What Your Rental Company Needs From You

Making your event go smoothly is a top priority for your rental company. The more information you can give them up front the better. This will help get you the most accurate quote possible and make the event set up and break down go off without a hitch.

Event Questions

If you are just getting started in the planning process you might not know all the answers to the questions on the below questionnaire and that’s ok. These questions will help you get a clear picture of what you will need and what you need to think about.

Event Information

Some important things to think about are how many people will be invited, venue rules about deliveries/pickups, lighting available and noise policies.

Set-up Questions

It may seem like there are a lot of questions about set-up, but they can be broken down into a few categories of items that need to be discussed.

  • Time frame
    • Is there flexibility with set up or does it have to occur on a certain day or within a certain time frame?
    • When does your event set up start and when does the event actually start?
  • Space
    • What kind of access will be available?
    • What size is the space?
    • Are there any aspects of the space that may need to be addressed (trees, uneven ground, low ceilings, etc.)?
  • Equipment to be set up
    • Some items require special knowledge to set up and will be installed by your rental company. Things such as tables and chairs may be dropped off for you to set up. If you want certain things set up, make sure you communicate that with your rental company early. Also, be aware that some set ups may come with fees. Make sure to ask about any additional costs.
    • Where in your space are things to be installed?

Take Down Questions

There are a few really important pieces of information to coordinate and questions to ask about take down. They are

  • How should the equipment be left for pick up (i.e. dishes scraped, chairs stacked, etc.)
  • Who is responsible for the take down of the equipment?
  • Make sure if there are specific parameters for take down that you communicate them early.
  • When does your event end.

You may not have all the answers when you first contact a rental company but make sure you get as much information together as soon after contacting companies so that you are looking at accurate quotes and can be comfortable with the company you hire.

To Do or Not To Do: Pre-Ceremony 1st Look Photos

The first look. The often talked about romantic moment when a groom sees his bride for the first time. The question of the day has become do you have a private moment that is captured by your photographer or do you stick with tradition and see your bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle?

Benefits of a Pre-Ceremony 1st Look

There are a few reasons couples decide to do the first look before the ceremony.

  • More intimate and private first look
  • You can do pictures before the ceremony so the schedule isn’t so tight
  • You and your bridal party have a chance to enjoy a little down time at cocktail hour
  • It can help easy the jitters seeing each other

Drawbacks of a Pre-Ceremony 1st Look

If you choose to do a pre-ceremony first look you will loose the tradition that comes with seeing the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle. Nothing can replace the emotion of the first look in the church surrounded by all the people who are important to you both.

Whichever you choose, make sure both people are on board. This is a special time and should be romantic for the two of you, whatever that looks like for you both.

Planning a Halloween Party

Planning a Halloween Party? Below is the who, what, where, and when of planning.

WHO: Children, adults, all ages?

This question is important to answer first because it will affect the rest of your planning. Time of day, location, and food and drinks may have to change to be kid friendly.

THEME: Halloween is its own theme, but adding a more focused theme for costumes and decorations can be fun. Some ideas include:

  • Ghosts and goblins
  • Zombies
  • Pirates
  • Trick – or – Treat
  • Harry Potter
  • Gothic
  • Monsters

DATE/ LOCATION: Choose the date and location early so you can invite guest and have time to plan everything else. Things like seating and serving food will take some time to plan.

If you are having an outdoor party, consider renting a tent to protect against inclement weather. Whether the party is inside or outside, make sure you have enough tables and chairs for all of the activities and food. Rent anything you need early to ensure everything you need will be available.

FOOD/ DRINKS: Making food and drinks to look like body parts, creepy crawlies and blood can be a lot of fun and add to the atmosphere. Making jello and putting it on top of drinks as a “skin” layer that must be eaten through before you drink is a neat way to add a little creepy and sweet.

INVITATIONS: This is a great place to get creative. You can make cut outs of witches hats, pumpkins, etc. to write the event details on or you can buy invitations that match your theme. Make sure you put an end time, theme and costume information on the invitation to avoid confusion.

DECORATIONS: If you are going to buy your decorations, shop early to make sure that everything you want will be available. Also, have your theme and space in mind when shopping to make sure that everything will fit in your space and go together.

