I just want y’all to know up front that I have a lot of respect for the people over at Martha Stewart, and of course the queen herself. Like, a lot. It’s the only paper magazine I subscribe to. All the DIY, gift ideas, cleaning— not to mention the recipes! Plus, Martha’s team up with Snoop Dogg? Hilarious and amazing. But I digress. Back in July 2020, Martha’s team made a post about things you should buy instead of rent for your wedding...and we, unfortunately, have to disagree.
The biggest thing (which they even mention!) is that, while buying may sometimes be a bit cheaper, you still have to manage all the prep and clean up surrounding the event. Part of the reason renting can cost a little more is because the wedding rentals companies take all that hassle off your hands. I know that the absolute last thing I want to be thinking about after my wedding is clean up. No thanks, I’ll pass.
Let’s dive into the six items you should absolutely rent for your wedding:
#1 - Candles & Candle Holders
The idea here is that you can save money by renting candles in bulk, and you may be able to find more interesting candle holders at a store or on Etsy. As much as I like this idea in theory, if you buy a lot of candles like me, you know that they tend to wrap those suckers up! I don’t think the hours spent unwrapping and picking stubborn stickers off of candles is really worth the few bucks you’d save...plus setup and removal later.
Also...what am I going to do with, like, 50 candle holders after my wedding is over?
Like I said, it sounds great in theory. In practice, not so much.
#2 - Table Number Holders
The complaint here is that the table number holders that most wedding rentals companies have aren’t interesting enough. They also say that you probably won’t save money with this purchase. Maybe I’m too practical, but...they’re table numbers. As long as my event planner can make something nice happen with what they have, I’m just not that worried about it. Plus, I don’t want my table numbers to fight for focus with my centerpieces, you know?
Also, what am I going to do with the table numbers after the wedding? I don’t know anyone who throws parties big enough to need table number holders again…
#3 - Vintage Furniture
Decent quality vintage furniture is expensive and can be really hard to track down. It often needs to be refinished/reupholstered, too. That’s a lot of time and money. Plus, you’ll need to remove it after the wedding...and maybe have it cleaned/repaired afterwards, too. All around, these statement pieces really do make more sense to rent. Save yourself the time and stress, and outsource to an expert.
#4 - Lounge Pillows
The fear is that the wedding rentals company you choose won’t have the perfect lounge pillows. This kind of wraps back around to the candles situation for me. What am I going to do with all of those pillows after the fact? I already have throw pillows— too many, some have argued. Plus, I’m not eager to clean any wine/food stains after the wedding, either. I don’t think you’ll be saving much money here (in fact, you may be spending more). As Goodshuffle Pro’s Data Specialist, I’ve also seen the inventories of many different companies, and let me just say, I’m not worried about companies not having what I’m looking for. Event companies who specialize in weddings and other events that need furniture, etc., generally have a really good selection to choose from.
#5 - Cake Stand
I do a fair bit of baking, but I do not own a cake stand. I cannot imagine owning more than one. Why? Because I want my cake, not the stand, to be the focal point. I want the stand to blend away into the background. What cake stand? So while I think cake & dessert stands are a must for weddings, I do not think you should buy your own. Just let the pros decide what will compliment your cake(s) and desserts the most. It’s what they do!
Plus, again, no clean up.
#6 - Passing Trays
Buying fancy, unique passing trays seems like a really frivolous way to spend extra money to me. Like the cake stand, I really don't want the focus to be on the trays— I want the focus to be on all that food that I either catered or made. I feel like it’s really missing the point. Your caterer or wedding rentals company should have something that will work splendidly as a blank canvas to display your food and drinks.
Also...what will I do with them after the wedding? I guess I could use them for a makeshift charcuterie board? But why do that, when I’m sure you already have the perfect one in your gift registry.
Focus your funds on things you’ll actually remember
Ultimately, I feel like the suggestions for things to buy for your wedding were really a flop— or a great way to spend extra money. They really seem to focus on the wrong things. Instead, why not spend that money on a good photographer, that extra dessert, or that band you love? Your time will be better served preparing other aspects of your wedding than removing tags off items, and after your wedding you can fall asleep knowing that there isn’t a mountain of chores waiting for you when you wake up. Enjoy your wedding. Enjoy your beautiful food. Enjoy all the wonderful people who came to wish you and your love a happy life together.