Chairs For Affairs is a full-service event design, rental and coordination company.

Author Archive for Terri Wygal

Under Cover

So you have chosen the venue for your big event and are totally happy with your choice. Then you go back to wrap up the details and wait….what? Those chairs are a hideous shade of blue that will totally clash with your décor. Now what?! So the first and most obvious answer is, “I know I will get some chair covers and hide them!” you think triumphantly! A good idea and sometimes is the only choice. There are however, some inherent problems with the chair cover solution. chair-cover-solutionThere is an endless selection of chair designs and finding a cover to fit your chair properly can prove to be very difficult and I can tell you from experience an ill-fitting chair cover is just plain “sloppy looking”. A chair cover produces a very formal look and can change the entire feel of your event. Be sure to take a look at some pictures and be sure this is really the look you are trying to achieve. It can be a very costly, time sucking solution. Not to mention that bow tying is not everyone’s “unique ability”. So by now you are undoubtedly wondering, “What are my options?” Firstly, there is a beautiful, self-tying, universal alternative called a chair sack but it is definitely formal looking and can get expensive and time-consuming if you are talking about covering a lot of chairs. There are times when it makes sense to simply replace the chair with one you prefer. This solution can be about half the cost of a chair cover and may possibly allow you the ability to stay true to your original vision of the overall décor.

To Tent or Not to Tent

Dining under a tentWhen is a tent worth the extra expense? We help people every day determine whether a tent is the right choice for their event. Things to factor into your decision:

WEATHER

If you are afraid it will be too hot or too cold a tent may be a good solution. If it is raining and you have planned an outdoor event a tent is an excellent idea. A tent structure is the perfect solution to protect your guests and your food from the elements and make the time you have together far more comfortable.

COST

Tents are structures. They can be expensive (depending on size) and take time to set-up. You will need to balance many factors in your decision making to come to right conclusion for your circumstances.

TONE OF YOUR EVENT

A tent can help set the tone of your event. It sends a clear message that “the party is here”. Because a tent is a structure you can add lighting and decorations to enhance the overall mood. If you are having an afternoon affair in an outdoor setting – sometimes it is actually more elegant to produce shade from umbrellas.

SPACE

If you are holding an event for a large number of people in a small amount of space – chances are tenting is not the choice for you! You need to consider that there needs to be a minimum of 5-10’ all around the tent when you are measuring your usable area. We can help you determine the size of the tent you would need based on the following questions:

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO INCORPORATE IN THE SPACE

  • Number of Guest Tables
  • Buffet Tables
  • DJ
  • Dance Floor
  • Cake Table
  • Escort Table
  • Silent Auction or Display Space

DO YOU NEED SIDEWALLS?

  • If it is cold – yes.
  • If it is raining – yes.
  • If it is windy – yes.
  • If it is really hot – maybe.
  • If you are trying to hide something you don’t want seen (a building, or say a dumpster) – yes.

Keep in mind that you do not to add side walls to the whole tent – you can choose to add as many or as few as you need/want. Also, sidewalls come with or without windows – you choose!

HEATING AND COOLING

Whether you need to take a hand in the active heating or cooling of the tent to keep your guests comfortable, should be taken into consideration and are both readily available!

THE FINAL DECISION

Once you have considered all of the variables and think a tent may be the best option for your event. A site visit can be invaluable in helping you best determine the size tent you need or what size what will fit in the space you have available. It will also allow your rental professional the opportunity to make sure that the plans will be executed smoothly with no surprises the day of the event.

Themed Events

There are endless possibilities when choosing a theme for an event. The most important part of the decision should be to choose a theme that in some way reflects either your interests, your likes or who you are. Any event is made better when it in some way reflects your personality and sense of self. If you are a casual person, chances are you (and ultimately your guests) will be far more comfortable in a casual environment than trying to re-create an Elizabethan dinner. Themed parties are not limited to children’s birthdays – they can be incorporated into any event from corporate event, to wedding, birthday or shower.

