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From the Archives: Part 3 of 4 – Saving You Money on Glassware Rentals

Captured by Meghan Andrews Photography

When you’re planning your wedding, DIY or otherwise, you want to save money everywhere you can, and my goal as a wedding planner is to help you to avoid unforeseen expenses and to help you have the wedding you have always dreamed of, on your budget. Every dollar and cent I can help you save means that you have room in your budget for something else, or you can put aside those savings for your honeymoon or to buy your first house!
For those of you unfamiliar, I spent 18 months in the rental industry and, as an observant person, I learned a few tips and tricks to keep your rentals affordable. When you put your rental order together you may think the total amount at the bottom of the invoice is all you need to budget for rentals, but there are incidentals: missing, broken, or damaged items are accounted for after your wedding is over! When you’re least expecting it, your credit card, already so close to its breaking point, can be charged above and beyond your budgeted amount.

Ensure you read through each segment carefully; there are multiple tips in each category!

Glassware is a tricky beast if you have to arrange it (if your caterer is taking care of it, you’re off the hook, rejoice!). There is no guaranteed formula for how many glasses you’ll need because there are so many variables, guests being the biggest – use our tips this week to make sure you don’t get too many glasses, or worse, too few!

Captured by Jessica Luch Photography

BEFORE: As stated above, there are so many variable to how much glassware you might need. I’m about to throw a whole bunch o’math at you to help you figure this out, but thankfully for you, it’s in an easy-to-use Excel sheet format so the only math you’ll have to do is a small amount of addition. Trust me, if you had to do this math Grade Ten word problem-style, you might cry a little. (And if you need to figure out what you’ll need drink wise, A Practical Wedding has that figured out for you!
The one glassware option NOT included in that handy PDF is champagne glasses. These are easier to calculate – one per person for your champagne toast!

Talk with your rental coordinator and ask them about their broken glassware policy – some rental places have a surcharge in place so that if you break a glass but bring back the broken pieces they will not charge you for that glass. If this is the case, make sure you communicate with your point person for the wedding day who will be handling the rentals (caterer or wedding planner) and ask them to ensure that all broken glassware or china is put into a box and taken back to the rental company. While one broken glass is no big deal (they charge about $5-10, depending on the glass, for replacement) you never know how clutzy your inebriated guests might get.

Pro tip: Read through your contract – we all are so quick to skip through the legal parts and click “I accept the terms and conditions” box without even reading a sentence, but read through it so you fully understand what you’re agreeing to. Are you saying okay to a clause about how they can use your wedding photos without your express permission? Or something about if they don’t deliver in the allotted window and miss your delivery all together they don’t have to refund you? Read it and cover all your bases!

Captured by Amy Teixeira Photography

DURING: As is the case with ANY rental item, if while unpacking your glassware you notice any are broken or dirty (red lipstick just doesn’t ever want to come off of glasses!) let the rental company know RIGHT AWAY! If you don’t they assume you broke them because it’s hard to prove that you didn’t. Even if you know they’re closed, e-mail your consultant right then, or call and leave a message. This is so important if you don’t want to be charged for their mistakes! And every time a piece of glassware breaks, ask your day of point person to note it, this way you can anticipate the broken item charges that might come into play.

Captured by Hera Studios

AFTER: Ensure that all your glassware is put back into the same racks that you received them in. If you mix and match the glasses in each rack you can (and will) end up with broken glasses. The rental company has particular racks for each kind of glass so that they’re less likely to break in transit and if you pack the glasses wrong, even if you’re paying the rental company to pick-up, you are responsible for anything that breaks! The less breakage that happens, the less you have to pay.

If you have any questions about these tips or you have other ways to save money on rentals, let me know in the comments below! And in on August 21st we’ll be releasing part four of four, all about how you can save on renting tents (one of the largest budget items for your wedding)!

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