Creative Business Idea – Rent out decorations for weddings! The wedding industry is a huge one and one that always requires creative individuals to provide services and products. Brides in 2022 want a wedding that is classy, boho, and appears hand-created, but most people planning a wedding don't actually have the time or talent to create their wedding vision themselves. That's where you come in with a wedding decor rental business!
As I build this site with as much knowledge as I can about making money with your creativity, I will be sharing business ideas with you. This one in particular is one that I have always been personally interested in, but until now I'd never done much research on it. I'm probably not going to start a wedding rentals business myself, but if after reading this, you feel moved, I would be so thrilled if you found your creative niche in the wedding decor rental business!
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What Exactly IS a Wedding Decor Rental Business?
People who are getting married need to plan a wedding and a reception. Some of those people pay someone to do everything for them, some do everything DIY, and then the rest of us fall somewhere in the middle. One way for brides and grooms to save money on wedding decor is to rent it. This allows them to get high end or well crafted items and create their dream wedding without spending the money to outright buy all of the details.
What is the target market for a wedding rental business?
The wedding industry is already a niche market, but it's possible that you can pare down and specialize even further. Consider the type of customers that you want to work with. Having a niche and a target customer in mind will help you to focus your business and create more profits. Try one of these wedding niches or make up a new one.
Encore Weddings – People getting married for the 2nd or 3rd time. Often these weddings are smaller and more intimate, requiring different types of decor.
Vow Renewals – Couples who are having a wedding ceremony again, after being married for many years. An interesting niche, because their needs will be very different from people getting newly married.
LBGTQ+ Weddings – While these weddings aren't necessarily different than “traditional” weddings, all inclusive, same sex and LBGTQ+ weddings can often be exceptional, with specific decor needs that should be attended to by someone who gets it.
Destination Weddings – If you live in a place where people travel to to get married, use that to your advantage.
Adventure Weddings – a new-ish idea, that really doesn't need much decor, but I hear that many who do adventure weddings like to bring a photographer and style a picnic, so there is opportunity there.
At Home Weddings – This year, I've been to more home-based weddings than ever before. The pandemic has changed how we do things! I love a big backyard wedding, but there are lots of things that need to be rented to create one.
When choosing a niche, consider where the gaps are in your local wedding rental space. Do your research, and find a place where you can fit in well. Do a quick google search for Wedding Rentals (in your state) to see what's already available.
Quick disclaimer: Bingecrafter does not guarantee that if you make these things that you'll make money. You need to put in the work and do your own research to be sure that you can be profitable with any type of business.
What types of things can you rent out for wedding decor?
There are so many things that people will rent to create their dream wedding. From silverware and linens to personalized ceremony signage, there is no shortage of customers in the wedding business. With some creative thinking, research, and business know-how, you can create a business renting out wedding decor that is simple to run and will create many returns. Both handmade items, and purchased items, including vintage thrifted things can be used as wedding rentals.
Wedding Decor Rentals:
- Wedding Ceremony Decor – Wedding Arches, Ceremony Backdrops, Flower Walls, Aisle Runners, Chair Decorations.
- Faux Flowers – Bouquets, tabletop wedding decorations, wedding ceremony floral arrangements.
- Tableware – For home or non-restaurant weddings especially, dinner service needs to be rented. Specialty serving pieces, such as dessert trays or vintage tea service may be of interest for some brides.
- Furniture – Bars, tables, sofas, chairs
- Soft Goods – Pillows, tents, blankets, other soft seating.
- Signage – Neon, Chalkboard, farmhouse and other styles are popular.
- Entertainment – Handmade backyard games like cornhole and giant Jenga are popular for outdoor weddings.
Things to Make and Rent Out for Weddings
Whatever you decide to make, try to make it timeless. You may not be able to use it forever, but you want it to be usable for several years to ensure you make your money back.
- Wedding Arches or Backdrops – this is an item that all brides are looking for right now. If a wedding is happening at a venue, they may already have a backdrop. But it might not necessarily be the style the bride wants.
