Planners, caterers, and designers generally know where to go for rental supplies, since they tend to use these products frequently. Professional planners also have a good handle on the quantity and specific type of equipment necessary for entertaining. Often it’s advisable to let them take care of the rentals, order what’s needed, count the supplies when they arrive, break them down with a supplier, you will need to bear a few points in mind.

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  1. Don’t overlook the rentals in structuring your party budget; they often make up a full third of the total expense of the event.
  2. Take the time to look at the range of possibilities and prices available. A plate can cost as little as 60 cents or as much as ten dollars to rent. Know what your priorities are in setting the table.
  3. Figure out exactly what you need. There are many extras you might not think that are used by the kitchen and waitstaff. Be sure you consult the food and beverage providers to determine specifically what’s needed.
  4. Determine a head count and order accordingly. Have extra table settings available, through, just in case additional guests arrive or china and glassware are broken.
  5. Make sure you have enough portable toilet available for all your guest’s needs.
  6. Deal with a reputable supplier who can meet your needs. Look at the portfolio merchandise available, make sure you are getting quality merchandise, select what you need, and make sure it’s available in the quantities you need at the time of your event.
  7. Order early and arrange for early delivery. You have a better chance of getting what you want if you order well in advance, especially during heavy party periods. If possible, have the merchandise delivered a day or two in advance to check for chips, cracks, and proper, functioning of all equipment. See if what you got, is what you order. Take a complete inventory of the stock when it arrives.
  8. Arrange for setup and breakdown. Some companies will do the setting up and cleaning up for you. Inquire. Be sure to specify when you want the merchandise removed if the breakdown isn’t included. The staff at your site will need to know.
  9. Get a contract and read the fine print. Know exactly what merchandise you have ordered, the quantities you’re paying for and what services are provided. Be specific about charges, for renting the merchandise as well as breakage fees and be clear about deposits and payment schedules.