Diming the lights and adding fog will make any Halloween party spookier. Using black lights instead of regular light bulbs will make things glow and cast eerie shadows.

ACTIVITIES: Activities are important for children’s events, but adults have fun with them as well. Some ideas for activities are:

  • Bobbing for apples
  • Costume contest
  • Ghost stories
  • Trick – or – treating
  • Pumpkin decorating

Creating a Hashtag for Your Event

Creating a hashtag for your event allows you to see the photos that people post and interact with your guests. This is a great way to make sure you get photos of everyone at your wedding or event.

Make sure no one else is using it

Do a quick search to make sure no one else is using your hashtag. Google search your hashtag as well as search the social media sites you plan on using such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Make it memorable

You want people to remember your hashtag so that they use it. Make sure that whatever you use is easy to remember. Putting the hashtag on all of your printed materials (menus, programs, etc.) so that people will know what you are using will help as well.

Are there any other ways this can be taken?

For example: #lastnamepartyof3 implies a couple is having a baby, not that you have a dog. Keep this in mind if you are using a hashtag for your wedding.

It is always a good idea to ask a few people what they think of your hashtag to make sure that it is memorable and isn’t going to be taken out of context.



Lighting Considerations for Your Outdoor Event

Lighting is a really important component of your event but often overlooked. Things that you should consider for lighting are

  • time of day of your event,
  • time of year of your event,
  • the look/feel going for,
  • the parking area,
  • if you are having a separate party area, and
  • existing lighting in the area the event is taking place.

Time of Day

If you are having a daytime event you may not need lighting even if your event is under a tent. However, if you are having a night time party you will need to make sure that people can see to party, go to the bathroom and get to their car at the end of the night.

Time of Year

When you do a site visit in the summer at your wedding time keep in mind the sun will go down earlier in the fall/winter. Another thing to keep in mind is daylight savings time. Daylight savings time will change the time the sun goes down so make sure to account for the time change when you are planning your event.

Look/ Feel You Are Going For

The type of atmosphere you are trying to create is going to play a role in the type of lighting you choose.

Bright lights will take away from a romantic setting while low lights may set the wrong tone if you are looking to get a party going on the dance floor.

Parking Area

Will people be able to find cars at the end of the night? Even if there are lights on the outside of the building, going to see how far the lights will illuminate at night is a good idea. This way you can make sure that if you have guests parking far out from the venue lights on the building you can insure they will be able to safely find their car.

Party Area

Will you want a different mood set for the dancing than for dinner and the ceremony? Maybe you will need uplighting that will be turned on later in the event to transform a romantic wedding ceremony and dinner into a dance party. Or maybe you are looking to take a daytime family affair into a nighttime evening of romance.

Existing Lighting in The Area

What type of lighting exists may determine what you can do lighting wise and what you need to worry about. If you are competing with flood lights you may need to decide on using all white lights instead of color that will get washed out.

Whatever the type of event you are creating, make sure to spend some time thinking through the lighting.

Questions to Ask Vendors for your Wedding

Finding vendors to make your special day a fairy tale can be a daunting task. Below are questions to ask each vendor to ensure you don’t forget about anything and get to see answers side by side after the meetings.

Questions to ask all of your vendors:

  1. Do you have my date open?
  2. How long have you been in business?
  3. How many weddings do you do each year?
  4. Can you share recent references and examples of your work?
  5. Do you have liability insurance?
  6. What’s your payment terms and cancellation policy?
  7. What is your backup plan? Do you have a network of back ups?
  8. What are your travel and overtime fees?

