Friday, April 11, 2014

Wild about Chevron!!

Wild about Chevron pattern linens for rent from Best Dressed Bridal and Linens.

choose from table runners, overlays, napkins, and chair sashes.  Finish off your decorations with decorating tape to add to florals and vases.

Several colors to choose from to coordinate to your wedding colors.
For more info visit http://www.bestdressedbridalandlinens.com/chevron-pattern.html
contact us for more info about renting/purchasing items for your event.

Black/white Chevron pattern on white chair covers and white  table cloth
Black/white Chevron pattern on black chair covers and black table cloth

Chevron pattern satin overlay in 54" square, 72" square, and 90" Square
Several colors available
Chevron satin chair sash
Chevron satin table cloths in 120" round and 132" round only!
Chevron pattern satin napkins 20" X 20" square

chevron pattern should not be only used for weddings, but would be great for birthday parties as well.  

16" Chevron pattern paper Chinese lanterns for sale
Chevron pattern paper straws for sale







Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to request a quote

In order to process quotes from brides to be I need to have information from you.  I recently had a bride that was frustrated with me because she was wanting a contract emailed to her with a quote.  this is what her request consisted of:

19 rectangle table cloths in white
5 round table cloths in white
24 table runners
140 chair covers
140 chair sashes.

Okay so this is not a problem for the first quote I am going to give you, but the bride was ready to put down her deposit and wanted to know what her total was.  Here is the problems I have with this quote. I have put the incomplete information in green.

19 rectangle table cloths in white
What size are these tables?  6 ft or 8 ft?  How far do you want these table cloths to drop to the floor?
5 round table cloths in white
What is the diameter of the tables?  Do you want these table cloths to go to the floor?  what are these tables being used for---guest tables, cake, etc.
24 table runners
What color?  What fabric?
140 chair covers
What kind of chairs do you have?  Banquet chairs? Folding chairs?  What color do you want?  What fabric?
Does this include your head table?
140 chair sashes.
What fabric? What color?

What is your wedding date?  
Where are you located?  
How do you want to pick up your linens?  How do you want to return your linens?

She was kind of in a time crunch because her wedding planner wanted the details of the rental so they could proceed with the venue, etc.  At many attempts through email with my questions about the incomplete information I finally just threw out a number for her and told her that this probably was not accurate until she answered my questions.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me help you by giving me complete info.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not get frustrated when you are not getting the answers you want from me when I am not getting the answers I need from you.  If you do not know some of the information I am requesting please let me know.  I have no problem with going to your venue's website or calling the venue directly to get this information.  Sometimes I talk in "bridal business lingo" and you may not understand what I am asking you, like what  a "drop" is.  If there is anything you don't understand please ask.

Also, I am a small enough business that I know how many banquet chair covers I have.  So if two brides want the same chair covers on the same day I need to know if I have enough to supply both.  Also, the type of chairs is important because if I bring you folding chair covers and you have banquet chairs then there is going to be a big problem!!  Folding chair covers do not fit banquet chairs.

Your date is also important because of the chair cover issue and also I would like to know for the deposit.  I have had a lot of brides rush, rush, rush into getting a contract and quote and they are impatient and I am thinking their wedding must be soon and then they say October 2015!!  I appreciate your wanting to get your quotes and information, but sometimes the messages read to me "911."  Also, if your wedding is May 1 and you are contacting me on April 20th there may be a little rush to get things done, but it definitely not to late for me to rent to you.  I have had brides email me on a Thursday and I delivered the chair coves on Saturday morning before their reception.

Wedding season is quite busy for me.  I am the sole employee of my business AND I have a full time job outside my house.  Sometimes I am answering phone calls and emails 20 times a day during the wedding season.

Let's work together to get you the correct items.  I have had mistakes made because of rushed orders and incomplete information and had brides and bride's mother yelling at me because something major wasn't right.   Like the wrong kind of chairs!!  Although it appears to be my fault in their minds I walked away feeling bad and knowing I was not the only one responsible for the mistakes.

Friday, March 14, 2014

How much does it cost?

I had a recent experience with shipping a rental out of state.  I have done this many times and it is not cheap.  This rental was for 100 chair covers and 11 table cloths, 100 chair sashes and 11table runners.  I was able to pack and ship in two boxes that cost $75.00 to ship.  I charged the bride $55.00 for the return shipping, which means that I am paying for shipping costs one way.  As it turned out I made a $20.00 profit on this rental.  The bride's father called me and left a threatening message because they were unable to make a change to the order.  He threatened to bash me on Facebook and tell everyone what a bad business I am.  This family is unaware that I basically gave them this rental.

