After you book the photographer, music, venue, etc., it is time to focus on the decorations! It is at this point you will have a decision to make: “Is it better to buy or rent wedding décor?” I have heard this question pop up a few times, so I have decided to do some research to help you determine what avenue is best.

For sentimental reasons, it can be tempting to want to purchase everything for your wedding. Before you take that step, you should ask yourself: “Will I use this item later?” Not everything has a future purpose, and it may be a better option to rent the item instead. On the other hand, many items are more economical to purchase instead of renting. Below is a list of décor items that are commonly used at weddings. Hopefully, this analysis will help you with your décor purchasing or renting decision.

Signs: Buy

If you want to rent signs that point your guests in the direction of the ceremony and reception, they may appear generic. Therefore, for signs, to have them tailored and custom, it would be better to buy, or even make. After the wedding, you can hang those signs on the walls of your home!

Clothing & Accessories: Buy

Clothing and accessories don’t fall under decorations, but I thought it would be smart to mention them with the topic of “Rent or Buy?” Buying your wedding attire is a popular choice. By purchasing your wedding dress, this will ensure that your outfit is tailored specifically to you. Jewelry, shoes, or a clutch can be used after the wedding and can be handed down as a family heirloom. For the groom, by purchasing the tuxedo or suit, like a wedding dress, the attire will be tailored to you. Along with this, there is more of an opportunity for the groom to wear his wedding attire again at a work dinner, other weddings, etc.

Table Cloths & Runners: Rent

It is often advised to rent table linens to avoid the hassle of cleaning, folding, pressing, and storing. By renting, after the wedding, you can toss the linens in a bag, and return them. Remember to ask yourself, “Will I use this item later?” Likely, you will never use that quantity of table cloths and table runners again.

Plates, Chargers, & Glassware: Rent

If you want to use fancy china or porcelain plates, chargers, and wine glasses or other glassware, renting is often the best option. It may be repetitive, but ask yourself once again, “Will I use this item later?” Specifically, ask yourself, “Will I use 100 or 150 plus plates and wine glasses in the future?” Tip: Rent extra plates and glasses. You never know if someone may accidentally break something, or a guest unexpectedly invites a plus one.

Flower Vases & Candle Holders: Rent

For a 150-guest wedding, you will have approximately 15 to 18 tables. If you are planning to have flowers and/or candles at each table, many suggest renting the vases and candle holders. By renting, you won’t have to worry about storing these items after the wedding. Along with this, wax-covered candle holders are a killer to clean! You can bypass the cleaning process by renting. Vases can often be rented from your florist, who may also give you tips on what style vase will accentuate the beauty of the flowers.

I hope this helps you decide what décor items you may be wanting to rent or buy. Renting can often be the cheaper option, however, if you are looking to buy then re-sell items after the wedding, do the research to be confident you will be able to receive enough money back from re-sale to make it worthwhile.

Resources: The KnotBrides