2021 Wedding Tips and Trends – Rental, Décor and More

2021 Wedding Tips and Trends: Rentals, Decor, and More! Yellow velvet cocktail table linen for cake table.

Despite COVID-19 circumstances, and the pandemic’s prolonged impact on gatherings throughout last year, we at Premiere, here in Austin, and at Party Time Rentals in College Station, were fortunate to have been allowed, throughout much of 2020, to help execute, a few relatively large weddings and a host of smaller weddings and wedding-related events.  While we certainly experienced our fair share of postponements and a few outright cancellations, and deeply empathize with the tough choices our couples had to make, we are so grateful to our couples who pushed forward, and despite the inherent difficulties, celebrated their marriage in meaningful ways, both grand and intimate. 

In this post we share, based on intense research and decades of wedding-industry experience, our take on what the New Year will bring to the 2021 wedding scene. Predictably, for as long as our communities are threatened by the pandemic, micro weddings, either planned by design or held by default (due to travel restrictions or travel concerns, potential COVID vulnerability and other factors), will continue taking the wedding world by a storm. If you’re newly engaged, (Congratulations!) a pintimate wedding, carefully planned from the outset, is definitely an interesting alternative. If you’re unfamiliar, a pintimate wedding is a personal and intimate wedding, also known as a Micro Wedding; a small, intimate wedding reception and/or ceremony typically celebrated with twenty to fifty guests.

Outdoor al fresco wedding with clear lucite chairs and gorgeous florals.
PAIGE VAUGHN PHOTOGRAPHY

Starting late last summer, and throughout the fall, Premiere and our sister store Party Time assisted with micro weddings by the score.  We found that, when you opt for a micro wedding, everything immediately becomes so much more meaningful as you focus on what, and above all, who, are really important to you. And while approaching the planning process from that perspective often lends itself to a more simple and minimalistic design…

Simple floral microwedding dinner table
EMILY CHAPPELL PHOTOGRAPHY

…it doesn’t mean your special day has to be any less elegant or less extravagant, if that’s the vibe you want! Having a micro wedding allows you to hyper-personalize every last detail.   Because the numbers are lower, abundant time and ample resources can be dedicated to each and every invited guest and wedding detail you include. 

There’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple and budget-friendly, but we urge you to remember that this is still your wedding day, and should be a true reflection of who you are as a couple and what you want. So we say splurge a little, and have the Pinterest-worthy wedding of your dreams on a smaller scale that you many have originally planned for or imagined.

Here are a few splurges we recommend for micro weddings:

The majority of our tabletop rentals (china, chargers, flatware, and napkins) are rented in quantities of 10’s so it’s easy to order for a small group!

Instead of Basic Z-ware, opt for the Heirloom China!

Simple white china and blush pink heirloom china
SOPHIE EPTON PHOTOGRAPHY & PATTI DARBY PHOTOGRAPHY

Consider adding a Bennett Wood Charger or Gold Banded Glass Charger to instantly elevate your table setting!

Place settings with a scalloped whitewash wooden charger and a glass charger with gold band
TIM LAIELLI & ANN MARK PHOTO

Although Excalibur glassware gets the job done, it’s your wedding! Trust us, choose the Melodia Crystal instead.

Simple wine and champagne glassware and cut crystal glassware at two table settings
ROOTED TRUMPET PHOTOGRAPHY & JERRY HAYES PHOTOGRAPHY

Euro Rim is a perfectly respectable flatware option, but we know you’re eyeing the Capri Brushed Gold!

Simple stainless Euro Rim flatware and elegant place setting with Gold Brushed Capri Modern flatware
SHE N HE PHOTOGRAPHY & PATTI DARBY PHOTOGRAPHY

It might be tempting to keep it simple with Economy linens, but we recommend the Velvet linens instead. Studies show your guests will spend up to 80% of their time “at the table” – what’s on that table, as well who’s “at it”, makes a huge difference. Now is also the best time to order your linen rentals as we’re running our annual Linen Special between January 11th and February 1st. Check out the details here!

