DIY-er Beware: Linens

5-Post Series: DIY-er Beware

Last year, I wrote a post with wedding planning money savers, which included the idea to "DIY & borrow." Though DIY-ing can certainly cut costs, there are nuances to be aware of in order to preserve your sanity.

It can often be worth the extra dollar to have peace of mind on such an important day.

This 5-series blog post called “DIY-er Beware” will include several warnings for you to keep in mind as you plan your wedding, along with some suggestions to better manage your budget AND stress-load. These are based on real weddings & my experiences as a Certified Wedding Planner.

The topics of conversation we’ll be covering include:

1. Linens

2. Flowers

3. Catering

4. Table settings & décor

5. “Friendors” & honorable mentions

For each post, I’ll share some lessons-learned from previous DIY-experiences along with my views on The Best Choice (using a vendor), The Compromise (a way to save money and stress), and The DIY-for-Lifer (some tips on how to pull off DIY-ing if you absolutely must).

Let’s get started! Today's topic: LINENS.

Linens: to rent or to buy?

One of the costs many couples don’t anticipate when planning their wedding is that of linen rental.

Let’s say you’ve got 200 guests to be seated at 60” inch round tables, which comfortably seat 8 people. That’s 25 ugly tables that will require a linen in order to bring your beautiful décor vision to life. At $14.00 per linen, your base rental cost is $350.00, plus tax. Depending on your venue and vendors, you might also need to provide linens for a sweetheart table, welcome table, cake table, the DJ, and maybe more. Want those delivered? Probably a $150.00+ delivery & pickup fee. It can really add up!

You might say, “$14 a piece?! I can buy them on Amazon or secondhand for $5 each!”

And you might be right.

You might also wind up with dirty linens, stained linens, or linens that aren’t exactly the color they appeared to be when you ordered them… you’ll also have an abundance of tablecloths leftover and the biggest mistake of all: crisscross wrinkles on all of the tables at your wedding! Nothing can bring an elegant affair down like un-pressed linens.

You might say, “Well we will steam or iron them, of course!”

And you can certainly try.

But it will be backbreaking work and take hours to accomplish. You absolutely can’t plan to take care of that the day of the wedding at the venue! Even if it took just 10 minutes per linen to steam out the wrinkles (which is a conservative guesstimate), that’s 4 whole hours of steaming for your 25 tables… and your linens still won’t be perfect. Professional linen rental companies have giant linen presses and secret ninja ways to keep your linens pristine with 1 crease down the middle.

Real Life Lessons

1. Somebody’s Mom posted a warning in a Facebook group, pleading with you not to make the same mistake she did. Somebody’s Mom begs you—rent the linens!

2. Nameless Client, a real client of mine, purchased all of their linens and took to steaming and ironing out the creases. After hours upon hours of work and an incredibly sore back, they gave in and paid to have the linens professionally pressed. Ultimately, Nameless paid the same (or slightly more) than if they had chosen to rent in the first place… but they found out the hard way.

3. Someone Else’s Client, whose tables I snapped a photo of at an undisclosed location, also purchased their linens and determined that they would simply steam all 27 linens the morning of the wedding. I don’t know how the last-minute steaming went for them, but based on Nameless’s experience, I doubt it went smoothly (pun intended!).

Planner’s Recommendations: Linens

The Best Choice

Rent the linens. Have them delivered and “dropped” on the tables for you. My go-to DFW linen company: AM Linen Rental Those $14/piece linens (priced from a local company) are only $9.00/each with AM Linens. Their linens are delivered and ready to go straight from the hanger to your tabletop.

The Compromise

Go with a linen rental company, but consider delegating someone to pick up (and return) your linens for you. AM Linen Rental offers pickup options, which can help save you that delivery fee.

The DIY-for-Lifer

Already bought your $5 linens from someone on a secondhand group? I highly recommend searching around and pricing laundry services to get your linens professionally pressed. If you're local, reach out to DFW Linen Services to see what they quote you (and then tell us in the comments!)

If you can’t spring for professional pressing, start working on your linens weeks in advance so that you only have to do one or two at a time. Be sure to fold and hang them so that they aren’t creased again.

Cover Photo Cred: Aleman Photography Floral: KatieBug Florals

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