Q: I’m stressed out because I feel like I’m spending more than I wanted to on everything. Now I’ve just found out that my venue doesn’t provide everything I need, which means I need to rent it. And looking into rentals has me completely overwhelmed. I want my wedding to look nice and not like a picnic, but what should I be spending my money on for rentals? What’s really worth it?
I’m sorry to hear that you’re stressed out. There does come a point for every couple (usually somewhere in the middle of planning) where it feels like you’re spending a lot of money. And let’s be honest, you are spending a good chunk of money all in one fell swoop, so it’s naturally stressful. But, as long as you’re balancing everything, you’ll be ok.
Take a step back and make sure you’re happy with the decisions you’ve already made before you do anything else. If you are, then relax a bit. If you aren’t, then make some changes now and that will help make you feel better.
Now, with regards to your rentals question, there are definitely items that make more of an impact. And as you can imagine, items that just matter less. But, there are 2 questions you’ll be thinking about as you’re looking at rentals. First, do I need this? And second, if I do, how much should I spend on it?
So, your wedding rentals are one area where it’s a matter of function first, then looks. Your guests are going to need plates and forks and cups. This is something you need. Another item you may need are heaters or a tent or tables. Make sure you understand your needs first before you start picking items. This will help to streamline the process.
Then once you know what you need, focus on those items first before you start looking at more peripheral items. So, pick out your chairs before you start looking at napkin holders. But, which chair do you choose?
There is definitely a range for most rental items and this is when looks, impact, and value comes into play. So, in all honesty, no one is going to notice what your fork looks like. Or your plates or your glassware. As long as it works and looks clean, you’ll be fine. Go for simple here and don’t focus your money in this area.
Your chair, on the other hand, has a bigger impact. They take up a good portion of the room and this is something people will be sitting on for 2ish hours. So, something comfortable is ideal and something that is appealing to the eye. But, while this is an area that has a higher impact, it also comes with a cost. So, you’ll have to weigh the value of an $8 chair vs. a $3 chair and what that means to you. But, going for the $3 chair with a cushion is going to have a higher value than the $2 plastic chair.
With regards to tables, folding tables are the most economic, but they do require a linen. So, when it comes to linen you’ll have the more “standard” linen and then ones that are “specialty”. The standard ones will cost less and are usually solid colors in either polyester or cotton. These can be perfectly fine. But, if you have some wiggle room, you can spend a little more to have a linen with a nicer feel or texture/pattern/color. You can do it for all the tables or just certain ones like your table and the cake table. Your linen like your chairs is something that has a high impact because there is so much of it in the room.
Those are the most common rentals and the ones where you’ll typically be faced with a choice. Remember, first tackle what you need and then assess the impact and the value to you in order to make a decision. Once you make some choices and get a proposal you’ll be able to see what your choices mean and can tweak further if necessary.
(Photo credit: Milou and Olin Photography)
Got a wedding planning question you need help with? Ask away in a comment below and we’ll answer it in an upcoming Q&A.