As you create a budget for your event, whether it be a birthday celebration, wedding, corporate milestone, or anything else, much of the process will feel obvious. You may need catering, photographers, or floral designs, and those are all simple enough to budget for. However, it’s easy to forget the smaller, equally important factors in your budget, which can add up and catch you off guard.
Read the list below from one of our users, Colleen from Park Avenue Parties, and make sure to keep room in your budget for each of these items as you plan for an upcoming event.
Services and Labor
People often underestimate the cost of labor in the context of events and rentals. Always remember that items you order will need to be delivered and set up by someone, and you’ll have to pay for the transportation and their service. It may cost you extra if there are accessibility complications, such as a mountain venue for a wedding.
You can generally determine transportation and location costs by breaking down the average price per gallon and how many gallons would be needed for transportation. You can then add all location costs including crews, fees, and labor charges to actually set up somewhere else.
Extra charges can also arise in this area if, for instance, you aren’t pleased with the placement of the dance floor you ordered and would like it to be moved after setup occurs. Extra labor will come as an extra expense. This does not mean that you should refrain from renting that dance floor, it just means that you need to leave some flexibility in your budget for these potential fees.
How often do you think plates, tablecloths, and other rental equipment get damaged at events? It’s more often than you think, and no one ever thinks they’ll be the guilty party! That’s why just about every event rental company has damage waivers in their contract that allow them to charge fees for any broken or damaged items.
It can come as a surprise when you get charged for several irreparably stained tablecloths after an event, but it’s something you need to plan for. Colleen’s best practice is to leave 10-15% of your budget to compensate for damaged items, especially if you rent out tablecloths or glasses, which are easily damaged.
Even the most thorough event planning process may accidentally forget to factor gratuity into the budget. If your event involves several hired vendors, as most weddings do, tips will be expected.
Don’t let this catch you by surprise the night of your event. Instead, be prepared, and carry cash on you to the event. If you need help determining how much to tip each vendor, read the Martha Stewart guide to tipping wedding vendors.
Weather and Unexpected Issues
If you’re scheduling an outdoor event several months in advance, you need a plan B that addresses uncooperative weather conditions. It is wise to get a heater or tent in case it rains or gets colder than expected. If your event is at an outdoor venue, you may be able to plan with them and even get emergency access to their indoor area for free if inclement weather interrupts your event. Otherwise, you’ll be smart to invest in some backup options as insurance.
On the same note, you can never predict what type of issue will come up at a given event, so ordering extra materials is a best practice in case of spills, surprisingly high attendance, or any other mini-disaster. A few extra linens or chairs can go a long way in these situations, so be sure to allocate space in the budget for emergency supplies.
Many common rental items may have add-ons that drive up their cost unexpectedly. Be sure to keep this in mind when creating your budget. While it may not be your largest expense, forgetting that you have to pay for propane for the heaters you ordered can come as an unwelcome surprise. Keep room in your budget for the water barrels that are needed to anchor tents and other add-on items.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so do everything you can to ensure that you know about all expected costs beforehand, so you can ensure that it matches with your budget. Have questions? Reach out to your vendors! They’re there to answer your questions and give you the best experience possible, so let them know how they can help.
Practice is worth it
While these often overlooked expenses may not add up to too much at a smaller event, these fees can come as a slap in the face if you weren’t expecting them for a larger event. Also, keep in mind that the most popular items will be more expensive in general. It is advisable to keep all of these factors in mind for any event you plan, so that when the big event that you’re in charge of comes around, whether it be a wedding, a corporate event, or something else, you’ll know what to expect.
When you think of an event, gathering, or any other social activity normally food is something all guests look forward to. However, if you are the one planning or hosting the event there is a lot of behind the scenes action that happens.
Presentation is Key
Everyone judges and everyone wants to put there best foot forward. So don’t go cheap with the smaller details like your tablecloths. People are not only going to notice if a table cloth is fabric or plastic they will also pay attention to what totally affect it has on your design.
Also, it is inevitable that something through out the gathering is going to spill. If it sis not a water glass it will be the over filled soup bowl, the wine glass that stains, or pasta sauce that flies around when you are taking a bite. When you have a tablecloth this will help soak in whatever is being spilled, so it is less likely to end up on someone’s lap and ruin their outfit.
Leave the Mess to Us
When you decide to rent tablecloths from Park Avenue Parties you don’t have to worry about steaming them before hand and making sure they are all set to go. Along with making sure that they are washed and scrubbed after everyone has left. We do all that work for you, leaving you to just lay the tablecloth on the table and at the end of the night put them back in the bag.
We have all different colors that are in our warehouse to customize orders you can place. We love being able to add an extra touch to your gathering by sprucing up your tables using our tablecloths.
I know we are all wanting summer to stay forever but let’s be real, fall is one of the most beautiful times during the year in Colorado. Parties can be held outside still with the colors changing but there are a few things you will need to make sure you think about before hand.
Location and the ground sounds like something you wouldn’t need to think about before your rentals but there can be extra charges and complications you might not see coming. During fall the weather and ground can get hard and cold due to the temperatures dropping. If you are having a tent this is something you will need to think about. If we are unable to get our stakes to hold down the tent than we will have to use water barrels to make sure that there is enough support. This might come at an extra cost so make sure that you add a buffer into your budget.
Fall days tend to be very hot and cold with the temperatures dropping low in the evening time. This is something to also take into consideration. You do not want your guests leaving the party early because they are cold. You might think that there will be enough body heat in the tent or event space to be comfortable but I would recommend that you have heaters just in case. If the temperature drops that day you don’t want to have to end the night early.
Tents are the perfect rental equipment to use during the fall weather, to be able to, capture the essence of the leaves changing and the beauty that Colorado displays. With this being said, you need to make sure that you include sides on your tent in case the weather wants to change during the course of the day. This will help your guests to stay warm, dry, and all your décor from flying away in the wind. The last thing you want is to get to your reception under a tent and have everything be dirty because the wind decided to pick up.
This leads to the last think you will want to make sure you are aware of prior to the event. Whether you are having a gathering, wedding, or just a celebration make sure that you get a few extra tableware, silverware, table cloths, and chairs. Yes we all know that uncle and aunt that never RSVP’s and end up showing up. You want to make sure that you do have some extra space for this to happen so nobody is left out. Also, if the weather changes and the wind or rain comes you don’t want to not have any extra table ware items to switch out in case it is too dirty to keep on the table. With this said, also consider having your food tables be covered in black table cloths so if the food spills (which it always does) there are not food stains your guests have to look at all night. This will also will come in handy when you return the table cloths and you are not charged extra because the food stains ruined the rental items.
No matter where or what you are planning this fall make sure to check out Park Avenue Parties for your next gathering and with our expertise we will make sure your party is Fabulous!
The Park Avenue Team and other guest writers are happy to bring you the information you need to plan an amazing event!