Holding a party involves more than the food, tent and guests. You need party rentals from the lights to the very linen your guests will use to wipe off the excellent sauce you served them from your lips. This is perhaps more the case for outdoor parties, because you need to bring amenities you take for granted in indoor venues outside. The Kingpin is here to tell you about what you need to know about party supply rentals to make your outdoor party great.
It should not be a major problem for you to rent party supplies if you are in an urban area. Most cities will have a good number of party rental companies for all types of events. If you are holding a party for your kids, you will want a company that specializes in that. The same applies for trade exhibits and weddings. These companies will give you a good if not excellent selection for what you want. They can also offer you package deals for standard rentals you will need for your event. This can take a load off you in terms of agonizing and planning your event.
The first thing you need to think about is a tent, of course. You may think that you can get away with just going al fresco, but that could be a big mistake. Even if your event is at night and no need for shade, you still need to have a contingency plan. No one can predict the weather, and you have no guarantees that it will not rain on the day. Even a light drizzle can ruin the whole day.
Once you have decided on the size, style, and type of tent. it becomes more complicated. The basic party rental supplies you will need are chairs (unless it is a cocktail party) and tables. In most cases, your caterer will supply the plates, glasses, cutlery and linen. However, if you are DIY-ing it, then you will probably need to rent those as well, unless you plan to borrow or buy. Disposables are perfectly acceptable if you are throwing a casual barbeque, for example, but is that environmentally friendly? Hmmm….
If you are holding a formal party like a wedding, then you will definitely have a long list of things that your need to rent. Party chair rentals will also include chair covers and thematic ribbons, and for party table rentals you need the appropriate drapes (tablecloths) and matching linen. Most of the big party rental companies can provide you with a wide choice in style, type, color, and material.
You may also need to arrange for party equipment rentals such as patio heaters or air conditioning. You may also need to make sure that you accommodate the need to answer the calls of nature for your guests. These are all big items that can cost you, so you need to plan for them.
Perhaps one of the most stressful things you will encounter in your party rental plan is canvassing prices. The Kingpin will tell you now that most rental companies will have very similar prices for standard items. If there is a slight difference, it will not be a big deal unless you are choosing between two excellent companies. Location, customer service, and selection are more important considerations than price. Take the time to go to the showroom to check out the quality of a potential supplier’s items.
To give you an idea of standard pricing, here is a list for you to chew on:
- Tables (5’ round) - $8 to $13
- Drapes (tablecloth, ask for cotton if available) - $8 - $14 (depending on length)
- Chairs (plastic or wooden, folding chairs) - $1.50 to $3.00
- Chiavari or ballroom chairs (with cushion) - $6.50 to $9
- Plateware - 35¢ to 55¢
- Flatware - 35¢ to 55¢
- Glasses - 40¢ to 70¢
Hardly a comprehensive list, but all those cents will add up considering that these prices are for each item. For example, if you have 100 guests, you need at least a spoon and a fork, so for your flatware you will spend at least $70, and more probably $105 because you really ought to include a table knife. The same goes for the plateware (plate, bowl, dessert plate, cup, saucer) and glasses (water glass, juice glass, champagne flute).
In addition, you want to make sure you have extra so you add about 20% to your order for plateware and flatware, and 50% for glassware unless you have someone washing the dishes for you during the event. Always order more than you need; you can always trim it down as little as three days before your event without penalty.
However, the price per item is not the only thing you need to consider. Most rental companies have a minimum order, and they have delivery and pickup charges, although this is usually a flat rate. Some may ask you to set up a professional account before they will work for you. There are also rental companies that will only work with certain catering companies. To be on the safe side, ask about restrictions so you do not waste your time comparing prices online only to find out that the rental company will not work with you.
For weddings rental supplies, you will probably spend quite a bit more on decorations than other types of events. Customary wedding decoration rentals include lights, tent drapes, and chandeliers. Other wedding décor rentals may include candle holders, lanterns, lamps, and so on and so forth.
You may also want to add dance floor, and staging. Wedding supply rentals will be able to supply you with good wedding chair rentals, which can really affect the overall look of your event. If your budget allows, pay your supplier to set up the tables and chairs with the drapes and chair covers and ribbons. It can take a long time for you to do it yourself, and you really do not need the stress.
As a last tip, assign someone to check what was delivered and what was picked up. Make sure to note what was missing on the delivery receipt so that everything matches up when the company picks up the items. Do not receive anything without checking; you will have to pay for any “missing” items.