Thursday, April 29, 2010

Please Help! (I Got Screwed-Over By Another Vendor)

Original Title: Uh-Ohs And Party Rentals

Don't you hate it when you write a blog post a week in advance,
and then all your plans get ruined? Ok, maybe this hasn't happened to you (lucky), but that's exactly what happened to me! I just found out our second party rental company has been lying to us for weeks about their availability, and now we're at a loss as to what to do!

But first, I'll let you read what I wrote last week, so you know the back story. I need your help, hive! And sorry in advance, this is a long post!

A word of caution for other brides to be: if you have your heart
set on something from a party rental company, make sure you've also found that something at another company as a backup.

I'm speaking from firsthand knowledge!

Early on in our wedding planning, around the time I was envisioning tablescapes and centerpiece designs, I got it stuck in my mind that
we needed to have purple charger plates on the tables. I felt it was really important with a buffet dinner to have a place holder, since the dinner plates wouldn't be set up on the tables ahead of time. And I really loved that they added color to our tables.

Something like these Photoshop mock ups I did ages ago:
I searched and searched the websites of every party rental company in the area, and finally found 13" purple chargers at a company in Sonoma, a measly 88 miles from where I live. Not a problem though, totally worth the drive for a sweet pop of purple color on our ivory linens, and the price of $1.50 each wasn't bad either!


However, my sweet purple chargers ran into a problem recently. Apparently the last renter didn't treat them with much care, as many of t
hem were returned broken, and now the rental company only has 58 chargers. Sadness! :(

They did offer me some other chargers for half price (regularly
$3 each, for $1.50), but they weren't purple and I wasn't willing to settle. But without a backup ready, I was in scramble mode.

I dropped everything and searched the web again, this time for their real name, "jewel tone violet chargers," instead of just "purple chargers" as before, and managed to find another local company, Michael Hensley Party rentals, that had the same purple chargers that had gotten broken! And they're lo
cated only a couple miles from the wedding hotel! I'm still waiting for them to send me an updated invoice with the right color listed, but at least now we're saved!

So other brides, please learn from my mistake. Search out other rental companies in your area that might have replacements, in case one of your rental companies falls through or something gets broken before you can rent it. I only narrowly dodged this bullet, and it caused me a whole lot of stress!

....or so I thought!
Enter yesterday, and my stress returned in triple-force!

This is where the post I wrote last week ended **

After leaving unanswered voicemails and sending multiple follow up e-mails to my contact at Michael Hensley Party Rentals, and twice receiving the un-updated invoic
e with the incorrect color of chargers listed, I finally resorted to leaving a message on their general line so someone with better customer service skills than my contact would hopefully respond.

And guess what, my contact sends me this email the next day:


I was waiting to hear back from the other rental company and unfortunately they don’t have the Violet. Did you want to keep the Amber?

Thank you,

Lying Party Rental Company Employee*
(*pretty sure that's her real name)

It's pretty interesting to have received this email, considering this person had to call me back in mid-March, so she could confirm the availability of 105 violet chargers, which she then did. My order was submitted to her on March 18th....and so pretty much my only conclusion is that she never did confirm availability, lied, or hoped that I wouldn't notice or care about the fact that she was trying to pawn off amber-brown chargers on me instead of the violet-purple ones. AND as of today, the violet chargers are still listed on their website as products they offer.

So you can be sure I'm canceling my order with this company (which also included an aisle runner)! I refuse to do business with a company who has such poor customer service that they would mislead a poor, stressed-out bride for so long.

But now I'm pretty much screwed. There definitely aren't any other purple chargers for rent in my area. Or in the Portland area (my sweet sister even offered to drive some down if I could find any near where she lives). Or on the internet to buy for any kind of reasonable price ($4-5 each is steep to me).

So now I have thought of a couple other options, that won't cost me an arm and a leg, on which I would love to get your opinion.

