By Martha Tonbridle
If you want to make your rental experience as smooth as possible, communication with your vendor is essential. Though your wedding is a hectic day for all, it is your responsibility to make sure the people in charge know what is expected of them when it comes to the set-up, take-down and care of rental items. If your coordinator puts candles directly on linens, you are on the hook for paying for any damage to them. Well we are letting you in on some secrets - below are some big pet peeves of the rental industry caused by yes, YOU the client.
Not telling your setup crew what you want and where things go.
You don't know how many times I have had a bridesmaid call and yell at me because we gave them the "wrong" linens. I have personally gone out to venues to show them they have the right linens, they just didn't understand which tables they go on. And remember -banquet drapes have ROUNDED CORNERS. This does not mean it is a round tablecloth. Please explain in detail which linens go on which table to your friends and family setting up. Or even one more good reason to hire a coordinator.
Bundling up your garbage, food, decorations, and flowers into the linens.
This is a nightmare for the team who has to wash your linens. When we get stuff rolled up with the linens, it comes out all over the floor. What doesn't come out can clog up machines and cause equipment damage. Flowers and things that are dyed can permanenty stain linens as well. Make sure to let your tear-down crew (planner, family, caterer) know that they should shake out all linens before putting them in bins or laundry bags.
We show up to pick up your rentals, and nothing is racked or put away.
Your delivery fees don't include us wandering around trying to find missing wine glasses or putting the chairs back on the racks. "It costs us money to pay a team member to stay longer and collect our inventory," says Jason Fortright of City Rentals. "a cost that may be passed on to the consumer in price increases." You may be charged for those missing glasses if you are not clear to your team that they must be collected at the end of the night.
We once went to deliver to a bed & breakfast that was new to us. The client gave us the name of the B&B, the house number & full address. No one from the client's party was present to accept the rentals; someone at the inn told us to leave them in front of the building. We received an angry phone call demanding delivery fees to be refunded because we delivered to the wrong building at the B&B. We followed the directions given to us to a 'T', but the client did not specify which building they were in, or how to determine which building was correct, since they all had the same house number posted on them.
If there is any information about your location that can be helpful to us, please let us know! This includes mile markers, landmarks, access doors/roads, gate codes, etc. Please make sure there is room for a large truck to access the delivery spot, and that no one is blocking it with their cars.
Expecting me to be Superwoman
Every vendor strives for perfection, but we are people too. Many times, we are relying on other people for us to do our job right (suppliers, sub-contractors, UPS). I have to take responsibility when I open the box of linens from my supplier and they are the wrong size or color. Your wedding day is the most important day in the world for me -I hate it when I make mistakes or when I have to take the blame for someone else's -, but I have to get on the phone and do what I can to fix it. Every once and I while, I can't fix it. Most brides are understanding and accept my alternative options. But as any wise wedding planner will tell you, always expect something will go wrong and always have a plan B.