Wedding Planner Reveals Major Wedding Expenses You’re Forgetting

ByMaria R. Alfaro

Aug 15, 2022
  • People planning weddings often overlook the cost of renting tables, chairs, and linens.
  • Some venues include them, but they can cost up to $10,000 to rent for “raw space”.
  • Comparing rental prices and buying certain items instead of renting them can help keep costs down.

Many wedding expenses are well known. A beautiful venue, delicious food, fragrant flowers and a talented photographer often come with high prices. But there’s a hidden wedding cost that people often overlook, New York wedding planner Rivka Holzer told Insider: the cost of renting tables, chairs, and linens if a space doesn’t provide them.

WeddingWire Reports that most couples spend between $425 and $1,000 on wedding rentals

A wedding table set with a gold glitter tablecloth and blue ribbons on chairs

Some couples want more unique table settings than standard ivory, which comes at a cost.

Anthony Ching/Getty Images

Costs can vary greatly depending on the event. Some venues include tables and chairs, but no linens. Other environments called “raw spaces”, such as barns or old warehouses, provide nothing at all. Holzer has planned weddings where rentals cost over $10,000.

“Some places include tables, chairs, sheets, things like that, so I think that might be why it’s overlooked,” she said. “When you think of an event, you say to yourself, ‘Oh, of course, there will be a table, chairs and linens there.’ But how do you get them?”

Even when basic table settings are included in a space, Holzer says some people choose not to use them if they want something more unique.

“When they’re included, they’re usually very standard,” Holzer said of wedding venue-provided items. “You’ll have some type of ivory linen, your very standard 60 or 72 inch round table, and maybe a Chiavari ballroom chair, if you’re lucky. Because of the Pinterest and Instagram way of the world, and certainly of the wedding and events industry, people don’t just want an ivory linen that would come with a venue, they want something unique, different, special, and you have to pay for it.

To save money, Holzer recommends comparing prices, booking all-inclusive venues, shopping for items, and getting creative.

A wedding table setting with blue tableware and linens

There are ways to save money on wedding rentals.

Youri Kifor/Getty Images

“The best thing I can say is to compare the prices of different rental companies against each other and then also look for sites that include those things,” Holzer said. “If raw space is priced the same as a space that includes all of these amenities, then your budget has to go up if you go with raw space because you have to factor in all those rental fees.”

For smaller items like linens, it can sometimes be cheaper to buy instead of rent.

“If you get super cheap polyester, it can cost $10 to $20 a laundry, and renting can cost $20 to $40,” Holzer said. “So you might not get the same quality when you buy it, but sometimes it’s much more affordable that way.”

Holzer also finds that there are ways to get creative with decor that don’t require splashing out on fancy table settings.

“I’m doing this with a client now where we have a tighter decorating budget: instead of getting very expensive tablecloths that would make a statement, we’re doing an ombre effect of tablecloths with linens in different shades of a certain color,” she says. “All the sheets are standard polyester cotton, but when you look at the room as a whole, it looked really interesting and cool. It’ll pull the room together instead of getting the cool $80 pattern linen.”