Tips of the trade: Some helpful party rental advice

It’s not easy planning an event. Dealing with a party rental company for the first time can be tricky if you don’t know what to ask and expect.  Well, here is some advice to make things a bit easier…

Plan ahead. Start thinking about your party or wedding well in advance of the actual date. Party rental companies have busy seasons.  In Arizona, March-May and October -December are crazy with weddings and holiday parties.  If you want to make sure you get the party rental items you need, we recommend you book large orders at least 2 months in advance if you are planning your event during any of these months.

Always plan for a few extra people than you are expecting.  It is much easier for a company to slightly reduce your order than to try to add items.  Remember that they may not be available at the last minute.

Pick up the phone. You can tell a lot about any company based on the customer service you receive.  When shopping around for the best quote on your party rentals, make sure you take into consideration who you like and will work best with you to make sure your event is a success!

Know what you’re getting. Some party rental items stay in a companies’ stock for years and years.  A lot of damage can happen in that amount of time. You can’t expect rental items to be perfect, but you can expect them to be clean and presentable.  Try to inspect or at least ask what condition the items are in that you are reserving.  If you are covering your rentals with linens or chair covers, this is less important.  Also, I’ve been to several events where the linens were VERY wrinkled.  It’s impossible to get out the folded lines after putting linens on hangers, but make sure the company doesn’t just wash them and fold them without pressing them at all.

Realize what’s included in your total.  Party rental companies will charge you a delivery fee, most likely based on your zip code or area of town.  Most companies will drop your rentals off in a mutually agreed upon location and leave you to move and set up the items.  If you need help in setting up, you can usually arrange this for an extra fee.  Unless you are using Red Diamond Rentals, where set up and take down is FREE with every delivery.

Clear your space.  If you’re planning on having your party at home, make sure you have the area cleared and clean prior to your party rental company delivering any items you have ordered.

Figure out what to serve in the way of the food and drinks, and think of timing. Remember to consider if you will need any extra tables for food or drinks.  A bar perhaps?  The time of day you will be having your party is also important.  Guests will expect more than finger food if you are hosting your event during any of the three major mealtimes.

Allow for extra room. If all of your guests will be seated at the same time, make sure you have a seating chart, or allow for extra space.  I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve been to where couples at the end of the buffet line are stuck without a place to sit, because there is only one spot left at each table.  Remember that guests want to sit with their friends, so allow for plenty of extra seating.

Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to “bug” your party rental company about any and all details.  Your event should be perfect, and you deserve to know exactly what you will be getting.  Also, if your rental company isn’t helpful and quick in responding to you, find a new one!

Negotiate.  If you are planning a large sized event, ask potential party rental companies if they have any deals.  Chances are, they won’t want to lose a large order and will find a way to give you a discount, such as a waived delivery fee or a couple free tables.  It never hurts to ask!

Get advice about other vendors.  Need to know where to find balloons, or maybe the best florist on your side of town?  Ask your party rental company if they have any helpful suggestions.

If you have questions about how many people can fit a table or what size linens you need, visit the Info Page at Red Diamond Rentals.

How great is Pinterest?!

Pinterest is one of those online tools that you can’t help but wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that!”  A place to organize all of the amazing ideas and photos you find online is revolutionary when it comes to planning a wedding, decorating your house, or finding a new hobby.  And it’s free!

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard.  You can create an individual account, and when you find a picture you want to save, you can “pin it” to your boards.

Let’s say you’re looking for inspiration for your daughter’s birthday party.  You decide you want to have a tea party theme, and start searching online for ideas.  Any picture you come across that you think would be great for the party, you can “pin” the image to your tea party board.  Pretty soon, you have an entire collection of ideas for the best birthday party ever!

Another great thing about Pinterest is that you can follow other people’s boards.  Everyone has public profiles, so you can see what other people are interested in.  If you find another person’s board that you think is great, you can “follow” that board.  You can also “repin” any image to your own board.

If you want to follow my boards, the web address is http://pinterest.com/cjjessup/

Start Pinning!