Friday, October 26, 2018
The holidays are for living the moments that will be memorialized in photographs, experiencing the stories we will tell to our children and grandchildren and creating traditions with family members that will be passed down for generations to come. With Christmas and Thanksgiving right around the corner, start planning now to help your guests feel welcome and wanting to stay in your home by creating a cozy ambiance. Here, Amy Kasten-Yates, manager of Rental Land, helps you make your holiday party planning as stress-free as possible with these tips:
Ensure everyone has a place.
Help your guests avoid the awkward shuffling and wondering where to sit at dinnertime by creating name cards for each guest. Then, create a seating chart that pairs guests who would enjoy each other’s company together, arranging the name cards at each table in the place each guest would most enjoy sitting. Add a personal touch to the name cards by hand-lettering them, or by adding a watercolor illustration that describes each guest to their name card.
It is important to ensure each guest has a place to sit while eating. Rental Land has more than 130 8-foot tables, as well as 200 round tables available for rent, so you can be sure to have enough dinner seating for everyone. Ditch the metal folding chairs and set the tone with an aesthetically pleasing option: Rental Land offers six different kinds of chairs, including plastic, wood, resin, gold chavari and mahogany, which Kasten-Yates says is the most popular.
Class up your party with real dishes.
We eat out of disposable wrappers and packages all the time at fast food restaurants and from our freezers; eating off of dishes made of glass or china instantly makes any party feel more special. To make dinner feel like a momentous event at your party, have tables set correctly with glasses, coffee cups, salad and dinner forks, spoons, knives and plates where etiquette says they should be placed. Turn off harsh overhead lights and use candles at each table, string lights on the walls and ceiling, and lamps in corners to create a softer glow that invites conversation and staying at the table.
If you have more guests than you have matching place settings, renting can be an inexpensive way to garner a matching set. Kasten-Yates says rental prices are often cheaper than buying items on sale. Plus, there is the added bonus of not needing to store or resell the items after they are used.
“Compare prices before you buy,” Kasten-Yates says. “Just because it says it’s on sale [at a store] doesn’t mean it’s cheaper [than renting the item].”
While paper plates are a tempting option because there is no cleanup, help reduce waste by using dishes that can be washed and reused. Rental Land offers multiple place settings, glassware, silverware, cloth napkins and table linens. Bonus: like paper products, none of these things need to be washed (just rinsed) before they are returned. Rental Land takes care of that.
Much of the stress from planning holiday parties occurs at the last minute because there is not enough time to do everything. Avoid this by planning the major elements of your party early. Tables, chairs, dishes, and linens can be secured in advance, so only set-up and decorating are left for days immediately leading up to the party.
When renting for holiday parties, Kasten-Yates says it is best to reserve major items as early as possible, starting in August. At Rental Land, weekend rentals can be picked up on Thursday or Friday and returned on Monday. Want to focus on readying your home, rather than running around to pick things up? Delivery of items to your home during business hours is also available.
With everything is ready to go, it’s time for you to start making those memories. Happy holidays.