Option 1: Just go without chargers, and have boring tables. At least we would have my sage green napkin rings, and paired with purple napkins that's a little color on the ivory tables, but it just seems so blah and boring to me, especially compared to the Photoshopped glory of all the purple chargers in the above mock ups.

This is an example from my venue's website on how the tables would look with just napkins and no chargers:

Option 2: Change the table linens from ivory to lilac purple, like the below swatch. But then I'm thinking it's crossing over into purple overkill territory. Especially when you consider the purple flowers in the centerpieces and flower petals scattered on the tables.

Option 3: Make my own purple chargers. The cheapest I found them online was from Hobby Lobby for $1.99 each, plus $17.95 shipping. That is about the price I was going to pay to rent the chargers, but I would also need to buy spray paint.

My thought was that just painting them wouldn't be enough to not have them look cheap, so I did a little mock up last night on an old plastic plate. I used two types of textured paint, with a light purple layered on top (if I were to go with this option, I would use a darker purple, and cover them with a clear sealant). I was hoping that adding a little texture would make them look less like something I spray painted?

On the left side is a grainier texture, on the right is a hammered texture.

Close up of the grainy texture:

Close up of the hammered texture:
I definitely like the grainy texture better; it's not as shiny and uneven as the hammered side is. But do I really want to give up a weekend to another DIY project? I do have the time...but it ruins my plans of having all projects wrapped up one month before our wedding day. And I'm not even sure these would look good enough after all the work I would put into them.

Option 4: Rent purple salad and buffet plates instead, and not have chargers. A local rental company does have 8" salad plates and 10" dinner plates in purple. It still wouldn't give me the pop of color I was wanting on the tables prior to people sitting down, but it could be a doable compromise. There would at least be color on the tables while people were eating. I'm guessing for 100 people I'd need 250 buffet plates and 100 salad plates, and at $0.47 each, that's $165.50, which is actually less than renting the chargers would have been. But having to deal with yet another party rental company kinda scares me a little.

This is what the salad and dinner plates look like. I think they'd be pretty close to the color of the glass chargers, but it's hard to tell because they were photographed on a black background and the black is showing through the glass a little.

Option 5: Figure out another way to add purple to the tables. Suggestions? Please? I will love you forever if you can think of something!!!

Please help me hive, and let me know what option you would pick, or if you have a better idea for me. I will be sitting here, pulling out my hair, waiting for your responses!

Vote here:

Option 1: Just go without chargers, and have boring tables.
Option 2: Change the table linens from ivory to lilac purple (possibly too much purple?)
Option 3: Make my own purple chargers.
Option 4: Rent purple salad and buffet plates instead, and not have chargers.
Option 5: Figure out another way to add purple to the tables. (please submit your suggestions in the comments)


  1. Those poopfaces. :-/

    When I was reading this, I thought, MAKE YOUR OWN! I bet you can even find them for cheaper, but that might be more time than you want to invest in research. I would give up a weekend if you're on top of everything else!

    But when I read your list of choices, I thought, damn, give yourself a break! The purple isn't that important and no one will know to miss it. It's not really *that* boring, you know?

  2. Honey

    You are beautiful
    Talented... your diy projects give Martha Stewart a run for her money
    everything about your wedding seems amazing

    but this is a little crazy. No one will notice, so there is no need to run yourself ragged over this. Take a deep breath and move on. Your table will not be plain in any universe.

    NOW that's my opinion. If you want to move forward anyway, dont do the spraypaint. It rarely comes out good. And that will take up so much TIME.

  3. Oh dang! Yeah, that vendor totally pooped out on you. :( I honestly say forget this stress and forgo the chargers. You won't miss them at the wedding (and even if YOU are missing them, no one else will - trust me!) and you certainly won't care about them once it's over! :)

  4. No chargers - no purple plates - save yourself some time, money and sanity!!

    THis might be dorky, but what about purple glitter or something like that sprinkled on the table?

    Though honestly, your guests won't notice that color is not there and it still looks really pretty!! The flowers will be perfect.