Wedding Reception with ivory and burgundy polyester linens next to a banquet table with navy velvet linen and burgundy velvet napkins
SAMANTHA CASAS PHOTOGRAPHY & THE BIRD AND THE BEAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Step up your seating! Out with the basic folding chairs and in with the classic X-Back Chairs! Bonus points if you do assigned ceremony seating for an extra personal touch!

Wooden Crossback Cafe Chairs at outdoor wedding reception and with assigned ceremony seating
JENNY DEMARCO PHOTOGRAPHY

Looking for something a bit more luxurious?

You’re in good company! Sometimes you have something unique in mind, and that’s where Premiere Select, our Luxury Collection enters. Think of it as a rental boutique with upscale selections for high-end weddings, celebrations and social affairs in and around Austin and Central Texas. We offer a complete line of specialty flatware, glassware, china, chargers, linens, furniture, and decorative cake tables. If we don’t have it, we probably know where to get it or how to make a custom version just for you!

We had the most fun working on the design of this stunning wedding at a private residence last year. Through Premiere Select, we assisted the client with custom draping throughout the property, tables and chairs for the ceremony and reception, tabletop rentals, and even helped with coordinating the lighting and signage for this incredibly chic wedding. More truly is more!

Glamorous blush and white wedding with draping, chandeliers, statement floral installations, and romantic atmosphere
ANN MARK PHOTO

Thinking big and outside the box!

And maybe a pintimate microwedding isn’t your cup of tea! There are still safe ways to celebrate with larger crowds and have the macro wedding of your dreams, as long as you’re operating within the gathering limitations imposed by your local government offices. We’ve partnered with many COVID-19-conscious couples to help them host weddings within the necessary parameters and make their guests comfortable!

Outdoor Ceremony Site at Ma Maison set with Fruitwood Chiavari Chairs
BRITTANY JEAN PHOTOGRAPHY

As 2021 picks up, we expect to see a lot more outdoor events and wedding ceremonies and receptions. 

Outdoor wedding with a tent and and with a farm table reception in the woods.
BRITTANY JEAN PHOTOGRAPHY & ALI TAKES PHOTOGRAPHS

With the unpredictability of Texas weather, that means tents, whether for rain and bad weather plans, or to create shade on a warm spring or hot summer day!

Outdoor Tented wedding at the Grand Lady with blues, creams, and pinks
KRISTIN LA VOIE PHOTOGRAPHY

Even if the weather is great, a tent frame without the top and dramatic lighting creates such a romantic atmosphere.

Outdoor wedding under a tent frame with twinkly lights at Woodbine Mansion
CAROLINE LIMA PHOTOGRAPHY

2021 in color

Bold color palettes reign supreme. With Pantone’s cheery yellow tone, Illuminating, and simplistic neutral, Ultimate Gray, we’re bound to see endless variety.

Pantone's 2021 Colors of the Illuminating and Ultimate Gray set against the Sunshine Velvet and Charcoal Panama table linens
RACHEL DRISKELL PHOTOGRAPHY & TWO PAIR PHOTOGRAPHY

Many millennial couples are also taking inspiration from the 80’s and 90’s with bright hues like fuchsia, papaya orange, sunny yellow, bright reds, and teal blues.

Fuchsia and cream, teal and peach, and bright reddish orange table settings
THE CRAKES AND SLOANE PHOTO & DIANA ASCARRUNZ PHOTOGRAPHY & RACHEL DRISKELL PHOTOGRAPHY

And for those who prefer something more subtle, you still can’t go wrong with warm neutrals, crisp light blues, and pastel lavender.

Light sky blue tablecloth, cream and mustard modern wedding, and lavender velvet napkin
JENNY DEMARCO PHOTOGRAPHY & JENNA MCELROY PHOTOGRAPHY &RACHEL DRISKELL PHOTOGRAPHY

Don’t forget to plan for the uninvited guest, COVID-19.

Whether large or small, highly-detailed or super simple – however you choose to voice your promises and celebrate your love, your special day will be a beautiful expression of your commitment. Regardless of your choice to proceed with a full-size or narrowed down wedding guest list, we recommend implementing COVID safety precautions into your plans, like Acrylic Buffet Sneeze Guards, Hand Sanitizer Stations, and of course masks. We’re so impressed by the creative ways our clients kept their guests safe!

