Items you will need
A wedding rental business can be relatively easy to start as a home business. You can start very small and grow, or begin your business as a large-scale provider. A wedding rental business can give you the flexibility of being your own boss and including family in your operations, or branching out and hiring employees. To be successful, you'll need a good business plan, so it's important to research how to start a wedding rental business before you dive in.
Think of the area of wedding rentals in which you may specialize. Consider assets you may already have. For example, if you own classic cars, you could rent them to brides and grooms for the evening. Backdrops, garden arches, trifold room dividers and tablecloths with various centerpieces make for great items to rent out at the beginning of your business. Other areas into which you can expand are renting out plates and place settings, chocolate fountains, punch bowls, wedding dresses and outdoor canopy tents.
Contact a few wedding rental businesses in your area to see what services they offer and what they charge. Some items, such as a nice wedding backdrop, will rent for about 5 percent of the total cost. Other items, such as glass plates, can be purchased in bulk for close to what they rent for each time. For example, if you purchase several hundred nice glass dinner plates for $1.10 each, you can rent them for $1.25 each, including washing them after. Two wedding rentals for these plates would pay for every plate you've bought.
Research your competition. If you cannot find any competitors in your area, you are probably in a good location in which to start wedding rentals. If you have a lot of competitors, seek out a niche that is not well served.
Register in your city and or state as a business and obtain a business license so you can buy wedding rental items wholesale and free from state sales tax. Check with your state's tax laws.
Plan for the storage and transportation of large items such as backdrops. A small enclosed trailer is a good investment. You may want to rent a storage unit so the wedding business does not overtake your house and garage.
Buy the wedding items you'll need, depending on your decided-upon specialty, and begin getting the word out to all you know. Bridal trade shows are a great place where you can advertise your services. Find related small businesses and trade client leads. You may work out a two-way referral payment for related small businesses. Partner with catering services, wedding photographers, wedding cake bakers, local jewelers, wedding dress makers, tuxedo rental businesses, wedding invitations printers and other wedding businesses. Any business that works with the same clientele as you do, but does not compete directly against you, is a great candidate for a strategic marketing alliance that will benefit you both.