Rentals 101: Your Complete Guide to Understanding Event Rentals

Tables, Linens, Chairs.. Oh my!

Planning an event, especially planning a Charleston wedding, can be incredibly overwhelming. If you choose an event venue that does not own tables and chairs that just adds another step to the planning process. Event rentals are an often overlooked, but it’s an important step in your planning process. Let’s start with the basics!


Guest Tables

Is it important for all of your guests to have a seat at the event? Depending on your menu, you may need to have full seating (buffet, served dinner) in the venue space. In other instances, such as an hors d’oeuvres or stations style reception, we recommend partial seating along with tall cocktail tables, pub tables or soft seating/lounge options for your guests. Whether you decide on tables with simple linens or custom farm tables to complete your look, your caterer or event planner should be able to offer insight on setup and layout ideas to make the space your own.

Catering Service and Bar Tables

The type of menu you choose for your event determines the number of tables and catering service styles you will need to make the magic happen. It’s important to make sure that all food stations, buffets, dessert tables and bars have their own space in the venue. When comparing catering estimates make sure to note if you would like the caterer to provide these tables!

Additional Table Needs

Often neglected in the initial planning process are the additional tables that you might need throughout the event. Do you need a table for your guest book, favors or registration? Does your DJ or entertainment include a table in their services, or do you need to provide one for them? This might be a great place to splurge on a custom sideboard to complement the theme of your event!


Linen options are endless! Sometimes you just need a simple polyester linen in the color of your choice. Other times, you want lace, sequins or satin linens to elevate the space. Depending on the style of your event (and budget), your planner or caterer will be able to guide you to the perfect linen to make your dream event come to life. These professionals can handle everything involving linens for your event. Including your linens in a contract from a caterer or wedding professional will ensure that your rental order stays up to date as the details of your event change. They will also place your linens, making sure they are set and on the correct size table before your event beings.


Chairs can take your event theme one step further. Chairs are often thought of as a décor element in weddings or social events. With many options to choose from a few basic decisions need to be made – How much do you want to spend? Would you prefer folding or not folding chairs? Would fancy lounge chairs make an impact in the space?

You will need to think through the logistics of your chair rentals if you are planning for a wedding. Ceremony’s and receptions have different chair needs. Full seating is necessary for a wedding ceremony however, as noted earlier, not always needed for receptions. If your venue and timeline allow reusing ceremony chairs for your reception is a great way to save on rental cost!

Whether it’s a social event, wedding or corporate event, make sure you have a complete understanding of your vendor’s needs. You must make sure to include all of your vendor’s chairs needs in your rental order if you are in charge of event rentals.

Rentals play an important role in your event décor, they allow you to make your venue uniquely yours. The photographs in this post are all from events at the same venue. Notice how chairs, tables and linens completely change the feel of The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation.

Overwhelmed with all of the options out there? Our team at Duvall Catering & Events is here to help! Contact us to start planning your dream event today!