Hand sanitizer station, spread love not germs, wine glass with paper glass cover, and wedding cake surrounded by lucite cover
REBECCA HARRIS PHOTOGRAPHY & ANASTASIA STRATE PHOTOGRAPHY & TIM WATERS PHOTOGRAPHY

Curious how we’re handling our operations and inventory differently during COVID? Check out our Risk Mitigation Plan here! We also put together a blog post last fall to show different table set ups with 6 guests while setting up a socially distanced seating display in our South Showroom that may help with visualizing your plans.

No matter if this is your first wedding, second or third marriage, or you got eloped during COVID-19 and are ready to host your sequel wedding, we’re here to help you in this part of your journey as much or as little as you need. Even if you want to use your family’s china but just need a few extra chairs, or you need a tent, tables, glasses, and the whole set up in your backyard or venue, we are ready, willing and able to accommodate!

Please visit us at either of our two 2 Austin locations, North (11002-A Metric Blvd.) and South (11810 Menchaca Rd.) for your convenience! We’re open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm by appointment, and Saturday appointments may be arranged with extra advance notice subject to availability. We are also happy to welcome you to our College Station showroom at Party Time Rentals, our sister store. If you’re not ready to visit in person, we’re also available for virtual showroom visits, via Zoom or the platform of your choice . . . To get started, please complete our contact form.

In the meantime, here’s wishing you a safe, healthy and happy 2021.

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2020 – 2021 Premiere President’s Letter

In my wildest dreams, most pensive moments, I never envisioned the 2020 scenario that unfolded over these past 11 months. The year started much like any other – with high hopes and carefully laid plans – with optimism and confidence. In late 2019, as 2020 goals were prepared and objectives articulated, there was every reason to expect that Premiere Events would experience its 20th consecutive positive revenue growth year – every reason to believe that Party Time Rentals would continue to flourish.

As February began, storm clouds gathered on the horizon. Throughout the new year’s second month, the clouds darkened, and dire predictions about something called “COVID-19” were made. By March, news of a worldwide pandemic spread, until COVID’s very real threat to our physical and economic health dominated our thoughts – kept us awake at night – made us anxious and afraid.

Then came the deluge. Shut downs. Event bans. Cancellations, postponements and refunds. Unemployment, Furloughs, and Layoffs. For us, PPP was a ray of hope, and EIDL a means of restoring deposits. But the relief was short lived, and the economic challenges intensified. The psychological challenges deepened as well. Working, schooling and worshipping from home, we were adrift . . . our sense of community lost. Our very way of life changed fundamentally, perhaps, we feared, forever.

But what was, was, and what will be, will be. We cannot “cry over [figuratively] spilled milk”.  In this 2021 New Year’s message, I’d like to share with you three important and decidedly positive lessons I, our company, and our teams learned from the unfortunate set of COVID circumstances.

First, we can do with much less than we think we need . . . or believe we “should” have. We can economize, tighten our belts and count our pennies. We can forgo the wants and the wows, and get back to basics. When our backs are against the wall and our bank accounts are shrinking fast, we can be frugal and fiscally conservative. Not stingy (we still awarded holiday team bonuses, albeit less impressive than normal and supported our favorite charities, although perhaps less generously), not miserly or tightfisted – but smart in our spending and wise in our use of all our resources, especially our cash. We can adapt, professionally certainly, and personally, when necessary, to a “lower standard of living”.

Second, we re-learned what we’d already known, but perhaps stored in the far reaches of consciousness –  hope for the best, but wisely plan (and prepare) for the worst.  Cindy Lo tweeted this week regarding Red Velvet’s pandemic experience, and pointed out how a cash reserve built up over the years helped her company cope with COVID’s economic impact. Had our company not done the same, we might not have made it.

Finally, we learned that yes, we truly are, all in this together. That’s a reality from which I, for one, took great comfort. Rick and Angela, two-thirds of the Premiere/ Party Time Executive Team, were rock solid. Their dedication and determination were (and are) invaluable. The “skeleton crew” that provided “essential services” and reported for duty during the shut down were brave and true. Working from home, our SACS (Sales and Customer Service Team) were rock stars. They responded to inquiries, fielded refund requests, provided information, attended webinars, and made meaningful contributions.

