Rent Vs. Buy

When I started planning my wedding 10 years ago, eeek! has it really been that long!? I didn't even consider renting. Honestly, it just didn't cross my mind. I was the ultimate DIY bride even before there was Pinterest. Yes, I was a pre-Pinterest bride. Yes I'm still a little bitter.  And my wedding and reception took place in a very small, rural town in eastern Montana where the nearest Walmart was 80 miles away with no local rental companies. I sourced everything, but the good thing is you don't have to.

Today on the blog, I want to discuss the pros and cons of renting vs. buying decor for your wedding. I am a rental company, but I also care about your budget. I want you to enjoy planning and feel good about the choices you've made and the money you've spent along the way. I'm going to borrow from my vintage rental friends at Queen City Vignette in Cincinatti, Ohio who outlined the rent vs. buy conversation into these 5 topics, which I've expanded upon for you.


vintage brass candlesticks
vintage plates

Collecting vintage items can be really fun, but it requires a lot of time and energy. I've spent years growing my collection, first personally and then for the business. I have items from as far away as Maine in order to vary my collection. Buying your own vintage items is an excellent option if you intend to re use the item in your home. But if you just plan to resell, be warned. With the increase of vintage stores, online markets, and new replica pieces, reselling vintage is a tough game. 

Budgeting and Targeted Spending

vintage red couch

Rental items are typically a fraction of the price of buying new. We are able to rent the couch for $100 even though we bought it for $1500 because we have plans to rent, and rent, and rent again. Deciding to buy your items can find you scoring deals, but it becomes hard to track spending and when you fall in love with an over-priced item, its hard to say no. Without really knowing how your rental budget will play out, it is easy to spend too much too quickly, and you find yourself blowing your cake budget because all those centerpieces really added up. With a rental co, you receive a proposal with a clear bottom line, allowing you to continue planning with other vendors. 


mismatch wooden chairs

Ahhh....the ever elusive storage problem. During the months and weeks leading up to the wedding, bride's (or their parents) end up with a wedding room. The wedding room used to be a guest room or a closet, or maybe a little pile on the other side of the bed, but it grows bigger and bigger as the day of the event draws near. One of the strongest reasons for renting vs. buying is that all those wedding things have to go somewhere. And a mismatch wooden chair collection, a vintage lounge, and mismatch china for 150 is hard to keep in the wedding room. 

Styling and Setup

wedding styling services

One of the most over looked details a DIY bride underestimates is the wedding day timeline. All those tables don't set themselves . And the dishes NEVER wash themselves. One of the things I hear most from my brides is that they were so glad they didn't have to think about their wedding decorations on the day of their wedding, knowing a professional was taking care of it all, so that neither they nor their loved ones had to. 

Delivery and Venue Logistics

Renting means you pay a delivery fee, and then think no more about how your items magically arrive on the day of your wedding. Professionals will take their inventory, meticulously pack it and check it off their list, load it up and bring it over. They work with your venue to determine times of delivery and pick up to ensure deadlines are met. When you buy your decor, this is on you. Packing, sorting, finding a vehicle big enough or taking 50 small trips in your mom's minivan, and then you're done. You will be off in wedded bliss. But your loved ones aren't. Someone has to clean up and pack up and be out of the venue at the appointed time.


Ultimately, I don't want you to read this and think I despise the DIY bride, because I don't. I was one, remember!? I just want to bring your attention to some things you may not have thought about. This is your wedding; you know yourself and those that will be with you on your special day. Have those conversations and make sure everyone is on the same page! Happy planning! As always, let me know if I can help :) 

xoxo Sarah

Sarah Enos owner of The Vintage Lease vintage rental co