Welcome to The Bride Link podcast, your home for expert wedding planning advice! Today we're talking all about what you should rent versus what you should buy when you're planning your wedding and how to save money while wedding planning. You can also score your FREE copy of our Ceremony Cheat Sheet! A great tool to help plan your dream ceremony from start to finish! Some items may seem a smart buy at first but in reality, they'll end up costing you more in the end. When renting for your wedding, keep in mind the price you pay includes services and preparation for those items you never see. When choosing to buy over renting, remember to consider not only the cost but also your time. Time for things like set-up, delivery & pick-up, storage, and clean-up! Use these handy tips to figure what's best for you!
What to rent:
Let's begin with the table and chairs you'll need! If it's not part of what comes with your wedding venue package already, you're going to have to look into renting tables and chairs for your guests to sit at during your reception and your ceremony. Buying these are a bad idea because a chair that costs $25 or $30 might rent for two bucks. It's a lot more cost-effective just to rent them even when you add on set up as well. The morning of your wedding is the worst time to be worried about setting up major furniture.
The next item you should think about renting rather than buying is linens. We know from experience it's such a pain in the butt to get the wrinkles and the fold seams out of linens, especially brand new ones! When you rent them, they should be professionally steamed and delivered to you so they can be placed on the tables with zero effort. If you decide to buy them, you will save a little bit of money but be prepared for a lot of additional prep work. This includes multiple laundry trips so you can wash them beforehand in an attempt to remove the seems and folds in the fabric. You'll still need to have them steamed the day before or the morning of for that flat wrinkle-free look you want. If you can afford to rent linens instead of purchasing, we would say to rent them to save yourself time and a ton of stress. Another bonus, you get to see colors and patterns in person. When you order online, you won't know what they truly look like until they've arrived on your doorstep. Renting them gives you a little bit of insight into what exactly it's going to look like and they complement your other decor. If your color schemes are very important to you, rent your linens and only put any money down once you've found the perfect match.
What about your furniture? If you've chosen a vintage theme or specific lounge area at your wedding we recommend that you rent these. Buying different pieces of furniture for single-use is not cost-effective. Plus, once you purchase the furniture, who is going to deliver it and set it up on-site? Who's going to hall it away? What do you do with it afterward? Often you can find props styled wedding boutique businesses that have a large assortment of different items that you can rent. Trying to find vintage furniture on craigslist can be a huge waste of time and generally turns out not to be worth the trip. Another reason to rent? Damage. I hate to say that people damage your things, but they most definitely do. Especially at weddings where alcohol involved. Boutique prop shops usually include set up delivery with their team so you don't have to worry about lugging heavy stuff on the day of your wedding.
Let's chat about Tuxedos! Unless your fiance is agent 007 they might not have a whole lot of use for a Tuxedo past your wedding day. You can look into the number of formal events that you do every year, but if it's not a lot, you're going to be better off renting than buying. A lot of Tuxedo companies also have different specials where if you rent a certain number of suits or Tuxedos, the groom's going to get his for free. There's no better reason to rent if it might be free versus buying.
Up next are vases or centerpieces or any decor that goes on your tabletop. This is something your florist is going to have everything that you need. You can get more high-end pieces for a lot better price if you go through a rental versus purchasing. Also, a lot of these centerpieces can break easily in transit. The florist or rental company is going to know how to package them appropriately so they make it to your wedding tabletop in one piece. They'll also pick everything up at the end of the night! No need to worry about what you're going to do with 15 centerpieces at midnight when your wedding just ended.
What about the candles?. If you've decided to rent the bases and centerpieces, go ahead and add the candlers to your floral bill. Buying them represents just one more thing you're going to have to lug to the venue on the day of. You're not going to have a use for 60 votive candles in the future, why would you want to have them laying around your house? Candles also an incredibly difficult mess to clean up. Scraping wax of centerpieces you've purchased is not a fun way to spend the afternoon. You can always try to resell them, but for the amount of money that you're going to get, that might just be a pain. So that's why we say go ahead and rent candles from a florist. They will be of high quality and will match the decor that you already rented.
Let talk about the value of real plates, silverware, and glasses. There is no need to buy a hundred real plates, forks, knives, and spoons for one-time use. First of all, it's going to be way too cost-prohibitive. Second, you're probably not going to buy enough, leaving you scrambling on your wedding day. Every time I see people try to buy their silverware for an event, they never buy enough plates, they never get enough forks, etc. Each guest may end up using more than one plate! Keep in mind the weight of 300 pieces of cutlery and plates! When you price compare the "fancier" plastic china (the ones that look like real plates until you touch them) with renting real things, it's actually about the same price per unit. It's also much less wasteful and your guests won't break the plate or silverware when eating. A rental company will also advise you on exactly how many you need. If you have 150 people coming to your wedding, you'll need more than 150 of each! Their knowledge and experience will get you the most accurate count so your guests have everything they need.