Making a wedding arch can be so simple. A bit of know-how with wood or copper piping is all that it takes to get started. You can even buy the plans for gorgeous wedding arches on Etsy.
My favorite site for woodworking supplies and tools is Woodcraft.com. They always have everything I need, and I don't have to go to a hardware store. Love it!
- Other Large Items – Bars, Serving Carts, Cocktail Tables, Champagne Walls – These big items are silly for a bride to have made just for one day, so they are perfect as a rental item. Be sure that you have means to move, deliver, and set up your large items at events.
- Small Decor – Faux Floral Arrangements of all types, Centerpieces, Cake Stands – What's popular now is rustic, hand-made looking items, which is excellent, because you'll be making them yourself!
- Signs – There needs to be signage at a wedding so the guests know what to do. Learn to make Neon Signs, or Create handpainted signs to rent for weddings.
You might like these craft tutorials for making wedding decor:
Brooke at Restoredecorandmore shows you exactly how to make these rustic hurricaine lamps. Making a set of 4 or more of these would make them a great item to rent for weddings.
Or you could learn how to make a hexagonal arch from TRB Vlogs:
What to Buy at the Thrift Store to Rent at Weddings
I love a good thrifting story, and some of my favorite wedding rental companies are utilizing vintage items to create beautiful wedding decor. If you have the eye for finding good quality and interesting decor at thrift stores and can put it together in the right way, you may be meant for a wedding decor rental business that involves thrifted vintage things. Look for:
Tableware: Vintage teacups and saucers can be rented out for bridal showers and more. A beautiful collection of vintage candlesticks can create a mood. At my little sister's wedding, I created a card box out of a pile of vintage suitcases. Had I had a mind for business at the time, I bet I could still be renting that out!
Furniture: This is a huge wedding business, and one that requires storage space and likely an employee or two. Vintage sofas and chairs are often rented in order to stage conversation spaces at wedding receptions. Especially popular now are bright velvet pieces and cane wicker seating.
Interesting Things: I've seen vintage typewriters, old clocks, piles of colorful vintage books, glass perfume bottles, mismatched flower vases, and even vintage milk crates used in tablescapes. See what's showing up in your area as popular, and start to look for those things.
What are the steps to start a wedding rental business?
- Get Legit. The rules and guidelines will vary for you based on where you live and intend to do business. A rental business will require you to be a legal business entity. In the United States, the small business administration outlines 10 steps you need to take in order to start a small business. You can start there!
- Get Insurance. Any time you'll be dealing with customers, providing a service, you'll want to have liability insurance. A couple who's wedding has been effected in a negative way by a contractor will be unhappy, so you should protect yourself.
- Create a Business Plan. Get down on paper (or in a Google doc.) what you intend to accomplish with this buisness. Outline all of pieces. If there are pieces you don't know yet, do that research.
- Get Funding. If needed, investigate how you will pay for the initial start up costs associated with a wedding rental business. This could be very lean, and might not be much at all. You could get it from your savings account. For larger rental businesses, you may need a loan or investor to get things going.
- Name Your Business. This is the fun part! Give your business a unique and easy to remember name. This can be hard, so take some time to think about it. Ensure that you can buy a domain name and that social media handles are available for that business name too.
- Create or Source Products. In order to have a rental business, you need to have things to rent out. Once everything above is in place, you can start making or finding the items you will rent to brides.
- Marketing. Now you're ready to start making money! Ensure that your business and services are easy to find. Utilize your website, social media, and marketplaces listed below to get in front of the right people. Don't forget to reach out to local wedding planners and wedding photographers too.
Less Formal Ways to Start a Wedding Rental Side Hustle
Consider starting small at first. If you've read this far your head might be spinning at my recommendations that you go legit with insurance, business plans, and all of the other things that go into starting a stand alone business. Luckly, in 2022, there are options for people who would like to get in to the wedding decor rental business in a smaller way.
Note: Be very careful if you plan to operate in the wedding space without liability insurance. Remember that a person's wedding is often considered their most important day ever. If you somehow mess it up, you could find yourself in legal hot water. Protect yourself.