Marketing and website team members were diligent and creative, working hard, once the event ban was lifted, promoting micro-events and other event alternatives, reaching out to new markets, devising new strategies. Our DACS Team (Delivery and Customer Service) was diligent in following Clean, Safe and Essential (American Rental Association) protocols and remaining ever vigilant.

Sure, we did “it”, for us, but we did “it” for you, too. For each of you who rely on us to meet your rental needs. We kept our showrooms sanitary, treated our inventory as promised, purchased and provided products to help you better serve your customers. We kept in touch. We supported your efforts. We kept our promises and honored our commitments. Despite occasional drama, a dose of uncertainty and an element of doubt, we soldiered on. We’re grateful to each and all of you for the opportunity to have decidedly demonstrated that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. That only the strong survive.       

As we look forward to this New Year, we, like many of you, will emerge tougher, leaner and better prepared for what lies ahead. It is our fondest hope and fervent plea that all of our best days lie ahead. New Year’s blessings to you and yours.

Delores, Rick, Angela, Premiere Events and Party Time Rentals.

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How to Set Your Thanksgiving Table for a Feast

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all of the wonderful things in life, and especially for the people with whom that life is shared. At Premiere, we’re grateful for our team, our customers, and for our ability to weather this pandemic storm. Despite all of the hardships this year, we have so much to be thankful for, and we want to share a little bit of our knowledge with you to help make your 2020 celebrations a little less stressful.

First, determine how many people will be sharing your Thanksgiving table(s). Make a list of everything you already have to accommodate your guests and note the rental support you’ll need to make the Celebration complete.

Sam Hugh Photography

Tables – This year, consider asking your guests whether they’d like to sit separately from others (due to high-risk factors for COVID), and consider setting an extra 30” round table to ensure socially distanced seating in small spaces! Taking proper precautions shouldn’t prevent family or friends from celebrating this special day.

Monica Alberty Photography

Chairs – Odds are that you have some chairs, but maybe not enough. That neighbor you usually borrow from for game night might be hosting their own Thanksgiving at home this year. Premiere can help with the overflow, or, if aesthetics are important to you, consider renting a full matched-chair set. 

Shelby Bella Photography

Table Linens – Whether you’re renting tables or using your own, odds are you’ll need table linens. We carry many different sizes, colors, and materials to complete your fall look.

Brittany Jean Photography

Linen Napkins – This year, make more of an eco-friendly impact by renting cloth napkins. You’ll  have less trash than with disposable paper napkins, and you don’t even have to wash them. They’ll come to you sanitized and ready to use, and we’ll wash and sanitize them upon return.

Butch Ireland Photography

Dishes, Flatware, and Glassware – Nobody wants to do all the dishes after your full from the biggest meal of the year, and why should you? Odds are you’ve been cooking and baking for hours, so why not relax and spend more time with your family this year? Just scrape your plates, then place them back in the crate and we’ll wash them for you upon return!

Rachel Driskill Photography

Serving Platters, Bowls, and Utensils – If you don’t have all of the serving pieces you need and don’t feel like borrowing, or maybe you live in a small apartment by yourself, but just want to host Friendsgiving without having to buy and find a place to store everything forever, considering renting what you’ll need! We have a huge selection of all different sizes.

And More! – If you’re feeding everyone you know, or helping out at your church or community center with feeding those less fortunate, you might need cooking equipment, chafers and hot boxes to keep your food hot. Premiere has everything you might need to help make it a meal to be grateful for. We even have hand sanitizer dispensers, buffet sneeze guards, trash cans, and more.

Butch Ireland Photography

Don’t forget the kids! – Let’s be honest, when we were little ones, all we wanted was to be grown up enough to sit at the big table, but now that we have a few more years under our belts, all we want to do is get back to that kids table!  Set up a mini-version of the adults table, or keep it simple with butcher paper instead of a table linen, but whatever you do, don’t forget about the kiddos!

Want to recreate the look above? Here’s what we used to create this gorgeous table setting!