Wedding Venue

  1. When were your permits pulled?
  2. What insurance do I need?
  3. What is your cancellation and postponement policy?
  4. What is included in the rental fee?
  5. When can we get in to set up for our wedding?
  6. If you are getting married outside make sure to ask about a rain plan.
  7. Are there any plans to sell or renovate?
  8. Can we have amplified music outdoors and until what time?
  9. What kind of parking is available?
  10. Are there restrooms available or do I need to rent a restroom trailer?
  11. Are there nearby accommodations for overnight guests?
  12. How many people can this location accommodate (and is that all in the same room)?
  13. Is there a discount for booking off season or Sunday through Friday?
  14. Can I hold my ceremony here, too? Is there an additional charge?
  15. If the ceremony site close to the reception site?
  16. Is there a bride’s changing area?
  17. How much time is allocated for the rehearsal?
  18. Is the site handicap accessible? (This should be asked even if you do not have someone that meets that criteria because if someone has an accident and hurts a foot or leg they will need the accommodation)
  19. How long will I have the space for my wedding? Is there an overtime fee if I stay longer?
  20. Is there a minimum or maximum rental time?
  21. Can I move things around and decorate to suit my purposes?
  22. Are there decoration guidelines or restrictions?
  23. Can I use real candles?
  24. What time can my vendors start setting up?
  25. Is it possible to start the setup the day before?
  26. How early can deliveries be made?
  27. Does the venue assist in getting gifts or decor back to a designated car, room, etc after the event has ended?
  28. Do you provide a coat check service?
  29. Is there an outdoor space where my guests can mingle?
  30. Can we use our own caterer or do we have to use yours?
  31. If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available for them?
  32. What is the food & beverage cost on a per-person basis?
  33. What is the tax and service charge?
  34. Can we do a food tasting prior to finalizing our menu selection?
  35. Can I bring in a cake from an outside cake maker or must I use a cake made on the premises?
  36. Is there a cake-cutting fee? If I use a cake made on site is the fee waived?
  37. Do you provide special cake-cutting utensils?
  38. Can I bring my own wine, beer or champagne, and is there a corkage fee if I do?
  39. Can I bring in other alcohol?
  40. Are you licensed to provide alcohol service? If so, is alcohol priced per person? By consumption?
  41. Are there additional charges for bar staff?
  42.  Is there a bar minimum that must be met before the conclusion of the event?
  43. What is the average bar tab for the number of people attending my event?
  44. Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band?
  45. Do you offer on-site coordination?
  46. Can I hire my own vendors (caterer, coordinator, DJ, etc.), or must I select from a preferred vendor list?
  47. Do you have signage or other aids to direct guests to my event?
  48. And are there additional service charges or other fees such as gratuities or overtime costs?


  1. Do you have a signature design style?
  2. Will you be doing the arrangements yourself or using another floral designer?
  3. What flowers will be in season for my wedding?
  4. What blooms can you suggest that fit within my budget and colors?
  5. Are there extra fees for containers or other vessels?
  6. Can you provide other decor, such as trees, votives, and what are the additional costs?
  7. Will you work with my cake designer to provide coordinating blooms for my cake? Is there an additional fee for this?
  8. How far in advance are the arrangements/bouquets created? How are they stored?
  9. Do you charge a delivery and/or set-up fee?
  10. Will you pick up any vases after the ceremony, or is that my responsibility?
  11. Have you done events at my ceremony and reception location(s) before? If not, are you familiar with the sites?
  12. Can you work with my budget?
  13. Do you offer specific packages or is everything customized?
  14. Is there a difference in price if I use one type of flower vs. a mixed arrangement or bouquet?
  15. What are the different kinds of wraps (called “collars” in florist-speak) you can do for my bouquet?
  16. What about coordinating boutonnieres, bridesmaid flowers, and centerpieces? Can you suggest anything special to coordinate with the theme/venue/season of my event?
  17. If I give you a picture of a bouquet and/or arrangement that I like, can you recreate it?
  18. Do you have photos or live examples of floral designs in the style I want?
  19. Can you do sketches or mock-ups of the arrangements you’ve described before I sign the contract? If so, is there an additional fee for this?
  20. Can you assist me in the preservation of my bouquet after the wedding? If not, can you recommend someone?
  21. Is there an extra fee if I need you to stay throughout the ceremony to move arrangements to the reception site?
  22. Are there any additional fees that have not already been taken into account?
  23. When can I expect to receive my contract from you?
  24. What is your refund policy if for some reason I need to cancel my order?