Now you are probably sitting here reading this and saying it was my choice to rent at this price and I should have done things differently.  The complaint I have is not about the price necessarily, although that plays a factor.  It is that I feel they were ungrateful and totally didn't even consider they got items for dirt cheap.  I saved them nearly $300 and they are squawking about not being able to make a change to their order.

Things cost money for both the bride and us professionals.  In time and also in money.

I also recently had someone contact me about rental items.  I quoted her a price and also told her there would be a mileage charge if she wanted me to deliver her items to her.  It was 120 miles ONE WAY.  I told her it would cost $30.00 each way.  I did not include a charge for the 4 hours I would spend driving there and back.  She was a little put out and a little rude and did not understand why I would have such a charge.

Well, let me see.........
1.  Gasoline is $3.50 per gallon so driving there and back is at least 10 gallons of gas.
2.  Plus do you work at your job 4hours for free?  So that is at least $40.00 right there.

In my opinion the $30.00 was very cheap that I quoted her.

Now I completely understand that bride's are busy and probably do not have the time to drive and meet a vendor either, but I wouldn't't be able to do this for free either.  I would put myself in the same situation as the shipping example above.  I could not afford to make a $20 profit on every rental.

There is a reason the larger rental places charge what they do for rental items and of those places they do charge mileage and it is way more than $.25 a mile.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

DIY weddings

 I read an interesting article in a small town newspaper the other day.  The advertisement was for a friend of mine who rents linens, basically she does the same thing I do only she is more in-depth and wants to "DESIGN" receptions.  Like the centerpieces and the complete decor.  Anyway, this is a small town newspaper and they were doing a wedding themed issue with other businesses like photographers and reception venues.  The reporter came out and interviewed my friend about her business and took pictures of some of her displays, etc.   The interesting thing I found that the newspaper posted her business article right below a huge article about the DIY or 'DO IT YOURSELF" wedding options.  How this bride's family all contributed to the wedding decorations and each part of the wedding was made by either the bride or groom or some member of their family.  So here is my friend advertising that basically says " Please pay me to decorate your wedding reception." Then there is a bride who says "I want to personally decorate my own reception."  Two sides of the coin, on the same page of the newspaper.

A few of my brides each wedding season do just want me to come out and put on their chair covers and tie their sashes for them.  They would prefer to have this all done and not have to fuss with that part of it.  But, I have found since sites like Pinterest have come about more and more brides are wanting to decorate their own weddings.  Brides are making their own centerpieces and some some brides are making their own bouquets. Because of this they are slimming down their budget to not include chair covers--which is basically my bread and butter of my business.  It has been tougher for businesses like me to get brides to rent items.  If  your venue is at a hotel then they are most likely going to provide some sort of table cloth, even if it is in basic colors like white, black, or ivory.  Very few venues provide chair covers and chair sashes.

 So this has got me thinking of a new strategy in my business.  I want to offer brides a chance to still have chair covers and chair sashes even if they are doing their complete reception themselves.  I really do think that at least chair covers complete the whole set up.   So I am offering a DIY option.  Lowered prices on the items that I offer and this is what this will all include.

The "do it yourself option" will include:  (on the website it says budget rentals)

Chair covers--un ironed and in tubs.  You will need to iron or steam them when you put them on the chairs
(although we will come out to do this for you for a SETUP fee).

table cloths--un ironed and in tubs.  You will need to iron or steam them when you put them on the tables.  again, we will come out to do that for you for a SETUP fee.

chair sashes--in tubs and un-ironed.

table runners--un ironed and in tubs.  Will have fold marks on them.

table overlays--un ironed and in tubs.  Will have fold marks on them.

If someone has paid me to come out and do a setup most likely I have taken the time to iron and steam everything before I would come to set up.  This saves time at the venue on the day of the reception.  Depending on where I am travelling to then I usually bring a steamer or iron with me to touch up items from transportation.  These charges are $25.00 per hour.  I can give you an estimate if you give me an approximate number of items you need and what those items are.

 So my chair covers are posted at $1.50 on my website and so chair covers will be offered for $.75.  Chair sashes are $.50 are now renting for $.25, table runners rent for $1.50 now renting for $.75.  

