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Renting vs Buying Decor, a pros and cons list

Any type of party that uses decorations, especially a big one for over 100 people like your wedding, will require either renting or purchasing of the design elements. For a wedding, the decor items that will either be rented or purchased could be the table linens, napkins, chargers, plates, glassware, table numbers, candles, flowers, arbors, chuppahs, vases, signage, tables, chairs, lounge furniture, lighting, and coordinating props. Whew, that’s a lot of stuff.

Typically, you will be renting all of those items. You’ll rent the vases from your florist who will fill them with flowers and then take them back at the end of the night. You’ll also rent all of the candles from your florist too. Your caterer will rent all of the plates, glassware, linens, and anything they need for service from a local rental company. The chairs are rented. Sometimes the tables are rented if your venue doesn’t keep a stock of tables.

That being said….when you see the prices of renting all of this stuff, you might consider purchasing it yourself instead. For example, a satin taffeta table linen could rent for $40 each, yet you could purchase one from an online retailer for $25 each. A savings of $15. The question is: is that $15 savings worth it??

Purchased decor is your responsibility as the client. You’ll need to store it all at your home, schlep it to the venue, set it up, and break it down. Do you want twenty, smelly, beer stained table linens sitting in a pile at your home after your wedding? Maybe not. When you rent the linens, the caterer or designer will set them up for you, steam them, and send them back after the event. Lots of less work for you!

Let’s work through your options of renting vs buying decor with a fun little pros and cons list.



  • Less work for you.
  • Less stuff taking up space in your house.
  • You don’t have to schlep a lot of things to and from the venue.
  • Nothing for you to set-up or breakdown at the end of the night.


  • Might be more expensive than purchasing yourself, especially with hefty delivery and trucking fees from rental companies.
  • Depending on where you live, you might have a limited selection of items when you only have large rental companies nearby to rent from. Big urban cities will have more selection from a variety of boutique rental houses.
  • Specialty and one-off items, like furniture lounges, could need to be reserved months in advance before they sell out.



  • You have the whole internet at your fingertips. You could source pretty much any decor item you’d ever want for your wedding, no matter where you live.
  • You can to keep it after the wedding (also a con, see below). Smaller items become instant heirlooms that can be passed down to generations (like how I turned the vintage tablecloths from my wedding into a baby quilt for my son.) I also still use the milk glass containers that we used for our candy buffet. It’s nice to say, ten years later, “hey, that was at our wedding.”
  • The possibility to resell it after the wedding. Make some of your money back if you put in the effort to resell.
  • I assure you that you’ll be able to find a lot of decor items are cheaper to buy than to rent.


  • You’ll have to store it all at your home before and after the wedding. Do you have space for all this stuff?
  • Who is going to set it up and break it down?
  • Many vendors, like florists, will not use the vases you’ve purchased or the candles you’ve ordered. For one, it cuts into our profit margin, and two, we shouldn’t set anything up that isn’t in our contract due to insurance reasons. (for example, you buy the cheapest candles you can find and they melt super fast and light the table numbers on fire. The candles you would have rented from us where twice the price, but we know that they are high quality and will last your whole reception.)
  • Purchasing a lot of decor gets overwhelming, unless you are super duper organized. PS….download the Weddings Well Designed Toolbox to help you organize all your decor, in case you absolutely have to purchase a lot yourself for your wedding.

Are you buying or purchasing decor for your wedding? I’m curious to know!

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