- Word of Mouth – You thrifted an amazing vintage sofa and you have it stored in your basement. You lend it to a friend who's daughter is getting married, and all of a sudden you have people reaching out to you to see if they can borrow the sofa too! Fantastic. This is the starting point for your rental business! Draw up a basic contract with the help of a lawyer (Try Rocketlawyer.com if you don't have a local lawyer already), and start renting out that couch!
- Instagram Wedding Rentals – Using instagram to market your available rental pieces is brilliant, as it's a visual catalog and you'll be tagged in wedding photos all over! Start a IG page that links to a small website and highlight your rentals in beautiful ways. The brides will come.
- Try Facebook Marketplace – You'll need to weed through a lot of messages, but you may just find your perfect customers there.
- Link up with Another Wedding Business – Maybe you have an eye for finding awesome vintage decor pieces. Talk to local wedding decor rental businesses, see if they'd consider paying you for your finds.
- Sell Things instead of Renting Them – Starting a wedding decor rental business is actually trickier than just selling wedding decor. This is because you are providing a service rather than just a product. The payoff is greater though since you're basically selling the same thing over and over again. If you want to avoid that, and get into the wedding decor business another way, consider creating lower-cost items that you can outright sell to brides and wedding planners instead. Printable Wedding Invitations are a good place to start too!
3rd Party Apps and Event Rental Marketplaces
Utilizing these marketplaces is an excellent way to market your wedding rental decor business. You can test the waters, and build up your business only if and when it feels right.
Eventlyst – This event rental marketplace is not expanded everwhere, but it is a marketplace specific to the event rentals industry. You can check to see if they have a market in your location. Even if they don't, you can be the first! Eventlyst takes a fee, and in exchange, they will market your listings and get them seen by more potential customers. Anyone can sign up to rent items on this platform, but the platform is not responsible for liabilities, so I do still suggest that you protect yourself with a business license and insurance.
TheKnot Marketplace – Again, you will need to be a legitimate business to participate here, but The Knot is the largest wedding related website, and has many, many eyes on it every day. This is an excellent wedding decor rental business marketplace to market your items.
Etsy – you can use Etsy to drive customers to your business. There are many Etsy stores that offer wedding rentals, some are local only, while others actually include two way shipping with each order. Check out these shops to get an idea of how they are doing things.
What I notice is that many are using Etsy listings as a way to connect with customers, but maybe not actually conducting sales through the platform. I don't know if that's technically allowed, so proceed with caution.
Do I need a warehouse to run a wedding decor rental business?
You might! It depends on how large the items you'll be renting are, how many you have, and what size your home is. Consider this additional cost when planning your rentals business. You can always start with smaller items first, and consider adding storage later.
Do I need a truck to operate a decor rental business?
It's likely that you will need a vehicle to deliver items to your customers. You also can outsource delivery to another company. Having a truck or large SUV may be necessary.
How much does it cost to start a wedding rentals business?
This is not a number that I can predict for you. It can be as little as no money at all, up to tens of thousands.
What skills do I need to succeed in the wedding decor rental business?
You don't need any specific experience in order to get in to the wedding industry, but you may want to consider if you have the right skills. Wedding industry success stories tend to be creative people who can create their clients' desired aestethics. You should also have a mind for business, and be able to interact with different types of people.
Is it easy to start a wedding rentals business?
Compared to some other types of businesses, you could say that a wedding rentals business is easy. It's a straightforward business model that is simple to execute. That said, this is not going to be a passive income opportunity. At least not at first. Renting items for weddings will require you to be physically available every weekend, and working actively during the week to set things up.
If you plan well, you can run a wedding rentals business as a side hustle though. Maybe you have a M-F 9 to 5 job, and then between friday afternoon and Sunday you are the wedding rentals pro.
If you're passionate about what you do, I think you'll find great benefit in starting a wedding decor rentals business. I hope you've learned a lot here and have been sparked to learn more about this business opportunity!