Renting table centerpieces instead of purchasing them can save money, time and post-wedding work.

This story first appeared in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Columbus Weddings, published December 2019.

Though reception table settings are probably not top-of-mind for a couple planning their wedding (what, with dresses and flowers and photos to discuss?), but these tables matter. After all, where are guests spending much of their time at your wedding? A put-together, place-making centerpiece can elevate your event from just another reception to an evening they’ll remember.

The option to buy and build your own centerpieces can seem appealing at first, but don’t discount the, well, discount you can get from renting some or all of the items you need.

“Renting is generally cheaper because you end up paying a fraction of the cost of what it would be to buy,” says Emily Kreindler of Got Ya Covered Linens & Event Rental, which rents linens, glassware, décor, reception tech, candles and everything in between from its Shops at Worthington Place showroom. The company will drop off and pick up the rented pieces the day of the event, too.

Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

“DIY is a miss at saving money,” she says. “When you are renting, you don’t have the hassle of driving door-to-door to buy supplies. Consider the time and gas money doing that. Or imagine if you made centerpieces for 15 tables, then need to add a 16th table, but you bought stuff a year ago and it’s no longer available. [With] DIY, you have to buy more than what you think you need. Plus, all those pieces are priced individually, whereas when you rent you can have more flexibility.”

And if you’re thinking about reselling your DIY centerpieces to recoup some of the cost, Kreindler warns against banking on the idea.

“Sometimes you get lucky, but people’s tastes are so different—what you’re trying to sell is not the right color, not the right quantity,” she explains, “and sometimes, another bride could just walk into a Michael’s outright and get what you’re trying to sell used for new at the same price.”

Kreindler recommends couples come in to discuss rental options as soon as they’ve decided on a venue and caterer. You’ll want to know if those vendors will provide your linens and chairs, as well as if the venue has any rules about bringing in rental items. You’ll also need to know the general thematic colors and style you’d like the event to have.

Couples can then book an appointment with Got Ya Covered online or over the phone, answer a few questions, and come into the showroom for a consultation with a full display of options—from simple greenery and candles to dramatic table chandeliers—so they can test out a table’s look before making any decisions.

How many items to rent? Better safe than sorry.

“We have a limited supply of items, so we tell everyone to reserve enough for the max amount of guests invited,” recommends Chase Merriam, operations manager at Main Events Party & Event Rental. “We then give you two weeks prior to your event in order to adjust your order to final RSVPed numbers.”

Main Events’ popular centerpiece rentals include different types of vases, rustic wood pieces, galvanized buckets and other items to keep up with evolving trends.

“Most of our centerpieces are the basic starter pieces … pieces that would be costly to buy for a large amount of tables,” says Merriam, adding that the rental price of most of Main Events’ vases and tabletop items range from around $4 to $12 each. “When compared to buying, this is usually around 10 percent of the purchase cost.”

Couples can peruse the company’s rental options online, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t see what you’re looking for. Merriam says his business is always open to purchasing new items to offer for rentals. Just ask.

“If it is an item that we feel would rent for other events,” he says, “we are always open to expanding our inventory.”