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6 Event Furniture Pieces You Really Shouldn’t Buy at Big Box Stores

November 14, 2015

Throwing an event is exciting and fulfilling, but also stressful. Among all the things you have to juggle and coordinate, deciding on event furniture is a big one. When it comes to weighing the pros and cons of renting furniture versus buying it from a low-cost seller or big box store, it’s always better to rent items from a reputable company—and here’s why.

  • Up-front Costs: Buying the required furniture for an event can take a huge chunk of change during a time when you need extra cash for things like food, drinks, and decor.
  • Setup and Tear-down: Furniture from big box stores requires you to get out the toolbox and put it all together. An event company will sweep in, set everything up for you, and then return to take it all down.
  • Storage: Unless you’re going into the event business yourself, where are you going to store five buffet tables, 20 bar stools and six couches?
  • Style: Trends and preferences are in a constant state of flux. Buying furniture ties you to one style that will likely be fleeting. Renting makes sure your event’s design in on point every time.

If you still think that some items may be worth investing in for the long-term, that’s your prerogative, but before you go crazy at a store, here are the top six pieces you should leave to the professionals.

1. Dining Tables

Room overview

Let’s face it, there is nowhere practical to store five dining tables that can seat anywhere from four to six people. Most events require the use of linens, so it doesn’t matter if they’re brand new underneath. For formal dinners you want tables that are uniform in size and shape and that will disappear when you’re finished with them—just like magic. No matter how you look at it, renting dining tables makes the most sense.


2. Chairs

It’s not a bad idea to have a few extra folding chairs around for unexpected guests and holidays, but very few of us need 30 chairs taking up valuable storage space. Renting chairs is inexpensive and helps add an atmosphere of uniformity to your event. You can probably afford upgraded, cushy chairs from an event company for less than the cost of buying uncomfortable plastic seats from a big box store.


3. Bars

Unless you plan to make the bar (or bars) a permanent fixture after the event, it’s not going to be worth the investment or assembly time to pick one up at a big box store. The best thing about renting bars is that they are fully equipped for events and will be set up and ready to get the party started without you having to give it a second thought.

This is another item that can be useful to own if you tend to throw lots of events throughout the year in the same venue. Depending on the size of your event, however, you may require as many as eight buffet tables. Keeping that many huge tables in storage year-round just isn’t convenient.

5. Bar Stools

Unlike folding chairs, extra bar stools rarely serve a useful purpose and tend to take up a lot of space. Since most small events don’t require bar stools, it’s smarter to rent them as needed for larger forays and free up that storage space for something else.

6. Lounge Pieces

Leather Lounge Furniture

This is, literally, a big one. Lounge pieces like chairs, sofas, benches and settees, help create the right vibe for a variety of events, so are worth including in your event plan. However, storage, again, becomes a glaring issue. In addition, lounge pieces are often centerpieces of an event, so you want the options and current trends available from a rental company—rather than being stuck with using that red faux leather over and over.

Even though it can be tempting to fill up a truck at a big box store, it makes more financial and logistical sense to rent furniture for your next event.

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