Spice Panama Table Linen
White Wash Bennett Wood Charger
Premiere Select Jasmine Salad and Dinner Plates
Camel Iridescent Crush Napkin
Premiere Select Medici Salad Fork, Dinner Fork, and Dinner Knife
Pure 23oz Wine Glass 
Curvature 8oz Stemless Champagne Flute
Amber Olivia 10oz Double Old Fashioned

Need help? Contact a Premiere Events Consultant to discuss your menu and rental needs! We’re happy to provide you with a complimentary rental quote!

We will be closed on November 26th and 27th to celebrate the holiday with our own families, but we will be open on Wednesday the 25th, and again on Monday, the 30th.

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Fall Wedding & Event Inspiration

On a normal Autumn day in the showroom, we’d be assisting multiple customers with selecting their rentals, or answering questions over the phone, but with the ever-looming Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve had a little more time to catch our breath. 

As more and more customers feel comfortable coming back into the showroom for appointments, we figured it was a good time to update our Design Inspiration Tables, and why not use this opportunity to showcase a potential event set up complete with social distancing, extra spacing between guests at each table, and some of our favorite newer rental inventory?!

The South Showroom Consultants Amanda and Chandler teamed up with our Administration & Employee Relations Speciality, Michelle to come up with a beautiful socially distanced design featuring four different table sizes in an ombre autumn-inspired theme, complete with a mockup of a miniature buffet station!

We started with a concept (which evolved throughout the planning):

This set up would utilize three different sized guest tables all at least 6ft apart from each other, with six place settings to show the different amounts of spacing you could place between guests for extra distancing, a sweetheart table for dramatic effect, two cocktail tables, our Wooden Champagne Wall as a backdrop for the sweetheart table, and a miniature 6ft buffet table. The conference table shown in the diagram is a permanent feature of our showroom, although it has gone unused since the local Stay at Home order took effect in March.

We then did what we’d do with any clients coming into the showroom, we brainstormed which items might go with our color palette and set up mock table settings with our showroom samples!

Once we were happy with our rental selections and the overall flow of how the ombre would progress, we checked our inventory to ensure that we had the correct sizes of table linens available to fit our layout. 

Next, we created an overview of the inventory items for each tablescape to assist in organizing the items during the set up so we didn’t have to refer back to a list or multiple photos.

We then pulled inspiration for centerpieces from pinterest and our own website, including our sister store, Party Time Rentals! In case you weren’t aware, we can happily source any of the rentals shown on Party Time’s website for your event here in Austin if there’s something they carry in their inventory that we do not! 

Our Creative Director reviewed our centerpiece inspiration and created a few custom arrangements and re-made a few others from extra materials we had laying around from previous arrangements. We’re all about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle here! A few of our centerpieces ended up with a little more spring in their step, than autumn leaves and pumpkins please, but we love how each arrangement really suits the individual table and showcases a range of how our rentals can be used throughout the seasons!

There are truly no rules anymore about color palettes sticking to certain seasons, or which tabletop items you must set your guest tables with. Your design should be a reflection of you and your style, but if traditional place settings are your thing, we can certainly help with that as well!

We completed our table designs with a fake (but delicious) dinner menu created in Canva, mimicking the ombre progression of the tables, as well as a price sheet reflecting each table’s rental selections to assist our customers in making the right decisions for both their style and budget.

We chose to pair our two cocktail tables with neutral linens to complement the progression, and a warm beige/buttery yellow linen for our faux buffet table, complete with plates stacked at the buffet, all food items to be served set behind a plexiglass divider, as you would normally see for a buffet set up during these COVID times we’re living in.

We have many other rental items such as hand sanitizer dispensers, rope and stanchions, easels, and more to assist with celebrating safely during the pandemic, and are happy to work with you to help create a socially distanced layout for your venue. 

We hope to work with you soon to help share in the joy of planning your next event, no matter what or when that feels right for you. Please let us know how we can be of assistance to you!

