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Stretching Rental Budgets

“Vision” is an important word in the event rental business as it allows us to watch the ever-changing climate of the hospitality industry. In acknowledging our clients' concerns over their budgets, our experienced event consultants ease their minds by offering cost-saving solutions found right here in our warehouse. Adjusting rental budgets by reassigning line-item costs can make a big impact while retaining the integrity of your vision. Here are some guidelines:

  • Specialty linens in a variety of colors and textures provide the must-have “wow” factor. Linens are no longer considered merely table coverings; they are the foundation of your event's tablescape — the ground on which your theme is constructed. Adding a little to your standard linen budget for specialty linens will make a huge difference on your table. For a really tight budget, order the standard linens and use specialty napkins. If you know your table cover will be hidden by china, glassware, centerpieces and assorted other objects, use a standard linen and incorporate folded specialty napkins as part of your decor statement rather than as a hand-wiping afterthought. Specialty linen automatically “upscales” your event.

  • Lighting can make a significant impact at a very reasonable cost. For example, pin-spot the cake, uplight the landscaping, or use a gobo on the dance floor. The wedding cake is usually a focal point at a wedding, but lighting is effective on any display object such as a large floral arrangement, poster, painting on an easel, or fountain. Assigning part of the budget to spotlight one spectacular element, rather than many smaller filler props, creates a bold, cost-effective, visual statement. More is not always better — drawing attention to one spectacular focal point also reduces expenditures on other decor.

  • When using white china, mix up shapes for a unique look. The event industry is experiencing an exciting time of growth concerning the selection of dinnerware readily available in inventory.

  • Many clients want chiavari ballroom chairs for formal events. But wood folding chairs now come in many colors — from the standard white, black and primary colors to tones of mahogany, walnut and natural — all of which bring your theme to life. Colored chairs frame the table and enhance the color palette at a third of the cost of high-end seating.

  • Use standard glassware at the bar and then upgrade the table glasses. The purpose of a reception or cocktail hour is to mix, mingle and get comfortable in the event space. Guests often spend this time talking and moving from one group to another. Guests are more likely to examine a wineglass while sitting at the dinner table than while walking around during the pre-function event. Invest your glassware money where it will be seen and appreciated.

  • Stainless steel flatware — used in place of silver — offers many options. The variety of utensils available enables planners to really stretch their budget. The fact is that at an event, guests are much more interested in tasting the food than they are in reading the stamp on the back of the fork. Planners of parties where people read the silver hallmark stamp are probably not concerned with the rental cost of the flatware. Expect stainless steel to cost 20 percent less than silver.

Customer service has never been more important than it has during these challenging economic times. Nurturing a team that is sensitive to our clients' needs and enabling them to develop trusting relationships with their customers is beneficial both for the personal growth of our staff and for our customers. We want everyone who walks through our door to come back. We want our customers to know that our primary business is to assist them by providing the tools and products that make them thrive.

Name: Kathy A. Newby, Senior Event Consultant

Company: Classic Party Rentals — Sacramento

Address: 900 National Drive, Suite 120 Sacramento, CA 95834 USA

Phone: 916/444-6120

E-mail: [email protected]

Name: Ingrid E. Lundquist, CSEP, President

Company: The Lundquist Co., Event Design & Production

Address: P.O. Box 13207 Sacramento, CA 95813 USA

Phone: 916/719-1776

Web Site:

E-mail: [email protected]

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