Wednesday, March 10, 2010

stupid expensive rentals

I hate when necessary wedding expenses end up being way more of an expense than we ever wanted them to be. I hate that rental companies charge a bazillion dollars to set up a tent for two days. I hate that we're going to have to pay way more than we ever thought we would just so we'll have tables, chairs and linens at our wedding.

These are things that I hate. Nonetheless, these are things we have to live with. We didn't chose a simple banquet hall wedding. We decided to let sentimentality rule over us and chose to go with the family cottage. The cottage has been in my family since my mom was a kid and its basically a storage center of yard-sale rejects and furniture that no one wanted to use in their everyday living spaces anymore. Nothing in there is new. Nothing. And I love it. I love our cottage with all my heart. I have a ridiculous tendency to get attached to inanimate objects and the cottage is definitely one of them. Some of my best childhood memories are attached to that place. So when we were searching for a unique summer wedding location, it was an obvious choice. An obvious and amazing choice that came with a ridiculous amount of strings.

I don't know about your family cottage, but ours normally doesn't have outdoor, weather-protected seating or dining space for 85. We don't have a good supply of matching table linens or even more than 3 chairs that match one another. So obviously rentals would be a necessity. As would elbow grease. A lot of it.

Unfortunately, we got a quote last week from the rental company which will be supplying the chairs, tables and linens for our ceremony and reception and it makes me sad. For tables, chairs and linens to seat and feed 95 people (we're overestimating just in case), it'll be close to $500. And since we want everything for two days instead of one (because we certainly don't want anyone doing set-up on the day of the wedding), the cost has reached almost $1200. I hate it. I hate that we have to spend that much money on rentals. It's a little over 1/5 th of our budget.

And what I hate even more is that this expense is necessary. I can't get around it. For every other wedding expense that seemed outrageous to me so far, we've gone DIY. If we didn't want to pay for it, we DIY-ed it.

Don't like the cost for catering? DIY food.
Don't want to pay a florist? DIY flowers.

Unfortunately, I can't DIY tables and chairs. Oh man, I would if I could. But trust me, carpentry is not my thing. So I have to suck it up this week and hand over a 30% deposit just so our guests can have a place to sit.

Okay, okay. I know, I'm overreacting. I can feel it. I know that it really is probably the most necessary expense in the world. It's meeting the most basic of wedding needs. Plus, we've been extremely lucky. We were originally going to have to pay upwards of $1,000 just for the reception tent if we got it from a rental company. Thankfully, a family that owns a cottage down the road from ours hosted their daughter's wedding at their cottage two years ago and they had purchased tents for it. So through a weird coincidence, we were able to get their number from a co-worker of my mom's who attended the wedding and we'll be renting their tents for our wedding. At a ridiculously low price compared to a rental company.

And in the grand scheme of things, banquet halls might include tables/chairs/linens in their room rental, but the ones in our area would also require us to pay upwards of $4,000 for catering. Hm, which would I rather pay ... $1,200 for rentals and $600 for food at our dream location .... or $6,000 for room rental and catering in some generic wedding hall? The choice is clear.

And even Mr. FP, the most frugal man I know, is telling me that it's okay to spend that kind of money. And so are his parents. And my parents... well, my mom just keeps reminding me that if we'd gone with a banquet hall, we wouldn't have to think about these things, so it's really my own fault that I'm stressed out. Um, yeah, thanks mom, that's really helpful. So I ignore her and figure that if Mr. FP thinks it's a good idea, it probably is.

But still, the tiny voice inside me that hates paying other people to do things is screaming. It's telling me that there must be another option. Even though it won't give me any insight into what the alternatives might be.

Hopefully it shuts up soon.


thehickbride said...

Ahhh I know this feeling all to well, but I'm glad it's working out for you better than it did for me. You see, our tables, chairs and tent (no linens or anything else) was going to cost us $5500 if we stuck with our do-it-all-on-the-farm wedding. So I know exactly what you are feeling, luckily we found a duel hall for $500, which includes them cleaning up. And we can still use our own cheap caterer. So we're saving $5000 by cheaping out, I wish we would have been saving money by doing it on the farm though, like you! Lol.

Stick with your plan! It sounds beautiful and you are getting a GREAT deal on your rentals, so don't let that go to waste! I'm super jealous of you! I'm glad it's all slowly working out for you though!

My Dream Ring said...

That is exactly why I have tried my best to buy everything instead of renting them, because I know that I am getting a better value if I buy them. I mean really they want to charge me $17 to rent an old table cloth, I ended up purchasing my own cheaper than that! I really to hate that they capitalize on us, but you know, that's the business.

Chocolate Lover said...

This is part of the wedding industry that I think we all hate, but in the end have to live with, cause like you said, theres no real choice. Sounds like you got a good deal compared to what else is out there. I'm sure that you'll stop thinking about this pretty soon. Hang in there

Margaret said...

This might not be an option at all, and it definitely entails more time... but I'm diy-ing linens, i.e. tablecloths & runners(muslin/burlap). they're going to be verrrrry rustic, haha. Might just use pinking shears, so no sewing, yay! I found a bolt of muslin on eBay for less than $1 per yard including shipping (which is about as low as fabric gets -- anything prettier and the cost shoots right up).
Of course, if you have round tables, this gets much more complicated. :P And this also might be too much work, but I love the "old goodwill sheets" idea as seen here:

No idea how to get around renting tables/chairs... have seen bales of hay/tree stumps covered with fabric, but that would be totally unfeasible for me and maybe you, too. At least the prrice quote doesn't sound *terrible* (though it's a bummer to have to assign that much of your budget to it :-/)

julie/smartassbride said...

according to the ruffled blog it is totally reasonable to thrift/free-pile/whatever EVERY SINGLE CHAIR you need (and pay to store them, if you need to). so obviously you're not trying enough. why make your guests sit on bland, rented chairs when they could each have their own original vintage chair?! (my eyes are rolling like slot machines. i hate when blogs try to convince brides they should do shit like this.)

rentals are a PITA. we're not getting a tent and praying for a sunny day. we might borrow some small canopies a local organization i'm semi-affiliated with owns but i hope we don't have to borrow. we're using our venue's tables and kinda-ugly chairs. i bought a ton of tablecloths on ebay for cheaper-than-renting and we are going to resell them.

we were going to have our wedding at the gorgeous park near our house but renting this crap would've made it much more expensive than renting an actual (city owned) venue! it sounds like having it at your family's cottage is worth it, though. if i had something like that in my family that's what i would do, too.

Miss C said...

I was going to say WOW, weddings are cheaper over there, and then I saw everyone else's comments.

It sucks that you have to spend so much of your budget on this stuff, but it looks like you're getting a good deal.

I was quoted almost $900 for the set up of 10 chairs and an arch. Prettied up a bit, but whatever. I nearly died. And will obvs be DIYing.

Cupcake Wedding said...

It is cheaper than the price of most venue rental fees, right? So still a deal.

Julie A. Whitlock said...

i hear you but when mr. S is telling you to spend the bucks you know it is worth it! It will give you a nice blank canvas so all of the person touches will stand out. The difference between a well-done quirky diy wedding and a big hot mess is a good foundation! plus a tent is a huge softbox that makes great lighting for you! though now i am thinking diy chairs may make for some good photographic moments. hmm... heehee. you do not want to see what it would look like if i photoshopped you tablecloths. that would be hideous! if it cheers you up i will make sure to take many artistic shots of your tablecloths. better yet??? xoxo

Andre Nievo said...

Yes sometimes these companies are taking advantage of the situation.

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