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Ode to the Versatile Tent

Impressive and Inspiring or Fun and Functional , the versatile tent – like tables, chairs and linens – is an adaptable event staple; now, in the COVID event environment, even more so. Tenting answers the question, in the context of fall, 2020 and perhaps spring, 2021 weddings (if social distancing and venue capacity restrictions are still in effect), “What can I do if my venue’s indoor area isn’t sufficient to provide proper social distancing for the number of guests I’ve been planning for?”. A right sized tent, or multiple smaller tents, opens up your options by creatively and attractively incorporating the great outdoors into your wedding plans.

festival-tent-leg-drapes

A partially conditioned tent is a particularly welcome event addition when protection from the elements, be they sun and heat in the early fall or light rain and a chill in the air early next spring, is in order. And with Premiere’s standard tent décor packages and custom tent décor selections, your partially tented indoor-outdoor event can be as elegant or as casual as you like.

draping-jerry-hayes

When the climate is right, Premiere can help create a cozy and comfortable or sophisticated and stylish ceremony setting. Or, by rethinking the entertainment, bar service, lounge area and, if you need it, establishing a “safe zone” for elderly and other at-risk guests, all the indoor venue space can be reserved for properly socially distanced reception seating. Premiere can help by offering digitally created spacing alternatives that maximize the entire available venue area, indoors and outdoors, with tenting and other solutions. From umbrella tables to misting fans, elegant lighting to warmth in fall and early winter, Premiere’s tenting and other outdoor options helps safely expand your venue’s capacity.

YU6.14.14-17

Of course, tenting solutions aren’t just for weddings. Whether or not we have “real” sports this fall, televised games, with or without fans in the stands, are best enjoyed in the company of family and friends. A tented tail gate adds an element of “game day” authenticity, while helping provide ample guest spacing and enhancing event safety. From satelite connections to big screen televisions, catering (provided by a preferred Premiere catering professional), lawn games and more, we’ve got the good stuff that entertains your guests and makes you the game day hero.

When you’re ready to move in the tenting direction, we’re here to help. We’ll gladly meet with you, by appointment, in a Premiere showroom, or meet with you virtually via Zoom. If you’d like for our tenting experts to walk the event space with you, we’re happy to do that too. Your Event Rental Consultant will explain terms and conditions of service for on-site work. We look forward to helping you meet your fall, 2020 and spring, 2021 wedding and event rental needs. Supporting safe, responsible celebrations is our goal. Knowledge and proper preparation are the keys. Let’s get the process underway – call, text or email today!

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Future Wedding Forecast: Tips and Trends, Part II

The crystal ball that would enable us to comfortably predict the wedding and event future  is decidedly cloudy. The whole fabric of our society has been disrupted in recent months and weeks, and today we’re plagued with uncertainty and doubt.  But we do know that  Life, including wedding and event life, Will Go On.

Here are some additional thoughts we’d like to share with you about how we expect (and experts predict) that fall, 2020 and spring, 2021 weddings and events will evolve. For starters, today’s environmentally-conscious wedding couples will be more committed than ever to  “eco-friendly” celebrations. For many, this means banning all plastics in favor of recyclable, re-usable event components. Plastics will give way to ‘real’ (properly cleaned and sanitized) china, glassware and flatware – and even paper or stainless straws. Couples will seek out ways to share florals (with other couples, with wedding guests, with area churches and or elder-care facilities, etc.) and food (donations to area food banks or homeless shelters) with their community.  Particularly socially conscious wedding celebrants may direct all or a portion of their gifting requests to a cause or charity that resonates with them. These are noble ways to make the day about more than “you”; to make a real difference and to set an impacting example for friends and family.

Untitled design (3)

Here are a few details and decor alternatives you can expect to see gracing long-anticipated Fall, 2020 and Spring, 2021 weddings and events. From elaborate chandeliers to “fairy lights” to radio bulbs, statement lighting is a frequently mentioned 2020 – 2021 wedding and event trend. There’s something especially magical about decorative event lighting, and Premiere, along with Premiere Select, has exciting lighting alternatives. If you’re drawn to a sleek, more modern look, lighted cocktail tables and the lighted Premiere water wall are sure to please.