  1. What foods do you specialize in?
  2. Do you have set menu options or can you create a custom or themed menu?
  3. What would you recommend given my budget, guest count and event theme?
  4. How do you handle tastings?
  5. What is the price difference between a buffet and a sit-down meal?
  6. What is the price difference between passed appetizers and appetizer stations?
  7. How are your fees broken down?
  8. Do you provide linens, utensils, serving table decor, etc.?
  9. Do you provide tables and chairs? What colors and styles do you offer?
  10. Will you be overseeing the meal service at the reception, or do you have an on-site manager to coordinate these things?
  11. Is there a cut-off date for making menu changes?
  12. Are you licensed to serve alcohol?
  13. How much do you charge for vendor meals?
  14. Can leftovers be wrapped for guests or donated?
  15. How will servers be dressed?
  16. Have you done events at my location?
  17. Will I need any permits for my event? If so, will you handle obtaining them?
  18. Do you use all fresh produce, meat, fish, etc.?
  19.  Can you source organic or sustainably farmed ingredients?
  20. Can you accommodate dietary restrictions, such as kosher, vegan, etc.?
  21. Do you offer package upgrades such as chocolate fountains, ice sculptures, cappuccino machines or specialty displays?
  22. How much do you charge for children’s meals?
  23. Do you do wedding cakes? If so, is this included in the per-person meal price or is it extra?
  24. If I decide not to serve cake, can you provide a dessert display instead?
  25. If we use an outside cake designer, do you charge a cake-cutting fee?
  26. What is your policy on cleanup?
  27. Do you provide alcoholic beverages and bartenders? Can you accommodate specialty cocktails?
  28. Can we provide the alcohol and you provide the bar labor?
  29. Do you charge a corkage fee if we provide our own wine or champagne?
  30. How do you charge for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages? Per consumption or per person? Which is more cost-effective?
  31. Is the champagne toast after the ceremony included in your meal packages or is it extra?
  32. Will your staff serve the wine with dinner?
  33. Is coffee and tea service included with the per-person meal charge? What brands of each do you offer and do they include decaf and herbal tea options?
  34. How much time do you require for setting up and breaking down my event, and are there extra fees for this?
  35. If my event runs longer than contracted, what are your overtime fees?
  36. What is the last date by which I can give you a final guaranteed guest count?
  37. What is your payment policy? Do you accept credit cards?
  38. Are there any fees that won’t be included in the proposal that we should be aware of?
  39. Once we book with you, how quickly can we expect a contract? And if we make changes to menu choices or other items, will you update us with a revised estimate and contract?
  40. What is your refund or cancellation policy?


  1. What are your specialties and/or top flavors and fillings?
  2. Can you do gluten-free, organic, or vegan cakes?
  3. Can I view examples of cakes you’ve baked and decorated?
  4. Do you work with set designs or can you design a custom cake to match my theme?
  5. Can you outline your pricing fees?
  6. What icing options do you recommend for the cake style I’m looking for?
  7. If I want fresh flowers on my cake will you work with my florist to include blooms that coordinate with my floral decor?
  8. How far in advance is the cake actually made? How is it stored and transported?
  9. Will you preserve the top tier of my wedding cake for my first anniversary?
  10. How will my cake hold up to the elements? (if you are getting married outdoors)
  11. How do you price your cakes? By the slice? Does the cost vary depending on the design and flavors I choose?
  12. What is your minimum per-person cake cost?
  13. What recommendations can you give me to maximize my budget?
  14. Do you have a “menu” of cakes and prices that I can take with me?
  15. What are the fees for delivery and setup of the cake? Do you decorate the cake table, too?
  16. What do you do if the cake gets damaged in transit to or at my reception site?
  17. Do you provide or rent cake toppers, a cake-cutting knife, cake stands, etc.? What are the fees?
  18. How far in advance should I order my cake?
  19. Are there any additional fees that I should be aware of?
  20. What is your refund policy if for some reason I need to cancel my order?
  21. If I don’t have a clear vision of what I would like, can you offer some design ideas based on my theme and budget?
  22. Do you have cake tastings? Is there a charge?
  23. Can you make a groom’s cake? Is this priced the same as my wedding cake?


