Test Drive Your Wedding, from Chairs to Cutlery

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Test Drive Your Wedding, from Chairs to Cutlery

When people are considering a caterer or band for a wedding, they very likely schedule a food tasting or a visit to view the musicians live at a gig.

Yet how often is the rental company for the entire event put to the test? It may sound funny, but tables, tents, even cutlery can make a huge difference to the feel and flexibility of a wedding, and it's important that couples know whether they're renting Chippendale quality or discount.

The professionals at Encore Events Rentals point to their track record of more than 25 years for testimony of satisfied customers. Previously part of Cal-West Rentals, the company purchased The Special Event in Healdsburg in September 2010, and merged the two companies into Encore Events Rentals.

Now with locations in Petaluma and Healdsburg, the company works all across Sonoma County, providing tables, chairs, china, flatware, linens, tents, lighting, décor, dance floors, staging, and much more. Potential clients are encouraged to browse the complete inventory on the Encore website, which not only includes detail on rentals, but helpful tips on styles, trends, color packages, and even do-it-yourself tricks for inexpensive flair.

Jihan Cerda Photography

'A Chair to Remember,' for example, is a playful look at how something as simple as oversize Styrofoam 'B' and 'G' letters can be dangled from the backs of the bride and groom's chairs. These can be purchased at any craft store, painted, then tied with a cute ribbon. Another look to love: a rustic bottle vase filled with flowers and used as chair back art.

A great website section to check out is the 'Get This Look' with collections of vignettes from Pretty in Pink to Elegant Farm Table. Clients can easily visualize their personal style, and look at accents like bronze charger plates versus wicker chargers.

This can give them an idea of the look they want before they even make their first phone call to a planner. One creative couple, for example, used fresh lemons as name card backs on plates, then turned those lemons into fresh lemonade.

Still, wedding couples need to kick the tires before committing. Clients should visit the rental company's showroom (new location will be opening at 20 Mill St in Healdsburg for people to come in, 707-431-3500), and an event consultant will show off the merchandise first-hand.

For a final confirmation, clients should ask for references, or even stop by for a peek at an event if possible. Weddings cannot be crashed, of course, but it might be workable to stop by a get a glimpse before guests arrive.

Or, as another option, a good rental company will catalog their events. Curious types can check out the Gallery section of the Encore website to see examples of other successful, beautiful gatherings.

Encore Events Rentals, 707-763-3322, www.encoreeventsrentals.com.

Carey Sweet