**not all items will be offered in the 50% off category.  This is because some specialty fabric on tablecloths cost me $25.00 a piece and I usually rent those for already 50% off the selling price so I wouldn't offer those at another 50% off, unless I already had the item in stock.

We also will do premium rental pricing, which means that we will prepare the linens ahead of time for you.  See prices on our website for more info on this.  http://www.bestdressedbridalandlinens.com/rental-options.html.

Now, don't get me wrong, I support my friend and anyone else who wants to design someone else's reception. I am just of the opinion that brides out there are more likely to do decorating themselves.  Which means that they are probably going to buy all the supplies to make their own centerpieces they need instead of rent.  I think this is an awesome idea.  13 years ago I made all of my own flowers and centerpieces by hand.  Things have changed a lot since then and there are definitely more options out there to buy the DIY options for decorating.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Some social media advice--take it or leave it

I recently came across a person in the wedding business on Facebook.  We accepted each other's friend requests so we could talk business and exchange advertising on each other's pages.  Well, I was not aware at first that her business page and her personal page were the same.  Soon I started receiving notifications that she had posted stuff on her wall. Ummmmm?  The content on there was shocking.  She apparently was having an argument with another female and was calling this other person every swear name and dropping the "f "bomb on every post.

So I am wondering who is all seeing this?  I know you can set your privacy settings to where no one but your friends can see, but if the woman is trying to get clients for her business then she should not be using her personal page for her photography business, right?

 Private is private and business is business.   But if these pages are one in the same then maybe you would want to consider not posting things like that on Facebook where your potential clients can see.  If I were a bride/groom searching for wedding services I maybe would reconsider her if I read her postings.

 What we do on our own time is up to us, but it should not co-habit with what we want to do in our business.  Especially if this business is working directly with people.  When we are in front of a perspective client you need to have your "game face" on.  Or in this case put your "business page" face on.  Keep it separate, for goodness sake and pray that no one stumbles onto your personal page by accident.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Current Rental specials at a glance

I have gotten a little excited about New Year's and have posted so many items on my Facebook page that it may take awhile to sift through everything.

to date:

New Year's Specials--Week of January 19-25.  Go to http://bestdressedbridalandlinens.com/week-of-january-19.html to view this offer.  This offer is free table runner with a rental of 25+ table cloths.  Expires January 25, 2014.

Coupon books  Go to:  http://bestdressedbridalandlinens.com/home.html to view this offer.
Coupon books are for sale for $25.00 each. Save $100's on your wedding rentals.  No expiration date.

Black spandex chair covers for folding chairs  Go to http://bestdressedbridalandlinens.com/spandex-linens.html to view this offer.  Rental price is $1.00 each.  Expires Feb 4, 2014.

Free chair sash rental on limited colors:  View our Facebook page for more info. Send us a message on the facebook post with your request. There is a minimum of 100 chair covers at regular price is required to rent from us. You may not combine this offer with any other offer. 1 coupon per couple per event. Deposit is required to hold your date. Colors include: black, white, red, turquoise, regency purple, eggplant, silver, gold, fuchsia, willow green organza, yellow.  Offer expires on March 1, 2014.

30" wrought iron wreath shepherd hook for $5.00 each.you must go to the website and send us a "contact us" message on the first page. In the subject line put the code in so we know what item you are inquiring about. This offer is valid until February 1, 2014. you must reserve your wedding date with a small deposit. you do not need to know an exact number you will need at this time. These can be used indoors or outdoors you can decorate with tulle, flowers or whatever you want..

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Best-Dressed-Bridal-and-Linens/148742151863249#

Large (300) round cupcake stand for rent $10.00 each
You must go to the website and fill out a "contact us" form on the first page. put the code in the subject line. price is rental for (1) cupcake stand that holds up to 300 cupcakes. we also have this version in square as well. Save 50% off the rental for a limited time.  Offer expires on January 31, 2014.


January rental special Embroidered organza linens for rent. Expires January 31, 2014.
rental prices are listed with each item
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FEBRUARY RENTAL SPECIALS 2014

Updated about 3 weeks ago
CENTERPIECE RENTALS GOOD THROUGH FEBRUARY 28, 2014. YOU MUST PUT DOWN A DEPOSIT BEFORE THIS DATE. SHIPPING IS EXTRA.
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