Posts tagged wedding tents
Secrets Behind Tenting- Scott Pickel, Everything Tented

I am SO excited to learn more about tenting and even more excited to learn from a pro.  Scott from Everything Tented was kind enough to do the interview on some behind the scenes information about tenting.  Tenting seems simple but in reality it can become one the most costly and complicated things involved in a wedding.  So, before you call on a company and ask them to throw up a tent in your backyard, read some of the details Scott had to offer.  





Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: There are two.  First, most people look at tenting as strictly seasonal, but we put on some great events in the winter time.  Costs are higher, but can be just as comfortable and it so very cool to look out from inside the warm tent at a snowy landscape.
Second, we experience a good deal of customers who think that a tented reception at home is going to cost less than renting a hall.  One of the first things we try to do is educate the potential client of the cost difference.  Renting the hall at “X” and it comes with tables, chairs, dishes, basic glassware and maybe even basic linen vs. Renting the tent at “X” and then also having to rent everything else under it for “Y & Z”
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Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their tent company?
A: Focusing more on price than quality and service is a big mistake that brides will make.  The lowest price tends to come with the lowest quality and service which is an unfortunate way to spend one of the most special days of your life.  A good deal of consumers view our product as a commodity.  There are subtle important differences even in the same exact tent product installed by two different companies.  I think that the most important thing that a bride can do is find someone that they like and trust.  It’s an important day and a big decision.  Get to know, like and trust your tent provider

Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a tent?
A: Tent location is huge.  Flatness, how the site holds or drains water, overhead issues, ease for older guests to get to the site or obstacles within the site should be considered.  In most cases, a tent can go in the site, but the cost may be higher due to elevated flooring or alternative anchoring methods.


Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: That’s a tough one… it depends on the event and the budget.  Things like going from a pole tent to a more costly frame tent can eliminate center poles and upgrade to trac-style sidewalls.  Adding a liner to a frame tent is a great thing to splurge on as well.  Depending on the way that a site holds water it could be adding a subfloor to protect guests.


Q: What is a story you have heard about mistakes made in your industry has made?
A: We don’t make mistakes in our industry…lol.  Well, I certainly wouldn't “air-out” a competitor here.  A common mistake that happens all around the country everyday is not properly anchoring a tent.  Especially with water barrels.  People don’t understand the real amount of water barrels needed to safely keep that tent from sliding around the parking lot.  It is typically 3-5 times the actual amount that are used. 
A mistake that I made a long time ago was talking a father of a bride out of paying for a subfloor because it was “too costly”.  The day of the event it rained so much that there was an inch of water under most of the tent.  Had a sold him the floor, the event would have been fine.  Now I make a point of quoting what a floor would cost and the fact that only about 10% of the time would you need it because it rained enough.  I let the client decide how to spend their money. AEP-(I have the utmost respect for vendors who admit mistakes, it does happen!!!!)


Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: Carpet instead of Astroturf, liner for the tent, clear cover dance floor over the pool.


Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their tent company?
A: Special notes and disclaimers.  There are times that we’ll make notes that the client is responsible for marking the sprinkler system and so many times no one read it and we don’t have it marked once on-site for installation.  Also, if a company offers a “damage waiver” go through the scenarios that this would benefit you to have it.  In general it’s not good for the client and we don’t even offer it.


Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: Site inspections are the best way to get the most accurate quote for your special event.  Over the phone pricing is hard and a waste of time typically for both of us.  We are trying to give you service for your dollar from the first phone call.  By being at the site and hearing your vision for this special event, I can find other/better ways that we can make your day a huge success!

Now that is some great information on tenting.  I've been planning events for 13 years and that was even insightful to me.  I hope you learned a little more about tents and now you know who to call for your wedding and event tenting needs!  Thanks Everything Tented for your time!
Happy Planning!


Secrets Behind- Lighting
Well, I hope that everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving.  I will say that I have so much to be thankful for and one of them is definitely this interview!  RCS Corporation was kind enough to get me this interview before Thanksgiving but like most of you, I took a little break from business to spend time with my family and friends.



Now that we are back on track and back to business, here is a great interview, along with some incredible photos for our series- Secrets Behind- LIGHTING & EVENT PRODUCTION by RCS



RCS has been an Event Production company and a leader in Audio, Video, Lighting and Staging since 1988.



And now for their Secrets Behind- Wedding Lighting, Setup and Event Production.  

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?  
A: That the cost is too much or that the idea of decorative/environmental lighting is beyond their reality.  For most people it is uncharted waters, they have no idea of what lighting can do.  That’s why photos are great to reference. When you think about it, the average individual’s reference when it comes to lighting is concert lighting and DJ lighting. This lighting is not that.  This is creating a mood, accenting or creating a focus, and visual magic for a special day.

Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their vendor/site? 
A: Power- lighting requires power.  If the bride wants to incorporate lighting in the wedding design or décor as an element, not having the power will limit what we can do.  There is an option of providing a generator at an additional cost, but can be done.  


Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a vendor/site?
A: 1. Venue contract with their production providers- some venues will have in their contract that you must use their production in house.  You have the right to use whoever you want.  You can always cross it off the contract, then initial.  I have seen clients waste thousands of dollars because they signed a contract not realizing that they just committed to using the in house, which charged them a lot for services they wanted.  Sometimes, the venue will also charge you a fee if you bring in your own contractor.  Again, in this economy, they want your business.  Protect you ability to bring in who you want.
2. Power charges- some venue will charge you for what you will use and add a service charge on top of that.  So the question is – how do you know how much power you will need or use?  That is where your lighting company can help you out.  We know exactly what we need when it comes to power and will confirm with the venue what we need and ultimately when you get your bill, you know it will be correct.

3. Difficulty loading in and out- that will cost you in labor.

4. Little or no rigging points- that gives us the ability to hang equipment verses ground support, which can cause site line issues.

5. Coordination of logistics and schedules when an event is booked in the same room as yours.  You need to make sure the lighting company has the time they need to set up the equipment that you paid for.


Q: What is the one thing a bride should save on when booking with you?
A: The DJ- let them provide dance floor lighting.  That is usually included in their packages.  If not, RCS Corporation can design for you.


Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: Their imagination.  Let’s create a memory. Lighting photographs beautifully.


Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made, anyone, ever. 


This is a roof collapse where the rigging, load bearing specifications were not adhered to or even addressed.  Whenever you hang something in the air over people’s heads, not knowing what you are doing can result in injury and death.


Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them? 
A: A turn key package – video, lighting, audio, scenic elements as in fabric designs which make great surfaces to light.


For lighting, I would light their entrance; project a custom pattern with the bride and groom’s names.  This could be on the entrance floor, any blank wall or area.  We could also put that into a moving light and pan throughout the room all evening. 
I would also highlight the table center pieces and cake. 
When the bride and groom enter the room, I would have them in lights- great entrance also when toasts are given, I would spot light the best man or whoever is giving a toast. 
Other unique idea is to have a theme to your wedding and use lighting patterns that would move and color change slowly throughout the room.  In a nut shell- you can highlight or fully transform a room with lighting.  

Outside
- I would light the building with the wedding colors.  I could also put their name in lights.

For other production elements
- I would have a video of the bride and groom from baby to now, including them as couples when they first got together. On wedding day, camera work that records and projects live images on screens. I would get the wedding party as they enter, parents, toasts, the kisses- a lot of fun.





Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their vendor/site?
A: Mentioned above- you can negotiate.  


Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier? 
A: Bring us in, early in the planning process, so we can work with them on their plans.  It is  more cost effective in the long run.  

The other service we offer which I did not mention earlier is pipe and drape.  We have the presidential blue, white and black. You can get creative with lighting the ceiling or installing fabric swags.

Tent lighting is also something we provide.  That would include food station and bar lighting, again accenting the center pieces and cake and chandeliers.


Thanks for the opportunity to share. Please visit our website for more examples of our work! www.rcseventproduction.com

I would love to hear your feedback on the interview.  This is one area where I was very excited to learn more about and see their "secrets" behind lighting and setup.  I'm hoping to do a few more interviews with underused vendors in the wedding industry.  I have been working with a great videography company on the next interview, so keep your web pages ready!




New SECRETS....behind RENTAL COMPANIES
This interview is thanks to everyone at Millers Party Rental in Akron, Ohio.  While I try not to "promote" certain companies over others, I do have to give a little feedback on my relationship with Miller's. 

I have worked with Miller's over the past 10 years of my career and I can honestly say I would continue working with them for the next hundred.  Miller's has been in business for 60 years and that longevity in the wedding industry is certainly due to their hard work and dedication to success. 
In the essence of this series being about complete honesty, I will say over the past 10 years, I have had issues come up with Miller's.  The times that I have had them (and this is what makes them so good) they are always, always available to fix them problem, whatever it may be, the week, the day and sometimes even the minute I need them.  All rental companies rent equipment, but you will be very lucky if you find another company with the quality of customer service (thank you to Nancy Stevens) that Miller's has to offer. 


With all of that being said I know present you with- Secrets Behind- RENTAL COMPANIES



Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: I think one of the biggest misconceptions is a “tent” event is a cheaper way to have an event.  People seem to think they will save money by doing “their own work”.  What they are not thinking about is they are building their event from the ground up.  What a tented event is though is an individual’s highly unique way of expressing their tastes in that they are capable as a customer to rent almost “anything”.  
People believe that the majority of items for an event need to be purchased and don’t have the realization of the rental opportunity and the vast array and variety of items that are available to rent.
What makes the rental industry great are the experience and the service capabilities that are available to the customer as well.  When planning the event we can offer with new ideas, suggestions to make things easier or contacts to bring in that can offer additional products or services. 
Once the event date comes around we can set up the event, stay on site to make sure everything flows smoothly and then knock it down and take it away.  Many times a customer will come to us after the event and ask how everything went, because they were busy supervising other details and were not part of the set up or tear down.   


Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their vendor/site?
A: One of the biggest mistakes in choosing a site is “What is plan B”.  This is especially true of an outdoor event.  A person needs to factor in that plan A is the “perfect” day weather wise.  Plan B is “What can I do if plan A is not really working. 
In addition to having a Plan B, we stress looking at the fine print and the details of the event.  The who, what, when, where and how are the things that need to be understood by all parties involved.  All the vendors involved should have a understanding of the logistics of the event.  The mistakes can be lessened when everyone is on the same page with the details of an event.   


Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a vendor/site?
A: When first selecting the site from a general list I would suggest going off referrals from friends, family, and already hired vendors; as well as the reputation of the vendor/site.
In the final stages of the site selection, start with looks of the site. 
Do you like the look?   
Is it pleasing how it is or do you plan to put money into your décor to “cover up” areas you do not like? 
Are there trees in the way of where your tent is going to be? Do they need trimmed? 
When it comes to a Tent event some of the other questions and points we look for when we spec a location for a tent are:

•    Gas lines, water lines, underground electric.  Driving a tent stake into one of those is not only costly but also dangerous.
•    Power lines … look up… look down… look around…
•    Is your piece of land flat?  Or will the tent company have to adjust a flooring to the piece of land
•    Is there electric? Or will you need generators.
•    Go to your site AFTER it rains. What is the land like…How many days, weeks, months does it take to “dry it out”
•    Is there parking close by?
•    Handicapped accessible? This does not always mean wheelchairs, it can mean elderly, baby strollers, etc… think about HOW your guests are getting to your site.  You may even need to think about a “trolley” or golf carts to get people to where they need to go.
•    Restroom facilities?
•    Outdoor lighting.  When it gets dark, can your guests get to the restroom or do you need to light the way?
•    What way does the wind and rain come from on the chosen property?  This will tell you where you may need possible sidewall.
•    Is the property a “dust bowl”?  Is it so dry and dusty that everything you put on your tables will be dirty before the guests even arrive?

Q: What is the one thing a bride should save on when booking with you?

A: Brides should decide what the most IMPORTANT aspect of their event is.  Actually, make a list. Whatever is on the bottom of that list is what I would “save” on. 
One of the common saving items we encounter are brides purchasing centerpieces or other equipment compared to renting it.  The price to purchase an item combined with the hassle to resell it, store it, or give it away or borrow it out; far out weigh the cost to rent it from a company and let them handle the set-up and removal.   


Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: First and fore most splurge on what is on the top of your IMPORTANT list.  After that, I would suggest splurging on three things.
Have a viable Plan B and Plan C.  Some times things just won’t go perfectly to plan at an event.  When a back up plan is involved, that hiccup in the original plan is less likely to create a disaster. 
A bride should splurge on that little something extra that will make her wedding date that much more memorable, whether its favors, food, or fireworks; what sets her wedding apart from the wedding last weekend or 2 years from now?

Pay for Labor to setup, install, decorate, clean, organize, test, and pickup the entire amount of equipment.  Enjoy your wedding to the very last minute and pay to make sure someone else is around to clean up.  It’s never fun for a bride and groom to clear linens from a table or knock down and stack chairs at the end of the night.

Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made, anyone, ever.
A: The worst thing(s) that I know of that has happened is when a company, who had been warned or knew better then what they did, set up a tent (and a rather large tent at that) in a field and did not secure it properly only to have it fly away and collapse during the event.
The worst mistake a company can make is not knowing the details of the event.  When a company knows the details, they can react timely and correctly if something happens, if they don’t know the details then the situation can be made worse.


Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: I would let my customer tell me their dream event and then make it happen. There is no limit.  We would start with on-site labor, decorations, lighting and accenting linens and build from there.  
I have yet to see a private concert by the couple’s favorite band or a fireworks show to end the evening.


Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their vendor/site?

A: The exact details on times and dates of occupation of the site and the included services/labor/products with the agreement as well as the costs of the “extras.” 
Those costs can add up quickly when “extra time”, “extra seats”, and “extra people” are needed.


Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: They should come in with an idea of how they want the event to flow, an idea of a budget, allow enough time to make the things that they want happen. 
After that, the biggest thing is communication.  If a bride doesn’t like something let me know.  We will do whatever it takes; to accommodate the bride’s needs or get to a solution that will please everyone. 
I think that even without my initial recommendation of Miller's, the interview speaks for itself.
Another one of my favorite concepts is their Gallery of Ideas- check it out
Miller's Party Rental Center Gallery of Ideas Miller's Party Rental Center Gallery of Ideas Miller's Party Rental Center Gallery of Ideas

As always, would love to hear your feedback, ideas and if you are interested in sharing some "secrets" with the readers, please send me over your information and we can get you featured in the series.