Party Rental Tips
As a child, your parents probably planned your birthday parties, Thanksgiving meals and Christmas festivities. At the time, you probably played outside and missed most of the fun, or, planning details. Now, it’s your turn and you lack your mom’s to do list and cupcake recipe. Never fear. The Internet is here.
Uneventful Event Planning
At some point in adulthood, you’ll inherit the role of party planner. Some events, you can easily handle yourself, like your preschooler’s birthday party. Other events, like planning a wedding, call for a professional party planner to help you. Whether you self-plan your shindig or hire help, you need to know the planning steps and most important party elements. That way, if you do hire someone, you know when they provide your money’s worth with their services.
It’s All About the Details
You plan a successful event, party or wedding much as you would a productive business meeting – with a slightly tight agenda and careful attention to detail. The steps to event planning simply include tasty items like menus and more enjoyable settings than board (bored) rooms. Get started by completing these basic planning steps:
- Set the event goals and objectives. Having fun counts. So does getting through Christmas dinner without squabbles between family members.
- Define and understand your target audience. The party that works for preschoolers fails for pre-teens. With adults, it comes down to mutual interests.
- Set the date and time of your party. Take into consideration holidays, vacation schedules and time of day.
- Plan and calculate your budget. Include every need from venue rental and food to tent rentals and music. You’ll also need to base it upon how many people may attend, so determine how many guests you’ll invite.
- Choose and book your venue. If this happens to be your backyard, you’re in luck. It’s cheap and available. If not, you may need to visit a number of locations before deciding. Think about ambiance, setting, accessibility, parking, transportation to and from, price, and its availability on your desired date.
- Book the entertainment, music or speaker. This, as well as, venue and catering require the most advance time. The best performers, chefs and locations get booked up quickly and quite far in advance.
- Plan the event menu, including beverages. If you serve alcohol, it may require a liquor license. You should also provide a safe mode of transportation home for guests, if you serve alcohol.
- Make the guest list. You should already have a ballpark number of invitees, but now you list each with their contact information.
- Purchase invitations and send them out. This makes it sound so simple, but for those planning a wedding, this ranks as a huge decision and major purchase. Take your time and actually touch and handle invitation samples.
- Draft help. If it’s a wedding, this means groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girl, ring bearer, attendance book assistant, gift table assistant, reception hostess, and determining who’ll plan the stag party and bridal shower. If it’s a birthday or other party, this means hostess, co-hostess, food service, etc. You’ll need a lifeguard for pool parties, especially with children present.
- Bask in the afterglow and consider your feedback. If you held a business event, this means analyzing the feedback obtained from the short survey you distributed just before the event ended. These let you know what went right and what needs improvement.
Set Up for Success
The best parties and events leave nothing to guess. Pre-plan everything, down to the smallest detail and leave nothing to chance. The easiest way to do this? Use a party rental service. Most offer wedding rentals, too. These companies provide high quality items such as event tents, china, silver service, crystal, other glassware and service staff. That saves you from needing to purchase such items for a single use or handful of uses. You’ll still need to choose from an array of possibilities in the areas of:
- other furniture,
- plates, glassware, utensils.
Outdoor events lend themselves to tent rentals. The tents provide guests a place to gather shielded from the hot sun, wind, rain or other weather conditions. It gives them an outdoor room in which to congregate. Tents come in various shapes, sizes, styles and materials. In general, weddings use white or cream tents enclosed on at least three sides. Outdoor weddings may feature a matrimony tent, used to shelter the wedding party in case of inclement weather. These tents have three covered sides, a window on the back and an open front so the guests can view the ceremony. These events generally use tents open on all sides for beverage and food service, so guests can wander in and out from each direction without causing a traffic jam of people or forming a formal line. The exception is when a caterer serves a formal dinner using wait staff.
Choosing the right tables from the party rental service makes it easier on everyone from the caterer to the guests. Do you want an intimate dining experience for small parties of four or six? Do you want a communal experience like a massive Thanksgiving gathering at a single long table? Do you want to foster round table conversations with every person on equal footing? Do you have attendees who use wheelchairs or hover chairs? The answers to these decide your table choices. A series of standard square cocktail tables accommodates parties of four. Medium-sized round tables accommodate groups of four to six. Their shape ensures no one sits at the “head” of the table. A communal table, such as one might achieve by a series of long folding tables laid end-to-end and covered with tablecloths, encourages a large, family feel to the event. Cocktail tables and medium-round tables provide the best access for those using hover or wheelchairs. Avoid bar height tables for best accessibility options.
Again, avoid bar height options for maximum accessibility to all attendees. Communal, aka familial, seating lends itself to benches. Using this option, those using hover or wheelchairs sit at the head of the table. Padded folding chairs suit many meetings. Weddings and formal parties often feature Chiavari chairs.
Use table linens to set the tone and continue the theme of your gathering. For a child’s birthday, you might purchase ready-made themed table coverings and napkins featuring their favorite cartoon character, but for adult events, rent the good stuff. Theme still matters, but expresses itself through color, texture and material. Weddings normally use fine linens in white or cream. An adult birthday or corporate event uses a color matched to its theme. For example, a tropical themed party might alternate items of bright pink and sky or ocean blue using lamour tablecloths and napkins. Some rental companies offer prints, as well.
Furnishings and Decor
Wedding flowers count as decor, but birthdays and corporate events can benefits from potted plants and floral arrangements, too. They communicate theme and show attention to details. You can enjoy the festive look without the sneezing friends who may suffer allergies by using silk floral arrangements and faux plants. Also, consider outdoor lighting, table centerpieces, plus hanging and wall decorations.
With respect to furnishings, you may choose to outfit a tent with standard living room furniture including armchairs, couches, coffee tables and end tables. This provides a relaxed atmosphere for guests to interact outside of the dining space. It may double as a backdrop for party photos during a specified time. Dance floors and stages also qualify as furnishings and many event planners offer portable dance floors, including lighted ones. If you booked an entertainer or musician, you’ll need a stage for them. Set it up near electrical outlets of multiple wattages to accommodate their sound equipment and amplifiers. While many event rental services offer stages and dance floors, you should have a couple of outdoor, heavy-duty 50 feet extension cords on hand, in case the venue has too few electrical outlets or the equipment cords can’t reach.
Whether it’s event, party or wedding rentals you need, Party Rental Miami can help. Combine your creativity and our fine selection of rental options to impress everyone on your guest list. We’ve got every little detail covered – in fine linen at that.