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

how to plan a marquee wedding reception

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Throughout the wedding planning process, it can seem like you have endless things to organise – from finding the right venue to figuring out your style and booking all of your different suppliers. So where exactly does furniture hire fit in?

Here at HEH we’ve found that some furniture items book out extremely quickly, while others can be booked closer to the day. So after helping thousands of happy couples, we’ve developed a general timeline that we like to recommend based on our previous experience.

If you’re currently wondering when you should start booking furniture for your wedding, keep reading for our suggested 12-month guideline to get you started!


Image by Figtree Pictures

10-12 months: Dining tables and chairs

If your wedding is being hosted on a weekend, public holiday, or during peak season (spring and autumn), we recommend locking in your key furniture pieces at the 10 to 12-month mark to avoid disappointment. Your “key pieces” will be the priority items that your wedding can’t function without, which is usually your dining tables and dining chairs. These pieces also happen to be the items that book out the fastest.

If you’re hosting a sit-down reception, try to get your dining tables and chairs booked in as soon as possible to give yourself peace of mind before the day. Trust us – you don’t want to be frantically searching for these crucial items at the last minute!

Don’t stress if you’re unsure about your final guest numbers – 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. And if you’re having trouble figuring out how many tables you need, you can read our table layouts guide right here.


Image by Beck Rocchi


Image by Beck Rocchi


Image by Beck Rocchi

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, including 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 always ask our team for suggestions, or check out our cocktail wedding styling tips 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 by Figtree Pictures


Image by Lucas and Co Photography


Image by Bird and Boy Photography


Image by Bird and Boy Photography

6-8 months: Tableware and catering items

With 6 months to go until the big day, you’ll want to start thinking about booking your catering items and tableware, including 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 dependent on RSVP’s, so you can amend your numbers closer to the date!


Image by Fennel and Fern Photo


Image by Fennel and Fern Photo


Image by Fennel and Fern Photo


Image by Chasing Moments Photography

4-6 months: Decor, textiles and accessories

At this stage, you probably have a clear vision in mind when it comes to the look and feel of your wedding. This means you can start organising those final touches for the day, such as rugs, cushions, vases, market umbrellas, candle holders, cake stands and other accessories that will help you tie everything together.

This is also your chance to triple check that nothing has been 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 by Ivy Road Photography


Image by Figtree Pictures


Image by Figtree Pictures

1 month: Finalise guest numbers

With 4 weeks to go until the big day, you should have now finalised your RSVPs 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 is a priority for you, keep this timeline in mind to ensure you can secure your dream pieces. Our hire process allows you to secure your key pieces first, and then add others along the way as your plans come together.

With this being said, we’ve also turned plenty of weddings around in a much shorter timeframe, and will always recommend suitable alternatives if your first choices happen to be booked out. You can read our guide on what to expect from working with Hampton Event Hire here for an inside look at our process!

Ready to chat 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.

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