a wedding can be an overwhelming process, so if furniture and decor selections are a priority for you, then keep the above timeline in mind to ensure you can secure your dream pieces without missing out. Our hire process allows you to secure your key pieces first, and then add others along the way as your plans come together. In saying all of this, we’ve also turned plenty of weddings around in a much shorter timeframe, and can always make recommendations and suggestions if your first choices happen to be booked out.

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, or for a copy of our latest product catalogue. You can also find more wedding tips and styling inspiration on our latest blogs below!