August 3, 2020
By: Richard Lau
Tell us about yourself and what your company does, & how long you've been working on it.
I founded RENT MY WEDDING about nine years ago. What started as a side hustle has turned into the most significant online event rental company in the U.S. RENT MY WEDDING provides comfortable and affordable rentals for weddings and events. The rental process is simple - just order online, and we deliver everything to your door! After the game, put everything back in the same box and send back. Shipping is always FREE both ways nationwide! Rent event lighting, backdrops, photo booths, chair covers, and more. I am proud that WeddingWire has recognized us as receiving the most 5-star reviews of any company in the wedding industry.
What inspired you to start your own company - tell us the story?
I was planning my wedding and became frustrated that there weren't any online rental companies. It was very time-consuming to call local vendors and ask for pricing -- and many of them wanted to meet in person before they would even give me their pricing. I kept thinking to myself if we can go online shopping for literally EVERYTHING, why can't you shop online for your wedding? I tucked this thought away for later and continued planning my wedding. I started getting quotes from wedding lighting professionals. It was CRAZY expensive and entirely out of my budget. So I looked for a new solution. I decided to purchase my professional grade lighting equipment. To make my money back, I posted classified ads offering to loan out my lighting to other couples. It turns out that there was so much interest in this affordable DIY lighting option, that I received more orders than I had inventory! So I decided to solve two problems -- I started a website for online wedding rentals AND made it easy and affordable to fit any budget.
How did you decide on your company name and logo?
My husband gets full credit for the company name! I couldn't figure out what to call my website, and he said, "Well, why don't you tell people exactly what it is? They're renting your wedding." So that's how I settled on the name RENT MY WEDDING.
How long did it take from having the idea to your first customers?
It was swift! I posted my first classified ad and had customers within a matter of days. Once I started the website, it took a few weeks, but soon I started getting orders directly on the site.
Who were your first customers? (Or: Tell us about your first sale. Or: Tell us about your opening day.)
My first customers were other couples that I found through classified ads on sites like WeddingBee. They were just like me -- planning a wedding and looking to save money!
What's been the right way of growing your customer base and sales? Can you share a few success stories with us?
It's funny, but the business proliferated that I never really had time to focus on marketing and sales. I am so thankful for organic growth through customer referrals and word of mouth.
What did you wish you knew before you started your company? What advice do you have for first-time entrepreneurs?
Having a great team is extremely important! Don't try to do everything on your own. Often entrepreneurs are competent and can do every aspect of their business themselves. While this is great -- I think every successful entrepreneur needs to understand every detail and be able to do every job in the company -- it's not very efficient. It's essential to think about what you need to handle yourself and what you can delegate.
What are the trends in your industry that you are excited about?
I'm excited to see DIY weddings back in style! People are looking for ways to save money, and do-it-yourself decor is a massive part of this. I'm excited to see how couples will style their backdrops and set up their lighting. Not only is it great for your budget, but you can get creative and have some fun with it!
Any particular books or podcasts you can recommend?
Transform Your Wedding Podcast: This is our podcast with insider advice about creating a fantastic wedding. We've interviewed celebrity wedding planners such as David Tutera, and many other experts in the industry.