I've seen many posts on the local wedding resale site about buying your own linens instead of renting them because it's cheaper. And, I'm here to tell you...that is absolutely true!! Buying linens is cheaper than renting.
Why is that? And, why are you telling us this, Dawn?
Do you see the upper right portion of this tablecloth? That is how wrinkled these things come! Shipping in tight cardboard boxes can produce many, many wrinkles. More than you would ever realize with polyester linens. And don't let them fool you into thinking the tablecloths are wrinkle free. That's a lie!! These wrinkles only come out with a steam iron. I use a Rowenta steam iron. I got mine at an auction for a rental business that was selling off their party line. You can find a similar iron here from Amazon - see my affiliate link.
Nothing can make an otherwise sophisticated and elegant event look tacky than wrinkled linens. Even my husband noticed wrinkled linens at a work conference recently. LOL!!
So, if you are on a tight budget and don't mind putting in some blood, sweat, and tears (literally), then by all means, buy your own linens. But, be prepared to be steam ironing those puppies to all hours of the night.
But, if you don't have hours to devote to steam ironing and can fit it in your budget, then let us do all the work for you. Y'all got more important things to worry about!
I thought you might like to see the setup I have in my spare bedroom for ironing these things. One ironing board for ironing and one to hold the iron and all the distilled water jugs (yes, you will need to buy distilled water too - don't use tap water!). And, of course, you have to have some loud tunes playing while you iron. There are no rules against singing and dancing too. It's mindless work - may as well have fun, right!?
If you are interested in the type of linens I purchase, see my affiliate link. These tablecloths hold up to multiple washings and marinara sauce stains come out pretty well (with some oxiclean spary of course).
Also, as a bonus, here is a quick and easy chart to use to figure out what size tablecloths you need to buy. Make sure to check with your venue beforehand on the size of tables they have.