When you're planning your dream day, you look for ways to have everything but not have to pay the cost for it. This is definitely something that all brides struggle with - no matter what their budget is!
One of the things many people consider is buying their linens instead of renting them through a rental or catering company. While the price tag is more appealing (it's usually $5-10 less to buy than to rent) it doesn't exactly explain the work you'll have to do to get those linens looking the way you want at your ceremony.
- Calculating the correct number and sizes that you need: When you work with a catering or rental company, they know the exact sizes to order for the tables you're using. They also know how many linens are needed, and they will come prepared with extras. There are a number of different sizes to order, and this can be a time consuming process. Also, if you make any last minute changes, it's usually harder to purchase more in time for the event, but it's much easier to rent more from a larger company with a full store of linens.
- The time and cost to press linens. When you purchase your linens, they will likely come bagged and NOT pressed. If you have 20 linens (not including napkins) and they're for 6 foot round tables, you can easily spend all afternoon ironing them. After you iron them, you have to fold them and hang them in a way that they won't wrinkle much. Then you have to transport them to the venue and make sure there's a place to keep them so that they stay nicely pressed before being placed on the tables. This alone is why I think it's worth it to rent them rather than buy them - you don't need to be adding this to your to-do list as you prepare for your wedding! Pay someone else to take care of it!
- Having to collect them at the end of the night: At the end of the night, your linens will need to be bagged and packed up along with the rest of your decor. If you've purchased them, then this will be your responsibility (or that of a wedding planner, if it's included in their package). Then, you have to take them home, launder them, and press and fold them again for upcoming use... or to sell them. And the cycle continues.
I will always recommend renting linens - it makes things so much easier for everyone! While it might save you a few hundred dollars if you buy them, I think you'll agree that your time and energy are worth at least that much and is more valuable spent on other things... like finalizing your seating chart, attending your dress fitting, and hanging out with your bridesmaids at your bachelorette party!