This one topic right here only has one right answer, and that answer is the one that works best for you. I know, that’s not really an answer, but it’s 100% true. Look, as a wedding planner, I love when my couples rent their linens. In fact, it’s almost one of those things I want to require my couples to do. But I also know that not all budgets allow it and sometimes you HAVE to buy your linens. So let me show you the pros and cons of both options so that you can decide for yourself.
Saving money – let’s face it, buying your own linens is financially cheaper
You have the product in hand and know what you will be getting
Setting it up yourself will let you see everything laid out and know it is done how you want it done.
Many options to choose from because you can purchase from any company that sells linens.
Resell – once the wedding is over you can sell them to another couple getting married to recoup some of your money.
Storage – they take up a lot of space, especially after you go through the list below.
Washing – every linen comes with a chemical on it that you HAVE to wash off before use. You can do it in your washer, about 3-4 linens per load or pay someone at anywhere between $5-15 per linen.
Ironing/Steaming – wrinkles, creases, you name it, you want them out as much as possible.
Transportation – you have to get them to the location, again, they take up A LOT of room. At the end of the night, they take up double the room as they are no longer folded.
Setting Up – you have to set the linens. This takes A LOT of time and it has to be done before anything else can be set.
Teardown – You have to tear down the linens at the end of a long night.
Washing (AGAIN) – After the wedding, you need to wash them again unless you plan on throwing them out. Again that is washing about 3-4 at a time or paying about $5-15 per linen to have them done.
Reselling – Finding someone that wants your linens isn’t as easy as it sounds. If they’re basic white, you have better odds. But if they are colored or patterned linen, it becomes harder and you sit on them for a lot longer. And not everyone needs the exact number you have, so you may have to split and sell in smaller sets and just hope that you sell them all.
Design help – almost all professionals that rent linens will help bring your look, feel and design together with their linens.
Other rentals – most companies that rent linens rent other items you may need for decor and so you can see it all put together and get it all from one place.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, ALL OF THE CONS ABOVE YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH – AND TIME IS MONEY.
Financially it costs more
Like I said before, I know that not everyone has the budget to rent linens, or finds that linens are not a priority in their wedding planning. And that’s ok. But if you are even debating between renting or buying your linens, I cannot stress it enough how much work is truly involved with linens. And as the wedding gets closer, your time will become more precious and you will not want to be dealing with all of your linens on your wedding day. So take it from a professional wedding planner, RENT!
Wedding planning is a series of interviews with professionals that will provide you with a service on your big day. But what do you need to be asking? For instance, you know you want pictures of your wedding, but how do you sift through the hundreds of available photographers in your area? I guarantee there are hundreds of them but I also guarantee there is one out there for you. Just like your perfect person, it may take time, but you will find them.
First Things First
Before you even start interviewing them there are two things you MUST do. First, set your budget. Second, find the style that speaks to you.
But how do you set your budget without knowing what something costs? Join local wedding planning groups on platforms like Facebook and ask around in there. Keep in mind that the amount of time they’re needed for and their experience are just two things that will change the cost of a photographer. But it will at least get you a starting point. Another way is to reach out to photographers and get pricing. Some will charge a vastly different price, but you will see the middle ground on what’s average. Then once you have that information, take a step back and decide how much photography really means to you. That will at least give you a starting price to begin with.
As for style, scour the internet. Look at Pinterest and wedding blogs and websites. Look at everything and collect examples of images that warm your heart and you want for your wall. Then find photographers who have a similar style. Photography is an art form and although they are taking pictures that you want, they instill their artwork into each one. So search and find the one and then trust them to do their finest.
You have your budget and style, now what?
Now you start talking to them, in person. Set up consultations to meet them and see their full portfolio. Make sure you see at least one full portfolio of a wedding. I mean I can take some pretty shots, but if you saw the amount of photos I deleted to get there, you would know I am an amateur. Seeing a portfolio from an entire wedding shows you how they will capture the entire day and shows you what they are truly capable of. Posed shots are one thing, action shots are entirely different. And so it’s important to see them all.
As you sit down with them, come prepared with questions you want to ask. There will be some that are very specific to your needs. But as a good basis, here are some questions to keep in mind when you’re talking with them:
What does the package include and how much is it?
What happens if we need additional hours on wedding day?
Do you include engagement and/or bridal sessions in the package?
Will we receive digital files, or prints/albums?
Can we purchase additional files/prints and for how much?
How long will we wait to receive our photos after the wedding?
Have you worked at our venue before?
How many weddings have you done (and can we see samples of your work)?
Describe your photography style.
Will you be the one photographing our wedding?
Do you bring an assistant/second photographer?
You’re Not The Only One
An important thing to note is that you are not the only person they are talking to about your wedding date. So if you really like them, book them. Photographers are one of the first vendors to be booked by couples, so don’t miss out on the right one.
Also remember with that, that they’re interviewing you as well. They want to make sure (as any wedding professional will) that you and your dream day work with them, their personality and their style. So be prepared for interesting questions. I myself have a questionnaire that I send to my couples before we meet with questions about where they shop, and what they like to do for fun. It just one way to make sure that working together will be a fun experience for everyone involved.
Diana is a Cleveland Wedding Planner serving all of Northeast Ohio.