Insider tips from party pros

Published 7:00 pm Monday, March 19, 2012

(ARA) – As temperatures increase, so do the activities on your social calendar. From family reunions to graduations and weddings, warm weather means prime event season. If you’re throwing a party of any kind, you likely need a few supplies. But you don’t want to invest a lot of money in items you will only use once. So how do you host the party you envision without buying items you’ll just have to store and maintain later?

In order to hold the best party possible, price out what you need and make smart decisions about buying versus renting. Renting is very popular because you can get the latest trends in party supplies without the cost of buying or the storage hassles. Here are some things the pros consider to keep parties spectacular, yet low on cost:

Tip one: Organize with a list

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Make a list of everything you need for the event. Go to your local rental store to review all of your rental options with an event rental professional. Renting will save you time – you won’t have to visit several different stores to get what you need.

Tip two: Rent tables, chairs and tents

Tables, chairs and tents, for example, are likely to be used only for your event and may not be needed again for years – maybe never. You can work with your local American Rental Association member rental store to find everything you need and they can help you pick out the right amount/sizes based on your budget and the number of guests. Plus, the rental company can handle delivery and setup – reducing your stress and eliminating the backache.

Tip three: Weigh your tableware options wisely

To make the most of your event and put your personal touch on it, renting table accessories, such as linens, plates, glassware and centerpieces, is a great option. Renting gives you access to items in the latest styles, trends and colors, making it simple to create the look you want for an unforgettable event. Plus, you won’t have 200 centerpieces to store when the party is over.

Tip four: Consider cooking instead of catering

If you’re having the food catered, everything will be done for you, but it comes at a premium cost. If you want to save money and get exactly what you want, ambitious party planners aren’t afraid to cook the food themselves. Wow your family by renting a grill and cooking flavorful fare at your family reunion. For a buffet at a wedding, rent chafers to keep food hot and delicious, while adding a more formal look to your reception.

Tip five: Rent tools for home and garden projects, too

If you’re hosting the event in your home or yard, you may have a few “sprucing up” projects in mind. From painting to landscaping, you can rent professional-quality tools to get the job done faster and easier without the cost of buying them. You won’t have to store or maintain those tools later, either.

No matter what type of party you’re planning, renting some items can help you save time, avoid storage hassles and create the event you envision well within your budget. For more information visit