Summer Celebrations - Rent or Buy?

Summer is almost here which means it’s time to plan that summer celebration – a graduation, birthday, the 4th of July, a wedding, or just a time to be with friends and family. Whatever your budget, you can have a great time if you look for great deals on food, furniture, decorations or whatever you might need. You can plan a potluck for simple celebrations and ask your guests to bring food, but if you are hosting a big event like a graduation or wedding or entertain often and want to be sure everyone has a good time and a comfortable place to sit, be sure to plan ahead. Whether you rent or buy, be sure to factor in time for finding the items you need as well as delivery and set-up.

Rental companies, which you can find online or in the yellow pages, supply everything from tables and chairs to plates and tablecloths.If you entertain often and have a place to store items you are not currently using, it is a better investment to purchase tables, chairs, serving pieces and everything else you need that you can continue to use. To determine whether to buy or rent, considering the following…

  1. What is your budget?
  2. What type of event and how formal?
  3. How many guests you will have and what age group?
  4. How often will you use the items?
  5. How much space do you have to work with?
  6. How much storage space do you have for the items while not in use?
  7. Do you prefer plastic, wood or other materials?

From here you can decide whether it makes sense to purchase stackable plastic chairs or rent and whether you will need tables and what kind, etc. By knowing your budget, type of event and the number of guests, it will be easy to determine what makes sense as costs vary by style and quantity. For informal gatherings, many people will stand which means you don’t need a table and chair to seat every guest; however formal gatherings require more formal seating. Additionally, consider time and weather. How long will people be seated? Will they be outside and in what type of weather? Opt for more comfortable seating surfaces for events that require sitting for long periods and if outdoors keep in mind that metal chairs can get very hot and fabric or wood chairs stay wet after rain. Also consider umbrellas or tents for outdoor shade during the day.There are many other factors to consider when entertaining, but start with making sure your guestsfeel comfortable and welcome.