Furniture & Lighting Items for a Wedding: Hire or Purchase?

Furniture and lighting hire are usually some of the more expensive items for a wedding function and hence, people often spend a lot of time deciding where to hire wedding furniture. Unless you have planned to purchase an all-in-one option, where furniture and lighting are packaged with the venue cost, you will need to hire these items. We look at some of the most important items of furniture and lighting you may need to consider hiring.

Tables and chair

Image of event seating

One of the most obvious items you are going to need is somewhere to seat your guests. The type of table and chairs you require obviously depends on the type of catering and event you are having. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular options:

Trestle tables

These are always a popular choice for seated functions. They seat plenty of people at each table, in an ideal arrangement for conversation. You can hire extremely basic ones and decorate them with linens, or ones with a rustic appearance, better suited to leaving as is (and thus saving money on linens).

Round tables

These are also a very popular choice and better suited to being dressed with table linens.

Cocktail/Bar tables

If you are having a cocktail-style event, rather than seated, it is better to have higher bar-style tables for guests to gather at and rest their drinks.

Cake table

If you have a wedding cake, you will need an additional table to serve it on and for photography purposes.


You will need to hire chairs or stools to suit your table heights. More ornate or garden-style chairs won’t require decoration, but regular plastic, stackable chairs you would generally adorn with chair covers. Stools are ideal for a cocktail-style function, and if you expect a lot of people to be mingling, you may not even need enough stools for every person. Depending on how your wedding is running, you will need to either plan to use some of your reception chairs at the ceremony, or hire additional chairs designated just for the ceremony. Most ceremonies allow for a large proportion of the guests to be standing, with the immediate families being seated. Keep in mind that if you have elderly people attending the wedding, you will need to provide enough comfortable chairs to be available to them at all times.

Furniture for children

Don’t forget to arrange high chairs if you have toddlers attending your wedding and if you can hire children’s chairs for those under 12 years of age, it will make it more comfortable for them at the tables.

Furniture alternatives

Hay bales

If you’re having a country-themed wedding, hay bales make excellent casual seating.

Wedding sofas

Wedding sofas can be an ideal way to encapsulate your wedding theme and provide a relaxed conversation corner. Think velvet for a vintage wedding or cane for a beachside wedding.

Signing table and chairs

Many wedding ceremonies have a designated small table and chairs as a signing table for the newly-married couple to sign the marriage certificate. This is an ideal occasion for photography, so you will generally want to make the table and chairs pretty.

Bridal Arch

Image of bridal arch

You will often need to hire a bridal arch for your wedding, particularly for an outdoor ceremony. You may be able to hire it fully decorated, or opt to provide the decorations yourself. Bridal Arches come in no limit of options, from rustic to beach-themed and contemporary.


Lighting can transform the entire feel of a venue, so it is crucial to plan carefully when it comes to lighting hire.

Fairy lights

One of the time-honoured favourites for weddings, fairy lights offer a soft, ethereal glow. They can be used both indoors and outdoors, but the best use of them is in natural settings.


Image of candles in an event

Candles create an ambience like no other. You can use real candles, but many opt for the safer, more convenient battery-operated candles which can be hired. Don’t be deterred by the battery-operated idea; they can still create a romantic atmosphere if you style them correctly.

Festoon lighting

Festoon lighting involves stringing naked lightbulbs across a venue. It is suited to both indoor and outdoor venues, providing a bold, yet beautiful look which complements many different wedding themes. Remember to think about whether you would like black or white cable with your festoon lighting, as this can result in a different feel for the space.

Single Edison Bulbs

Best suited to rustic and industrial spaces, Edison bulbs can be hung in single strands from the ceiling. You can have lighting drops from all over the ceiling, or clustered in small areas for an individual look.

Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns can provide a more decorative or colourful look to your wedding space. They are available in a variety of colours and designs and are best suited to walkways or even hanging from trees.

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