Untitled design (4)

Circular and geometric arches and arbors, along with “life size” picture frames that make those wedding images truly special, will likely be incorporated into 2020-2021 ceremonies, receptions or both. Hedge walls continue to be a popular event backdrop, especially behind an enhanced sweetheart area (a decked out and expanded sweetheart table replacement). Embellished with the couples monogram or other meaningful symbols, this option pays homage to the celebrants unique style and flair.

boxwood-hedge-Anastasia-Strate-Photography

Expect to see a replacement of the basic white and ivory palette with pastels, including pale hint-of-greens and barely-there-blues. From umber to mustard to daffodil, all shades of yellow are predicted to find their way into both fall and spring color palettes. In attire to linens to draping and more, Al Aqua, Pantone’s 2021 color of the year, will also be dominant in the coming months.

That’s it for now, but we’ll keep you posted as the holiday season approaches and spring 2021 looms on the horizon. Until then, your Premiere / Premiere Select Event Rental Consultant is here, and happy, to help.

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Future Wedding Forecast: Tips and Trends, Part I

hopePredicting Fall, 2020 and Spring, 2021 wedding and event trends requires making bold assumptions and careful preparations for a Post-COVID 19 shutdown world.  Let’s proceed with the hope and belief that, in the coming months, when the curve is once again flattened and new COVID cases are on the decline, we are free and willing  to hold weddings, parties and special events. Let’s also surmise that gathering-size restrictions that would affect most weddings and events have been lifted. If the 500 person gathering limit remains in place (in many counties) or returns (in counties where the 100 person limit was recently enacted), masking and social distancing protocols discussed in last week’s (Celebrate Safely and Sanely) posts, when carefully and responsibly followed, should be sufficient to protect wedding professionals, event holders and wedding / event guests.

These assumptions, along with what we’re hearing and seeing, suggest two divergent wedding approaches are likely over the next 12 – 18 months – the micro and the macro wedding. Some couples will opt for smaller, more intimate micro affairs. Small doesn’t necessarily mean simpler or even less expensive. Weddings of the micro-variety provide interesting eclectic, creative, one-of-a-kind celebratory opportunities. Customization, a Premiere / Premiere Select specialty, can help make any micro-event truly unique and extra-special. Customized and personalized touches, in linens, dance floors, draping and décor to name a few appealing alternatives are more affordable, and just as impacting on a smaller scale.

Bride+and+groom+dancing+outside+in+front+of+guests

When life has handed them lemons, other wedding couples have set a precedent for the future and have made lemonade.  We’re seeing innovative, quirky, and  totally  “outside-the-box” weddings in and around Austin, including “Drive-By” Weddings (jennifer@altaregoweddings.com), Drive-In Weddings (cassie@bridesbest friend.me) and a series of “Short and Sweet Vegas Weddings” (birddogwedding.com).

Macro-wedding couples, whose spring and summer 2020 wedding and event plans were derailed by COVID, may opt for larger, more elaborate affairs when COVID fears begin to ease, and we learn more about reliable COVID prevention strategies and effective treatment, in 2021. Macro weddings may morph from a typical guest count, somewhere around 150, to a revised count, especially when confidence in long-distance travel is restored, of 200, 250 or even more. Elegant or casual, macro-weddings will require space-maximization planning. Please refer to the safe and sane social distancing protocols described in recent posts.

Our research also suggests that some couples, particularly if venue rental is available by the day (rather than limited to a few hours), may host “serial” or “sequential” weddings. Some guests would be invited for a pre-ceremony brunch, others for an afternoon cocktail party. An early evening ceremony would be followed by a smaller-than-usual reception reserved for family and close friends. This approach gives the “wedding day” a whole new meaning.  Absent increased venue charges, and with careful planning, the expense can be kept in line with that of a typically elaborate pre-Covid reception.

What we do know for certain, and what we’ve learned over these past four months, is that, when change is occurring at the speed of light, even changes in the very fabric of our society, we all will find a way. Weddings may not look like they once did, or perhaps they will, but remember, Love Will Always Find a Way !

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Celebrate Your Special Day the Safe (and Sane) Way, Part II

In Part I of this Safe and Sane series, we addressed gathering size restrictions and social distancing. Today’s post elaborates on properly socially distanced space-planning options, creative ways to embrace responsible masking and convenient options for “portable” hand sanitizing stations. Let’s Lean In (defined as make an effort; work hard at; show determination and perserverence and experience fully or respond to wholeheartedly) to these three key factors that will enable us to host, and our guests to  enjoy, Safe and Sane Celebrations.