  1. Do you specialize in wedding photography?
  2. How would you describe your photography style?
  3. Can I see a portfolio of your work?
  4. How/when do we go about creating a shot list?
  5. What information do you need from me before the event?
  6. What is your working style on the day of the wedding? And how many shooters will cover the day?
  7. How much time do you need to set-up?
  8. For how ling will you shoot?
  9. Do you have backup equipment on hand?
  10. What is the length of time for delivery of proofs? Will they be viewable online? On a CD?
  11. What is the ordering process?
  12. Can you provide me with a detailed price sheet?
  13. What do packages include?
  14. Do you have a minimum number of hours? Will you stay if my event is running late and what are your overtime fees?
  15. How far in advance do I need to book with you?
  16. What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
  17. Can you put together a slideshow of the engagement session (along with other photos the couple provides) and show it during the cocktail hour?
  18. Have you ever worked with my florist? DJ? Coordinator, etc.?
  19. Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If not, who will be taking the pictures and can I meet them before my wedding?
  20. If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?
  21. How will you (and your assistants) be dressed?
  22. Is it okay if other people take photos while you’re taking photos?
  23. Have you ever worked at my wedding site before? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance?
  24. Do you include engagement photos in your packages?
  25. What type of album designs do you offer?
  26.  Do you provide any assistance in creating an album?
  27. Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services?
  28. How long after I order my photos/album will I get them?
  29. When will I receive a written contract?
  30. What is your refund/cancellation policy?
  31. Do I feel a connection with this photographer as well as his/her photos? Are our personalities a good match?
  32. Am I comfortable with this person’s work and communication style?
  33. Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?


  1. What genres can you cover?
  2. Do you have any particular specialties?
  3. Do you have a DVD from a previous wedding you performed at that I can view? Can we see you perform live?
  4. Can my fiance and I give you “do play” and “do not play” lists?
  5. Do you have ideas to encourage more guests to dance?
  6. Do you provide the sound equipment or does it have to be rented elsewhere? Do you have backup equipment should something go wrong?
  7. Do you provide any lighting design?
  8. What kind of space/staging requirements do you have?
  9. Does your pricing include set-up and breakdown? How much time do you need for each?
  10. How many breaks do you need and for how long? Will you play recorded music during breaks?
  11. What will you be wearing? Can I make specific attire requests?
  12. Have you done events at my ceremony and/or reception location before?
  13. What sets you apart from your competition?
  14. How far in advance do I need to secure your services?
  15. What is your pricing? Does this include setup and breakdown between ceremony and reception locations?
  16. How much is the deposit and when is it due? When is the final payment due?
  17. If the event lasts longer than scheduled, what are the overtime charges?
  18. When can I expect to receive my contract from you?
  19. Are there any additional fees that could accrue that I am not taking into account, like travel expenses or charges for special musical requests?
  20. What is your refund policy if for some reason I need to cancel or alter my date?
  21. Can you assist me in choosing the music for my processional, recessional, father-daughter dance, etc.?
  22. How extensive is your music library or song list? What genres can you cover?
  23. If the DJ or one of the band members scheduled for my event is unable to perform for some reason, do you have a backup replacement ready to go?
  24. Does any of your equipment require special electrical outlets that I need to inform my wedding site about?


