When it comes to planning a wedding, a bride generally has her hands full. She’s planning the biggest event of her life, all while balancing a vision and a dream with a budget. Besides her opinions and wants, and those of the groom, she also might have a relative or friend offering their opinions. On top of all of that, there’s a very good chance she’s never planned an event of this magnitude. This is where event rental companies and other vendors can step in – providing much more than just their product.
“As a rental person, it helps to understand the emotions that surround a wedding. It also helps to have been in your customer’s shoes as the bride, or the mother or father of the bride. Every bridal customer is different. Sometimes we do feel like we are filling the roles of counselor and event planner. It helps to understand that planning a wedding is an emotional and stressful time, and it can be overwhelming for the bride. We try to show our bridal customers that we understand what they are going through and that we are here to help them, at least where the rentals are concerned,” Dan Skena told Rental Management, the official magazine of the American Rental Association.
Not only has Dan been in the party rental business for more than 45 years, but he’s filled the role of father-of-the-bride, helping to plan his own daughter’s wedding. Having been on both the vendor and the planning side of the wedding planning process, Dan is both empathetic and practical.
“It’s important to have a clear understanding of the bride’s vision for her wedding day — whether that comes from her or her event planner, it doesn’t matter — we just need to know what the expectations are and then make sure that we meet or exceed them,” Dan says.
Wedding providers and vendors can step in at critical decision-making moments, offering advice based on experience, and often offering solutions that the bride and groom may not have even considered. While PartySavvy works endlessly to make every bride and groom’s vision a reality, it’s also very important to be a voice of reason, and to never make promises that can’t be kept.
Realistic expectations are critical, as event planner Barbara Rosenberger points out. “If they can’t handle it, if it’s not realistic, they’re going to tell me. They don’t make promises that they cannot realistically keep.”
“Good communication during the planning process is key. We need to be sure that everyone is on the same page. For this reason, all important details are discussed and agreed to in writing, typically by e-mail. For events of any size, we keep a file folder with copies of all of the correspondence between us and the bride and her planner, if she has one. For the larger events, we create binders with sections for each aspect of the event. When there is a question regarding the lighting, décor or something else, we can go right to that section of the binder and find the answer quickly,” Dan says.
“This is especially important on the larger, more complex weddings where the timing of everything is so critical. For these sort of events, we typically create a list of all parties involved with their contact information, we participate in vendor meetings during the planning process and we create a timeline that specifies who will do what and when, in terms of the setup, day of event and removal of all equipment. If it’s a wedding, it’s critical that each and every vendor understands his or her role, respects the timeline and the other vendors, and is willing to work together to resolve issues when something doesn’t go as planned. The bride doesn’t need to hear about any problems. All vendors need to remain calm and work together to ensure that everything is ready in time and that the wedding goes off as planned,” Dan points out.
Brides and grooms should always consider the amount of experience and background each vendor has, and choose providers that will deliver not only exceptional service and products, but be an advisor and source of expertise in their industry and product. Check out our helpful Guide to Finding and Hiring Wedding Vendors for questions to ask potential vendors.
Here at PartySavvy, our goal is to make every bride and groom’s wedding vision come to life. Contact us today to see how we can relieve some of the wedding planning pressure!