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.

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.

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!

How to Prepare for Your Event

You’re party is planned. The guests are invited, rental equipment is secured and the menu is ready… Now what?

First Things First

The first thing to do is to make sure you go over your contracts. If you have a tent coming, make sure your grass is mowed before the scheduled delivery date. If you are having the party catered, make sure you have everything requested by your caterer.

Food and Drinks

If you are doing your own food prep, make sure you will have enough crock pots and serving dishes for everything you are planning on making for the party.

Food prep can take place a week or two early by making things that can be frozen and heated for your party. You should make sure you have as much cooking finished the day before the party as possible so you can heat things and get them out right as guests arrive. This will also give you more time to enjoy your party.

Drink preparations can start as soon as you know you are going to have a party. Most drinks can be bought well in advance and stored so it is one less thing on your to do list the week of your party. Ice can be bought or made early as well so you can make sure that you have enough.

Help Wanted

Day of help is something that is often over looked. If you are having a large party it may be helpful to hire a teenager to help refill food and empty trash cans. This will free you up to mingle with guests and take care of more important items.

Getting Your House Ready

Cleaning your house before a party seems obvious, but if you deep clean your house a week or two before your party you will just need to do a once over the day before your party.

Anything that can be done in advance, should be so that it is less stressful the week of the event.

 

Linens: To The Floor or To The Knee?

Whether you are having a wedding, a bridal or baby shower, a graduation party or any other party, picking linen sizes can be a bit of a mystery. There are a few things to answer to help determine they size linens to use.

Things to consider

The first thing to consider is do you want floor length linens or knee length linens. Before you decide on whether you should have linens to the knee or to the floor, there are a few things to consider.

  • Style of the event/wedding – Is this a formal event or more casual?
  • Venue – Does the venue provide a certain type of linen? Does the venue lend itself more to a formal style or a casual style?
  • Budget – How much do you have in your budget for linens?

To the Floor Linens

Floor length linens are often seen in photos of formal events. There are a lot of reasons to go with floor length linens as well as draw backs.

  • Pros. Floor length linens have an elegant look to them regardless of the color with the added benefit of covering the legs of the tables.
  • Cons. They are also more expensive (sometimes much more so) than knee length linens. Getting caught in them and spilling drinks on the table can also happen especially if there is a lot of extra linen at floor.

To the Knee Linens

While to the knee linens have traditionally been reserved for less formal events, that is starting to change especially when the chairs are being covered as well.

  • Pros. Linens to the knee are cheaper than floor length linens. It is also less likely someone will trip or get caught in a knee length linen.
  • Cons. The draw back to knee length linens is that table legs show and they are not as elegant of a look as floor length linens.

Recommendations

Generally speaking, there are 2 places we recommend floor length linens.

  • Food Tables. We recommend floor length linens on food tables because extra supplies are generally stored under the tables and you don’t want to see all of the things being stored.
  • Cocktail Tables. Cocktail tables usually have floor length linens on them because the feet and leg are obvious and if you are using rental equipment they will look a little rough.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, few people are really going to notice if you had linens to the floor or to the knee.

Lastly, different tables take different size linens, so to help ensure you get the exact size you need for the look you want, check out our Helpful Information sheet that shows what size linens go with the different size tables.

Planning a Graduation Party

Celebrating a graduate’s accomplishments is super exciting, but planning the graduation party can be overwhelming. The key to success is to plan early. A lot of people are going to be having parties around3485921675_844220c84b the same time and you will want to make sure you have time to change your date or coordinate with others so that there are not too many graduation parties on one day.

Some things you also may want to consider when planning a graduation party are to have the party on a Friday or Sunday when there are fewer parties to compete with or to have a joint party with a close friend. Both of these strategies will help lessen the number of parties friends will have to go to on one day.

Once you set a date, set a budget.

Parties can get expensive fast and a plan is the best way to keep things from getting out of control.

Now that you have a budget, decide whether you will be able to or want to carter the party or if you can hire help for your graduation party. Hiring a student one grade below your graduate is a great way to hire help for the party. They can empty trash, replenish buffet and drink bars, and answer the door for you.

This is also a good time to decide if you need to rent items like tents, tables and chairs. You will not need seating for everyone as people will come and go all day. However, if you do decide you need extra tables and chairs or would like a tent for outside in case of rain, rent these at least 1 month prior to your event to ensure you will be able to get everything you need for your graduation party.

Also, make sure you pick out invitations early so you can have them addressed and ready to send out 1 month prior to your party. This will allow time for people to R.S.V.P. so you can plan food and drinks.

Before you decide on decorations or food, pick a theme if you are going to have one. Good options for a graduation party are school colors and/or extracurricular activities (i.e. sports, theater, etc.). Make sure to start shopping for decorations as soon as you determine if and what your theme will be so you make sure you have the best selection possible. This is especially true if you are going to use school colors as a lot of people will be doing the same.

When it comes to food, you want to keep it simple so that you are not spending the whole party in the kitchen. Think buffet items that can be made ahead of time. Finger goods such as small sandwiches, vegetable and fruit platters, and nuggets are all great options. You can even add some fun concession items such as popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy. These items are easy and relatively inexpensive as well as fun and different, which can help make your graduation party stand out.

Drinks should be kept simple as well. Bottled or canned drinks can be kept cold in a cooler all day which makes them easier than drinks that are set out in a pitcher or punch bowl. They also are easier to keep bugs out of.

Lastly, have some fun. Collect some games to play, put funny and embarrassing photos out and enjoy the party.