  1. What made you want to be a wedding planner?
  2. Describe the most challenging wedding you planned and how you handled the problems that came up.
  3. How would you rate your problem-solving skills?
  4. How would you rate your communication skills?
  5. Are you a certified wedding planner? If so, where did you get certified? What is your educational background?
  6. Are you a member of any wedding association(s)? If so, does your association require you to satisfy yearly education requirements?
  7. How many full-scale weddings have you planned? When was your last one?
  8. How many wedding clients do you take on in a year? How many do you expect to have during the month of our wedding?
  9. Is wedding planning your full-time job? If it’s part-time, what is your other job?
  10. Have you ever worked at the venue we’ve chosen?
  11. If our event is outdoors, what contingency plan would you have for bad weather?
  12. Are we required to book only the vendors you recommend or do we have the freedom to hire someone even if you haven’t worked with them before?
  13. Do you take a commission or discount from any of the vendors you would refer us to?
  14. Will you be present at all of the vendor meetings and will you assist us in reviewing all of the vendor contracts and making sure everything is in order?
  15. Will you invoice us for all the vendor fees or will we need to pay each one of them ourselves?
  16. For the vendors who will be on site the day of our wedding, can I provide you with checks for final payment that you will distribute to them?
  17. If issues arise with the vendors before, during or after our wedding, will you handle them or are we responsible for this?
  18. What kind planning do you offer? Logistical only (i.e. organizational—handling things like the timeline and floor plan) or Design and Logistical (i.e. bringing a client’s vision to life as well as taking care of all the organizational aspects of the wedding)?
  19. Will you handle every aspect of the planning or can we do some things on our own? In other words, what parts of the planning will we be responsible for?
  20. Will you be the person on site the day of our wedding or will it be another planner? How many assistants will you have?
  21. In case of an emergency that prevents you from being at our wedding, who will be the backup planner? What are their qualifications?
  22. What time will you arrive and depart on the day of our wedding?
  23. Will you stay on site after our wedding to make sure everything has been broken down and all vendors have left the location?
  24. Will you provide us with a timeline of the wedding and a floor plan of the wedding venue?
  25. Do you offer different package options or is everything customized based on what we’re looking for?
  26. How many meetings and phone calls are included in our package?
  27. Is the wedding day rehearsal included in your services?
  28. Do any of your packages include planning the rehearsal dinner and/or post-wedding brunch? If not, would you provide that service and what would be the extra cost to include it in our contract?
  29. Do any of your packages include honeymoon planning? If not, would you provide that service and what would be the extra cost to include it in our contract?
  30. Do any of your packages include assistance with finding my wedding dress and wedding party attire? If not, would you provide that service and what would be the extra cost to include it in our contract?
  31. After we give you our budget, will you provide us with a breakdown of how the money is going to be allocated?
  32. As changes are made to our plans, will you update us with a revised estimate and updated contract?
  33. How do you charge for your services? Hourly, percentage of the wedding cost, or flat rate?
  34. Can you provide a detailed list of all the items included in your fee?
  35. Are there any fees that won’t be included in your proposal that we should be aware of?
  36. What is your refund or cancellation policy?
  37. Can you provide us with a portfolio and/or video of weddings you have done?


  1. What is your design background?
  2. What types of printing processes do you offer and which do you specialize in? Which do you recommend for my budget and style?
  3. Is your printing done in-house or do you outsource it?
  4. Do you offer custom invitations as well as templated styles? Is there a fee if I want to order a sample of either an existing invitation style or a custom design? If so, how much?
  5. If I choose a custom wedding invitation, what are my options for color, paper type, ink and fonts? What is the word limit for the text?
  6. Can I also order my table numbers, place cards, escort cards, ceremony programs, menus, etc. from you?
  7. Do you offer a package or a discounted price if I order all of the invitation components at the same time?
  8. If I want to include a picture or graphic on my save-the-date card or invitation, can you accommodate that? If so, does the image need to be saved in a specific format? Do you have photo retouching available, and if so, what is the price range? Can your photo specialist also convert color images to black & white or sepia? Is there an additional cost?
  9. Are there any new styles, trends and color combinations I might consider? Which are the most popular? What kinds of handmade or artisanal paper do you offer?
  10. Can my invitations be printed on recycled paper and/or with soy-based ink?
  11. Based on the paper I select and the number of pieces involved, what would it cost to mail my wedding invitation?
  12. Once I place my order, how long will it take to have the completed invitations delivered? Do you have rush-order available and what are the extra fees? If you are ordering from an online company, ask: What are the shipping methods available to me, and their respective costs?
  13. If the invitation involves multiple pieces, can you assemble them? If so, is there an additional fee? How will the assembly affect my delivery date?
  14. Do you offer an invitation addressing service? If so, what is the charge for this? What lettering style options are available? Will the lettering push back my delivery date?
  15. I will have an opportunity to sign off on my invitation proof before you send my order to print, right?
  16. Once I’ve signed off on the proof, I expect the printed invitations to match the approved sample. If they don’t (i.e. an error was made after I signed off on the proof), will my invitations be corrected and reprinted at no additional cost? How much additional time will it take to redo my order if there is a problem with it?
  17. What is your refund policy if for some reason I need to cancel my order?
  18. When can I expect to receive my contract from you?






How to Install a Moonbounce

When you rent a moonbounce and have it delivered, we install your inflatable. However, if you are picking up the moonbounce from our warehouse you will need to install it yourself. Below is a step by step guide to safely install the inflatable you are picking up. If you have any questions, call us and we will be happy to walk you through the process.

