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Billy Hicks of Event Rentals by Hicks

How Rental Pros Can Marry the Ideas of the Bride and Groom

Use your expertise in event rental to guide engaged couples to the wedding of their dreams.

Gone are the days of “his” and “hers” wedding tasks. What’s historically been seen as the bride’s big day has become more inclusive of the groom’s ideas.

Grooms are known to make decisions about rehearsal dinners, groom’s cakes and honeymoons, often leaving the rest of the decision making to their brides. But who says it has to be this way? It only makes sense that one of life’s most memorable events should be planned with input from both partners.

We as professionals in the event-planning industry can combine the bride’s and groom’s ideas to design the ultimate celebration.

If you’re a professional tasked with marrying these ideas, here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Set a foundation for open communication.
From the start, it's important for each person to feel included and valued in the planning process. Establish yourself as the event-industry expert and show the couple you can be trusted with every detail of their big day.

Show them your portfolio and highlight the projects of which you're most proud. Talk through their wedding day vision and must-haves.

Get to know their personalities and style. Do they want an elegant affair or a laid-back, casual event?

Many couples choose their vendors based on the personal connections they feel. By making an effort to know your couples, you can build trust and openness, making the planning process more productive and enjoyable for everyone.

It's also smart to present your service offerings up front, whether that's discussing what rentals you have available, walking through your inventory, or presenting your pricing options. This is also a good time for the couple to define their budget, which will help them narrow down which details are most important.

2. Find their strengths.
If you're working with a groom who claims he's a foodie, encourage him to think about catering options, such as sit-down versus buffet-style dinners. If the couple has an eye for art, include both of them in designing the invitations and picking out table centerpieces. Maybe the bride is musically talented and has her eye on a specific band.

By harnessing each of their strengths, you'll find areas where they naturally shine. This will allow the planning process to become more fun and collaborative.

3. Showcase your expertise.
Planning a wedding is a huge task. Inevitably there will be points of conflict. The groom might want a nontraditional dessert while the bride insists on a classic white cake.

Instead of letting your couples dwell on these points of tension, use your knowledge of the event industry to guide their decision making and reassure them in the process.

As an expert, you've seen dozens of weddings and events come to fruition. While you can't smooth over every decision, you can provide advice that meets their big-picture vision.

Don't hesitate to share which seating arrangements are typically successful and which ones wouldn't work for their guest list. If they seem confused, help the couple understand the importance of decor cohesiveness. Present the best tent options for their ambiance goals. If the couple's preferences are getting in the way of moving the planning process forward, use the opportunity to showcase your skills and find the best solutions.

While marrying the ideas of the bride and the groom can be a challenge, it's rewarding to reach your couple's wedding day with a celebration that successfully combines both of their ideas and biggest dreams.

Billy Hicks is the president and CEO at Event Rentals by Hicks, a full-service event planning and rental provider in Memphis, Tenn., serving the Mid-South for more than 30 years.

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