The next item is any lighting! We can tell you first and foremost, putting up lighting on a wedding day is very time-consuming. Most coordinators or planners have it in their contract that they are not required to it. Most couples think it only takes 30 minutes to an hour to throw some Christmas lights up in the ceiling. No big deal, right? Or maybe even just wrap them around a pole. Simple! In actuality, it takes at least two people several hours to get the lighting perfect. It's not just hanging, it takes time to get it to look right and swoops correctly. It also takes planning and thought for power consumption needs, outlet proximity, and concealing extension cords so guests don't trip. In addition to that, when you rent lighting, you're going to get the big fancy commercial bulbs that glow brighter than cheap Christmas lights! Trust us when we say, you'll notice this when you get your pictures back! Whatever you have envisioned for your lighting, a rental company is going to be more likely to make the vision come to life. Lighting can be tricky because different venues have different rules about what they allow. Lastly, a rental company will set up your lights with safety in mind, not just making them look good at any cost. Imagine your first dance as a married couple gets interrupted because a fuse has blown. A nightmare indeed! When you work with a professional rental company, they'll go through all of the bells and whistles of setting up beforehand. It's their job to let you know what is feasible and what is impossible or not cost-effective. So always rent lighting!
Considering buying a tent instead of renting one? We've had couples try to buy a tent after they found out that they can be hundreds to even thousands of dollars to rent. They come across a "great deal" online and feel great they've saved a few hundred dollars. Sounds easy, right? But, when the tent arrives they learn it's made with cheap plastic that tears easily, PVC pipes that bend, and a tarp-like material that is water-resistant, not waterproof or insulated. High-quality tents rent for a premium for a reason, and you're also paying for the labor, delivery, set-up, tear down, and return. It's a big job! When you rent a tent, the company should also physically travel to your location to take independent measurements beforehand. They'll spot any problems two weeks before your wedding, not the day of when it will be impossible to fix. Your tent will house your guests during your reception, it's what keeps them dry, warm, and bug-free! Also, if you're going to do things like hang lighting or chandeliers inside or put a dance floor down- you want to make sure this is all done professionally. This is no feat to send out your groomsmen the day before the wedding. You most 100%, definitely need to rent a tent from a professional service.
What to Buy:
First and foremost, we say you should buy your wedding dress. They might be expensive, but you may feel hard-pressed to give it back once it's been part of your wedding. Some people choose to preserve it so future generations of their family can use it. Besides, the average wedding dress needs alterations to fit you just right. There’s a very small percentage of people that actually put on a formal dress and it perfectly fits. They're created in a way so they can be altered to fit several different body types. More than likely you're going to need to get it altered so that way it fits the way you want it. You cannot alter a rented wedding dress. The same applies to wedding party attire and bridesmaid's dresses. Options for renting such as Rent the Runway are available, but make sure you at least do a test run first. You don't want to have a dress shipped to you two days before the wedding and it's the wrong color, wrong size, wrong, whatever, and it doesn't work.
What about jewelry, wedding shoes, wedding purse, etc? Nobody wants to wear used shoes on a wedding day. So I would go ahead and buy your wedding shoes if you're a female. If you are a male, more than likely you can rent them. That's going to come with your Tuxedo or your suit. Jewelry is a big thing because you're probably going to want to keep that as a memento to make sure that you buy it so you can keep it and love it forever.
Next, signage and other decors! Do not fill your house full of hobby lobby signs that talk about love and marriage just because you want them at your wedding. Signage is usually a custom print that requires you to buy it. When purchasing decor pieces, get stuff that you can use in your home that compliments your current decor and you won't mind looking at it for the next 10 years. This includes anything that you want to keep as a memento, you should purchase. Adorable items that invoke your wedding day, like a ring box that you know that you can store your wedding jewelry in. Stick to items you know you can use later.
If you're doing DIY projects, there's going to be different types of decor items you'll need, but don't forget to plan for the time it will take to complete them. For example, let's say you plan to attach silk flowers you've bought to lanterns you plan to use. You're not going to be able to rent the lanterns in time from the florist to attach stuff to them. So go ahead and buy those items and get started right away! Any DIY projects should be completed two weeks minimum before your wedding day. There's just a lot that happens in the last couple of weeks before a wedding. You don't want you to be running around like a crazy person tacking down what you need last minute. You'll only be adding additional stress to an already stressful time. Getting your DIY projects done a couple of weeks in advance will help you feel more prepared on your wedding day.
We hope that we were able to give you a little bit of insight into what you should rent and what you should buy!
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