Moonbounce Setup

Bounce safely!

Planning an Outdoor Fall Event

Fall is a great time of year to have a party. Everyone is back from vacation, the weather is cooler and there are a lot of fun reasons to celebrate. This all lends itself to an awesome outdoor bash before the cold and snow settle in. Some reasons to party are

  • Labor Day
  • Fall Harvest
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Back to School
  • End of Summer
  • Football

A lot of these reasons to celebrate lend themselves to themes to make partying even more fun:

  • Labor Day: Red, white and blue
  • Halloween: Costume party; trick-or-treat party
  • Fall Harvest: Pumpkin decorating; corn maze; bobbing for apples
  • Back to School: School colors
  • Football: Team colors

The type of event you are planning will help decide decorations, food, drinks and activities.

Once you determine the why and if or what the theme will be, it is time to compile the guest list. When putting the guest list together, remember only 70-80% of the people you invite will show up. If you have a guest list that is slightly larger than you can comfortably accommodate, it is ok.

With the 70-80% of invitees in mind, now is a good time to decide if you need to rent or borrow tents, tables, chairs, linens, or anything else that is needed for the event.

When you are deciding what you will need for the event, keep in mind fall weather can be unpredictable. It will also be getting dark earlier than it has been. Make sure you are ready for the weather by considering a tent, fans, patio heaters and additional lighting.

For food and drinks, consider having a pot luck. This will take some stress off of you and allow other people to get involved with the planning. Everyone can make their favorite game day dish or traditional holiday dish. You will be surprised with all the new recipes you can collect this way.

If you do not want to have a pot luck, make sure the food you choose can be prepared ahead of time. This will take away some day-of-party stress so you can focus on having fun.

While you are thinking food, make sure you have everything you need to serve the food:

  • Plates
  • Napkins
  • Cups
  • Silverware
  • Table cloths
  • Serving trays
  • Serving utensils

Next on the list to plan is activities. If you are watching a game, no other activities are required. Otherwise, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Moon bounce/ Inflatables
  • Photo booth and dress up clothes
  • Karaoke
  • Pumpkin painting
  • Scarecrow making
  • Bobbing for apples

If you need day of help for activities, food prep or just an extra set of hands, consider hiring a high school student. They can help take some responsibility off of you but are not as expensive as catering your party or hiring other day-of help.

A few days before the party, clean well so you just have to touch up the day before. Do as much set-up as possible the day before the party so you can kick back and enjoy your party.

How far out should I rent my items?

We frequently get asked how far out rental items such as tents, tables, chairs and linens should be booked. Below are general guidelines to follow.

The earlier you rent the better prepared you and the rental company will be for your event. For weddings or very large events (200 people and above), book 3 months or farther in advance to make sure you get exactly what you need. Most companies will book a year or more in advance if you are willing to put a deposit down on the job. Also, companies can still help you if you book closer to your event but it will be subject to availability. If you are renting items for an event during peak season (May, June, Sept) book out twice as far in advance.

6414462849_b1f23fcd55Rental Timeframe

Tent – 1 – 2 months in advance

Tables – 2 – 4 weeks in advance

Chairs – 2 – 4 weeks in advance

Linens – 2 – 4 weeks in advance



Have a grad? Consider a send off party instead of a grad party.

Have a senior this year? Get ready for the grad parties! Graduation parties have become a big thing. The problem is that most graduation parties are May and June so there is a lot of competition for people’s time and attention. Want to ensure more people can make your party? Throw a send off party instead.

What is a send off party?

It is exactly what it sounds like. A send off party in usually held in July or August not long before your graduate leaves for college. The advantage to a send off party is that July and August are less popular times for parties so more people can come and stay your party.

Tips for throwing a send off party

If you do a send off party make sure to do it early enough so that friends have not already gone away to college. Late July or early August is usually a good time for a send off party. If you wait past the second week of August many people may have started going to college already.

If you are going to do a send off party instead of a graduation party make sure to put the invites out at the same time as the grad parties so that people are easy to find and that it gets on people’s calendars before too many summer plans are made.

Whether you choose a graduation party or a send off party, have fun and stay cool!