When you are busy planning your wedding or an event the word on everyone’s lips is the budget. Where can you cut costs; what items are really essential to include?

You have to start the planning process somewhere and that usually is the venue. You can’t book a supplier if you are unsure where the event will be taking place. Once you have secured the venue you probably need to start by securing service providers like your caterer, photographer and décor stylist, etc.

So now you have the tables and chairs booked for your sit-down dinner but no other furniture because ‘is it really necessary?’ Well, here is why we say it is:

  1. Most people want to sit down whilst enjoying their welcoming drink. Even if you have some cocktail seating available, it will provide a more comfortable environment for your guests. At a wedding during the pre-dinner period, guests need to spend a lot of time keeping busy whilst the couple and their bridal party is taking photos. This will assist with keeping the guests at ease and comfortable.
  2. The venue has large open spaces that need to be filled to ensure that guests can’t see that very little was done or put into this event. Perhaps your veranda of the venue is the welcoming area and you do not have any seating available it would create an empty and cold space where guests will arrive – not very welcoming is it?
  3. Furniture that is in the theme or colour scheme of the event will add to the atmosphere and look of the event. This is a good place to be creative and pull through the theme and colour scheme.
  4. These lounge pockets you add to the venue can also encourage guests to mingle at the event. You will face each other, and different crowds can then sit together and get to know each other.
  5. When you have furniture or lounge pockets at your event it communicates to the guests a sense of, you will spend some time in this area. This goes hand in hand with point number 1.
  6. This will also assist with the flow of the crowd. It will guide guests where to go and where not to go.
  7. Lastly, it helps with filling ‘awkward’ spaces if the pax of your event is much less than the venue’s total capacity

So, when you take these seven things mentioned above and decide that it is necessary to book a décor and furniture specialist for your event, where do you start?

Well, here are the 10 steps you can expect from a service provider we use – a|CREATE.

Booking procedure:

  1. Enquiry – You get in touch with us and provide us with a brief overview of what you want for your celebration.
  2. Meeting – Next, we will get together and discuss your brief in more detail, brainstorm ideas and get a feel for what you’re after.
  3. Concept – Now we’ll cook up a wonderful concoction of ideas, inspired by international trends and your individual style.
  4. Cost & Look – At this stage, you can expect a detailed proposal to include a cost estimate and a look book to wet your creative appetite.
  5. Feedback – You share your ideas and feedback on our proposal and we make any necessary tweaks.
  6. Deposit – Once you are happy to go ahead with our proposed ideas, we will require a 60% deposit.
  7. Procurement – We will go ahead and liaise with the necessary third party suppliers (florists, lighting operators, etc.)
  8. Final Payment – The final amount is settled.
  9. Set-up – Let the magic begin – we will personally coordinate every aspect of the setup on the day, from flower installations and lighting design to furniture delivery and placement.
  10. Showtime – Your event looks spectacular and you take all the credit. Afterwards, we remove and reinstate everything at your venue – as if we were never there…

So what does all of this add up to?

Here is a short summary of what you can expect when booking a function at Laurent, Lourensford Wine Estate for 100 people:

PS. A décor and furniture specialist usually work on seating 60% of the guests.

You can work on a budget of about R25 000 – R30 000.

  • This will include the following:
    • 3 x deconstructed lounge pockets (couch, coffee table, single chairs, ottoman, side table, carpet, scatter pillows)
    • 3 x 4-seater cocktail tables
    • 2 x 6-seater cocktail tables
    • 24 x bar stools
    • 3 x 4-seater café tables
    • 12 x café stools

There are also a few other things that you need to keep in mind when you have booked your supplier. There might be some additional costs involved that you need to budget for, such as:

  1. Travel costs – you need to ensure you book suppliers that is close to your venue. They will increase a quotation’s cost if they have to travel far for your event. Yes you can argue that the travel is expensive and you have a large vehicle to make use of, however most companies will not allow you to provide your own travel and staff as this may cause damages which will lead to additional costs.
  2. Breakdown time and date – If you require the company to breakdown the furniture after hours, on a weekend or on a public holiday, you will need to pay ‘overtime’ as they need to pay their staff members overtime.
  3. Cleaning costs – If you have a function, most of the time there is alcohol involved, perhaps cigarettes or even children. This means that the furniture will possibly get dirty and it will need to be cleaned before they rent it out to the next client.
  4. Damages – Yes, you will have to cough up if your guests left cigarette burns on the couches or spilt that one to many red wine glass they had all over the carpet. They will either need to discard of the item, reupholster the item or dry clean it intensively which is a large expense to the company.
  5. Is VAT inclusive or Exclusive – Most companies sell their products or services at VAT exclusive to make it sound more appealing to the client. Always make sure you check this small detail to ensure that you are budgeting correctly.

Other details that you need to keep in mind when booking a décor and furniture specialist includes (but is not limited to):

  1. Always make sure that there is space for their truck to arrive and for them to offload the furniture.
  2. Schedule your suppliers’ deliveries to ensure that two trucks do not have to offload at the same time as there might not be enough space for both.
  3. It is very important to inform your supplier of venue constraints such as: there’s only one small elevator which needs to be used to get the furniture in the venue, etc.
  4. Make sure you keep the time in mind when scheduling your deliveries and collections. If it is still dark outside, you might need additional lighting made available for them to see what they are doing.
  5. You also need to make sure what the weather would be like on the day as rain might affect delivery of the stock ordered.

For more information or to get a quote, contact Leandri de Leeuw, leandri@acreate.co.za.