Hoe down - denim and bandana print lines

Hoe down – denim and bandana print lines in a 40’x80′ tent

Whether you choose a beach, pirate, vintage inspired, fiesta, shabby chic or elegant theme it can be a really fun way to set the tone of your choosing for the celebration. With the help of the Internet and in particular sites like Pinterest, it is easier than ever to search for fun ideas. From decorating to games and even themed food choices – everything you need to know to make your themed event exciting, fun and memorable is easier to find than ever!

That said…..it is easy to get carried away and make things way harder on yourself than they need to be. I have seen many a party thrower get caught up in all the miraculous ideas they have found only to drive themselvesto the point of bankruptcy, lunacy and exhaustion!

The MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE I can give you is….. once you have settled on a FEW ideas……STOP LOOKING!!!!

WAYS TO INCORPORATE YOUR THEME INTO YOUR PARTY

Essentially, every component reflects the theme and tone of any event. Things you might not even think are a part of the overall theme like what color and style of chair you use, the size and shape of your tables, the colors, music, food, lighting all play a part of the finished product.

INVITATIONS

Set the party-goers expectation by choosing an appropriate invitation to match the tone and attire for the event. For example, if you are planning a good old fashioned country hoe-down – don’t send a formal invitation.

LINENS

Choose linen colors and textures that go along with the theme. All tables needn’t be the same either. Cake/dessert, entry and head tables are usually the most photographed tables and are thus born to stand out – SO LET THEM!!

Themed tableCENTERPIECES

Whether store-bought, rented or hand-made, fill the dead space on the table with thematic elements. They can be simple or extreme. Small flower arrangements, candles, seashells, leaves and live food all make fun centerpieces. Take the height of the arrangement into consideration when choosing. No one likes a centerpiece they cannot see or talk over. This is an example of simple centerpiece perfect for a girl’s night out or bridal shower made simply of Victoria’s Secret bags and a little bling.

TABLE ARRANGEMENT

Something as simple as the size and shape of the guest tables can play an important role as well. A large country-style King’s table can be very grand and works great when trying to keep guests together and sends a real message of closeness and community. Round tables are more suitable for large groups. An oblong banquet table is in comparison more casual and round tables make conversation a little easier and can be very elegant. REMEMBER: A themed event can be fun but in no way should make you crazy!!

  • Your guests are coming for you.
  • They are in most cases friends or family who care about YOU!
  • They are not coming to judge you on how crafty you are.

Why Rent?

I thought for my first foray into the world of blogging we should address the most basic of questions pertaining to any rental inquiry. Why should you rent instead of buy?

COST

Tables, chairs, linens, glassware, china, flatware, arches – all of these things can add up very quickly! Then there are the big ticket items like heaters, barbecues and tents that don’t make any sense at all to purchase in any large quantity. Prevent clutter - rentYou really have to consider how often you will really use these things and consider if this is really the way you want to spend your hard earned money. The alternative is to borrow from friends. This means lots of loading, unloading and set-up that just adds one more thing to do, one more layer of stress to a day that already has plenty of both!

PREVENT CLUTTER

The most general answer is a simple question of how often you expect to use items. Larger items like tables and chairs take up a lot of space. Storage requirements, particularly if you only need the extra seating a couple of times per year can be a real pain. Secondly, while most of us have a few basic linens, do you really want to use the same thing EVERY party, EVERY occasion? I know I really like to mix things up, try new things and vary my themes. Renting linens makes this very easy and is earth friendly as linens leave no waste. Décor items are a little trickier – but I cannot tell you how many brides and party planners have approached me to buy the centerpieces from their event. There are websites dedicated to selling decorative items, linens etc., that are no longer wanted and are taking up valuable space. Renting items or producing a centerpiece that can be shared with guests at the end of the party seem a much better way to go.

SIMPLICITY

The MOST IMPORTANT reason to rent? IT IS EASIER!! Suppose I told you there are places designed to help you with the planning, that have all the things you need in stock. That these magical genies could deliver the items to your home, set them up and would even wash the dirty dishes at the end. Is this something that would appeal to you? Once you have made the decision to rent – the next step is to find a rental company with a good product selection of what you are looking for. Beyond product, you want to find someone who is on your team who will make suggestions and oversee your basic needs so you can focus on the execution of the finer details.