We’re back with another edition of our Ask the Expert series, and oh boy are we are excited. We’re breaking down the barriers between bride and wedding pro, getting your wedding questions answered by some of our sweetest LBBers. Today we have Kaitlin Briley of Simply Put Vintage Rentals talking all things vintage and all things rental. For you readers in North Carolina, you’re lucky because you can work with Kaitlin for your big day. The rest of us are going to be living vicariously through you.

Let’s meet the lady behind the rentals, Kaitlin Briley:

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I love the vintage look, but am unsure what is available to rent and what I’d be better off buying myself. Any advice?

Here’s a good rule of thumb when deciding what to buy and what to rent: are you planning on using it in your new home? If you are already in the market for a beautiful vintage sofa to put in your new living room, or a set of teacups to add to your collection, then buy away! But if you were planning on reselling the vintage items later I would recommend renting them. I’ve spoken with a lot of brides who bought items for their wedding with the hopes of selling them once they were married. In theory, it sounds like a good idea because you would think you would be saving money. But in actuality you would most likely have to spend money to store the pieces, to get them fixed up, and then it would take time post-wedding to sell them all back. It turns out to be much more work than most people bargain for! The weeks following your wedding you want to be enjoying the memory of the day, not tying up loose ends! Another plus side to renting pieces is you don’t have to sacrifice quality for budget. Yes, you may be able to buy a sofa at the flea market for the same amount you can rent one, but the quality of the two are very different. Don’t get me wrong, I love raw flea market finds. They can be beautiful! But a lot of times what brides see on blogs and magazines are pieces that have had a lot of effort and love put into repainting and reupholstering them. That is why renting is such a great option for brides. You get the uniqueness found in a curated collection of pieces, without any of the work!

What piece has the greatest impact on creating that vintage feel, if I can only afford to rent one big thing?

For an outdoor ceremony I recommend a large architectural piece, whether it is the entrance into the ceremony or the backdrop. An architectural piece will stand out, surprise guests (in a good way!), and be unique to your wedding. For an indoor reception I would recommend a lounge area. Sofas and chairs can add so much color, texture, and style to your wedding. A beautiful lounge area can be a great tool in setting the feeling for the rest of the wedding.

What should I expect from my rental company when it comes to pick up, set up, and tear down? Am I responsible for all of that?

At Simply Put we take care of delivery, set up, tear down and take away for all of our couples, however some rental companies may allow you to pick up and bring back their pieces. There are many reasons why companies have delivery services, but the main one is safety. It would be really easy for a groomsmen to throw their back out right before the wedding lifting hundreds of pounds of pews! When renting furniture always ask for a delivery quote from the company so there are no surprises down the road. They will typically calculate it based on the size of your order and the distance they will travel, so keep that in mind when putting together your rental order!

What kinds of items do you have available for rent that might surprise me (i.e. what am I forgetting??)?

When people first think of renting vintage items they typically think of sofas, chairs, tables, and china. However, there are so many other interesting pieces out there that may surprise you. Many vintage rental companies rent architectural pieces like windows, doors, posts, and archways. At Simply Put, we have a fabulous set of “London Doors,” 1800s doors set in their original doorframe with original glass panes and hardware. Our doors are often used at outdoor ceremonies so the bride can have her big reveal before walking down the aisle.

How do I calculate how many tables, what kind of seating, and how many vintage decor pieces I will need?

How many vintage pieces you incorporate into your day is completely up to you! At Simply Put we have a large collection of seating, so we could seat your whole ceremony with pews and your whole reception with eclectic chairs. The quantity of what you rent will be dependent on two factors: your guest count and the quantity the vintage rental company offers. For example, if you are having 200 guests to your urban loft wedding and you are serving heavy hors d’oeuvres, you may consider having a mix of 6-8 lounge areas and 10-12 farm tables. It is always a good idea to do a walk through of your space with your coordinator/designer to discuss flow and aesthetics.

I’m not a very creative bride, but I love the vintage look. Should I come to you with a detailed idea of what I want, or do you help with design too?

At Simply Put we love to help brides design and create their dream wedding space! We offer styling and design packages that range from initial inspiration all the way to day of design and installation. Some, not all, vintage rental companies offer styling and design services. When approaching a wedding stylist it is always a good idea to come with inspiration in hand! We work with couples that have varying styles and stories, and we love to get to know the couple before we begin working on their space. Whether you are a bride who has too many ideas to keep track of, or you are at a complete and utter stand still, designers can help organize and inspire you! Hiring a designer for your wedding day can be great if you were planning on doing it yourself, you have a coordinator but no one to take care of the décor, or if your event planner is awesome but you want another creative mind involved. Typically, if a vintage rental company offers styling and design services they have a good eye, especially when it comes to furniture placement and display design. But it is always a good idea to ask to see some of their work to make sure your aesthetics match!

So there you have it lovelies. Some really great insight for you vintage brides out there. Thank you so much Kaitlin for letting us pick your brain! If we missed your question, please please leave a comment for Kaitlin below. She’d love to answer anything you’ve got!

Photography: Kait Winston Photography | Cinematography: Katy Steele | Flowers: Embellished Blooms | Photo Shoot Design & Styling: Simply Put Vintage Rentals & Simply Jessica Marie | Furniture Rentals & Props: Simply Put Vintage Rentals | Cakes & Sweets: Sweet Melissa | Location: Tatton Hall (private residence) | Invitations: Winifred Paper | Hair: Gia Peebles | Make Up: S. Davis Make Up Artistry | Dresses: Ruche | Jewelry: Palm Beach Vintage Jewelry | Robes: Pretty Plum Sugar

Ruche is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Plum Pretty Sugar is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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