So there you are…reviewing your rental proposal for your upcoming event. Like most, you are on a tight budget and want to try and trim costs wherever you can. One of your family/friends have mentioned that you can buy the linens you need for less than what you can rent them for and you are considering making such a choice with your rental. But is that statement true?
Like with most rental items, one must look a little deeper than what appears on the surface. With the Internet today, it would only take seconds to pull up 1/2 a dozen online sources for linens. Many of these sites might even have linen prices that appear to be less than what your rental proposal is calling for…however, this doesn’t mean that your true cost will be less than that of your rental proposal.
Here are the things you should consider regarding the factors and additional costs lying under the surface.
1. Shipping and Handling – Linens, especially quality ones, are heavy. This usually means a considerable shipping costs that will quickly raise the overall price of each linen.
2. Quality of Linens - If shopping by price…you will get what you pay for. Your linen rental store usually carry higher quality linens than what your bargain basement web store will offer. If appearance is important to you, this could be a gamble.
3. Cleaning & Pressing – New linens do not come cleaned, pressed and ready to use. You will have to wash and iron each of your linens for your event. If you have never ironed a 120″ round, or 90×156 linen before, you are in for a wake up call. With a single cloth having close to 100 sq-ft of surface to iron (as well as special care required), you could be in over your head getting them prepared. Your rental store will have cleaned and pressed your linens so that you merely need to put them in place. Your rental store most likely has linen setup options as well for a very small charge.
4. Event is over…now what? – If you purchase linens for your event, what are you going to do with them afterwards? They will, again, need to be cleaned and pressed before they can be used again. Moreover, you most likely won’t have another event that will need those same linens in the near future. Even if you did, the risk then is that it won’t have the same color requirements, table setup, etc. You could end up buying something just to throw it away.
5. Loss of discount – As mentioned in a previous post titled “Bundle, Bundle, Bundle“, we explained that you can save big by renting bundled items. Tables, chairs and linens are the foundation to any formal event…you could be losing some serious discounts by electing to go your own on linens.
Much like an iceberg, where the overall size is under the water and not above…the overall costs of linens in time and money is far greater than just the price tag you see on a website. The reality is that you will have a linen cost if you are doing a formal event. If you have found a place that you believe you could buy for less than you could rent…what is that difference and is it worth taking on the costs/burdens above for that minor difference?
I am sure that you may have several people offering their time to help in any way they can…however, when it comes to linen duty, I am willing to bet that most would prefer not to be tasked with the responsibility. I would even go a step further to say that most would probably pitch in a few bucks to offset whatever that difference in cost is vs. dealing with it themselves.
Most formal events are “special” events and stressful enough already. Renting linens is one area that you can considerably make your life easy, or incredibly burdened by buying, shipping, washing and ironing them yourself.