The following guest post was written by Anna Pollock, co-founder of Field & Gown.
It’s two months until your wedding day. If you’re like most brides, you’ve got all the big things checked off your list. Venue is booked. Photographer hired. Invitations sent. Now it’s time to think about some of the details – the food, the tablescape, the overarching vibe of your big day.
You flip through your favorite wedding blogs or login to Pinterest for inspiration and the options are endless. You could go for a clean, classy look, surrounding your sweetheart table with glass vases of varying heights and floating candles. Or, you could go for a modern look, using copper-edged, geometric-shaped terrariums as your centerpieces. Or you could do something rustic, like letting your niece pull her younger brother, the ring-bearer, down the aisle in a vintage Radio Flyer wagon.
No matter which option you choose, you’re bound to come to a logistical roadblock: do I rent or do I buy my wedding décor? We believe that renting has several key advantages over buying.
You’re working, and enjoying your engagement, and going to the gym to stay in shape for your wedding day. You’re going to food tastings, dress fittings, and planning hotel logistics for your whole extended family. Taking on your wedding décor means that you’ll go from store to store collecting all the things you need. You’ll give up precious weekends and days off to source the goods. If you’re looking for vintage or rustic you may have to drive far to get to get to the best and most reasonably-priced antique stores. If your desired items are not in stock, you may spend an entire day shopping and come home dejected, with nothing.
Though ordering online can be more efficient, you can’t really know if what you’ve ordered is right until it arrives. If all goes well, you’ll get it right the first time. But if the item is wrong, you’ll lose time repacking, printing return shipping labels, and going to the post office. Plus, you’ll probably feel frustrated and angry when you sit down to search the internet again; hardly the attitude you want to take when choosing the most fun part of your wedding – its self-expression! In the best case scenario, the only thing you’ll lose is time, but many brides also lose money this way, amassing costs of return shipping or being forced to keep non-returnable items.
Your wedding will sneak up fast and you don’t want to be stressing about missing or not-quite-right décor items at the last minute. There are many local rental companies that provide a plethora of décor items that can enhance your event and help you create the vibe you’re going for. Set up a meeting, bring a selection of your favorite photos, and in an hour these companies can amass and reserve for you what would have taken weeks or months to acquire.
Since rentals are used over and over, they are usually rented for a fraction of the cost of buying new. There are some cases (when buying cheaply-made goods or in bulk) that you can get a better price buying new, but you’ll be stuck storing all the decorations in your living room until the big day – cluttering up your precious space when you’re most in need of a clear space and a clear head.
Many brides-to-be think only of the big day for months ahead of time, but forget to think about what will happen to purchased décor post-wedding. When you return from your honeymoon to find all that décor still cluttering your living room, if you’re motivated, you may try to resell it. Most likely you’ll stuff it in a box for a few years, until one day when you clean or declutter, you’ll find it still where you left it, and either donate to Goodwill or throw it out. Renting allows you to have your dream wedding décor without having to feel guilty about all the waste or your wedding’s poor environmental footprint.
Anna Pollock is co-founder of Field & Gown, Executive Producer of the documentary film Disposable Addiction, and a public health professional. An environmentalista to the core, she lives a zero-waste lifestyle and brings those principles to the core of the business. Field & Gown is a wedding and event decor rental company based in the Washington DC area.