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Wedding rent versus buy decisions made easy

Brides get a hand in their rent versus buy decisions
Brides get a hand in their rent versus buy decisions
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Houston brides planning spring and summer weddings find themselves in a quandary with every piece of wedding décor they choose. This happens especially when brides are selecting linens. The brides call and ask, “Is it better to rent or buy?” Unfortunately the only realistic answer is, “It depends.” Below is a chart that will help you make a better decison depending on your unique circumstance.

You should buy your linens if any of the following statements are true for you:

  1. You plan to use these exact linens more than 5 times in the next 12 months
  2. The tablecloth sizes for your wedding will be the same size as for future events
  3. You have the storage space, laundry facilities, staff and/or budget to manage the linens after each use
  4. The linens you require are very specific and/or unique and not found in rentals
  5. You want to personalize the linens with a logo or monogram

Your should rent your linens if any of the following statements are true for you:

  1. Budgetary concerns for this event are driving your decision (Your initial outlay to purchase linens is typically 5-10 times greater than a one-time rental)
  2. The colors, patterns or style, though popular now, may not appeal to you in a couple of years
  3. When you entertain in the future, you want to change up the look for each party
  4. Recycling and re-using are good ways to help the environment

The common misconception is that renting and buying are approximately equal in cost for the bride’s family. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cost of quality fabric, shipping and labor add up quickly. Rental companies recoup their investment by renting each item in their inventory several times. Individuals working within a budget would quickly use most of that budget to purchase linens when for a fraction of the cost, gorgeous linens can be rented that exactly fit your tables and chairs. Linen rental companies can also offer expertise in the selection of linens, professional installation at your venue and will relieve you of the burden of laundry, storage and upkeep.

There are special cases when purchasing linens makes sense. Today, at Linen Queen Design Works, a bride called who plans add her monogram to the runners on each guest table. Obviously she can’t do that to a rental linen, so for her, buying the runners is the way to go. Wisely, she plans to rent the other linens she needs, including the tablecloths, chair covers, napkins and chair ties.

Finally, think about renting in the context of how it helps our environment. Reusing a perfectly good tablecloth means less energy is used to produce, ship and manufacture new tablecloths. Realistically, no matter how good the buyers’ intentions, purchased linens seldom find their way out of storage.

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