When couples are planning their wedding through a wedding venue, reception hall or a wedding planner or catering service, it is possible that all aspects of the decorating are included in the cost of the service. In these situations, using whatever you have already paid for in linens makes sense, providing that the company is able to provide what you want and need.
If you are planning your own wedding and arranging your own reception, you will have more freedom to choose your wedding linens, place settings and decorations for the reception. This leads to a lot of confusion for couples and, unfortunately, a lot of misinformation by wedding rental companies.
The Rental Myth
Flipping through bridal magazines or going to bridal fairs will often result in a very common misconception. Wedding companies offering rental of wedding linens make the case that renting is cheaper than buying.
They talk about the price outlay for buying, the need to wash the linens after the wedding and the hassle of having to order and deliver the linens to the venue. They claim that their service will provide freshly laundered linens to your venue at the time you request, then they will pick up the linens after the event without the need for you to do anything.
The reality is that the linens that you rent are not new. They have been used at other weddings and events, and they often show subtle or not so subtle signs of use. Unfortunately, it is often the day of the wedding reception they are delivered, so there is no option to have them replaced, leaving limited options to do anything but use the wedding linens as they are supplied.
Additionally, most couples will find that the rental company prices are about equal to that of buying from a wedding linen supplier. If you buy, with just a quick wash you can resell the linens to another couple, often recouping the complete cost of the purchase, something that is never possible with the rental option.