For socially distanced seating, arrangements featuring larger tables (66” or 72” round  rather than the standard 60” round size) can help. These more spacious options allow for the comfortable seating of 6 (the recommended seating limit) non-family-unit guests. Smaller 48” rounds are perfect for family units, and mixing table sizes adds interest and dimension to any wedding or event setting. An event planner or Premiere Events / Premiere Select event rental professional can help create a COVID-friendly layout, just as we did before COVID was a consideration and will after COVID is but a memory.

Templeton Vendor Gallery

Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and social distancing will likely be with us throughout the year, and perhaps beyond. If you’re of the opinion that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, be creative in designing attractive and interesting reception masks for the wedding couple and wedding party (Premiere’s “sewing department” can help!). Make this element a part of the evening’s décor – and of the fun. Incorporate masking into the motif, or offer a “touchless” mask embellishment station. Wear elegant Gatsby-style gloves for glamour and for protection. Twenty-five years down the road, when you’re celebrating your Silver Wedding Anniversary, you’ll have the best wedding stories ever . . . even if your children do have a hard time understanding the “mask thing”. Here’s a just-out yesterday link to a Texas A & M study that reinforces the efficacy of masking for all.

https://www.statesman.com/news/20200624/wear-mask-folks-science-backs-it-up-texas-am-profrsquos-research-shows?utm_source=web_push&utm_medium=referral

We’ve always known that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ . . . but now we know that cleanliness is next to healthiness as well. In fact, we’ve probably all heard more about hand-washing and hand-sanitizing in these past 90 days than in our entire Pre-COVID  lives. Many health experts suggest washing hands at least 10 days a day, depending on the work you do, who you’re with, your daily activities and other related factors. Here’s current CDC hand-washing guidance.

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html

But finding the bathroom and waiting in line at a wedding or event can be inconvenient. Washing your hands and then touching “contaminated” surfaces (or other guests) on the way back to your seat can be compromising. Use of portable hand sanitizing stations, such as the one pictured here (available from Premiere) is far simpler, yet effective. Clean hands help save lives and reduce the spread. In addition, individual (personalized) hand sanitizes make a great wedding favor.

Untitled design (1)Here’s the good news for these difficult times. COVID concerns might make wedding planning more complicated. The virus and its spread may complicate your celebration. But COVID can’t stand in the way of true love. Even a Pandemic can’t keep a happy couple, their family and their friends from enjoying every moment of this most special day. You can have the wedding of your dreams, and celebrate safely and responsibly, if you’re thoughtful and properly prepared. Nothing truly important need change for you or your guests – a magical wedding evening, even with masked celebrants and by standers, is just as meaningful and amazing.

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Celebrate Your Special Day the Safe (and Sane) Way Part 1

 

Is it truly possible, absent a COVID-19 vaccine or effective, reliable treatment to safely celebrate your wedding or host a special event? Is there a sane, reasonable way to gather family and friends, in relatively proximity, without taking unnecessary risks or making unwise compromises? This post, and one that will follow tomorrow, suggests some common-sense do’s and don’t’s for marrying, mixing, and mingling during the COVID-19 era.

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Let’s proceed with the hope and belief that, in the coming months, we will continue to be  free, and more importantly, to be willing to hold and attend weddings, parties and special events. Let’s also surmise that varying gathering-size restrictions and social distancing protocols will be in place. What might you expect, under these conditions, if you’re planning, or helping others plan and execute fall, 2020 or spring, 2021 nuptials? Who should you turn to for guidance and support that will help you and your guests celebrate safely and responsibly? Past the overarching health and safety concerns, will you, or you and your “professional team”, still be able to pull off your dream wedding? Let’s explore each of these concerns in turn.

Gathering-size restrictions and social distancing protocols are the obvious starting point. Though the rules are ever-changing, as this post is written, indoor wedding venues are authorized to operate at 50% capacity. Outdoor capacity is unrestricted (save for the statewide 500 person without mayoral approval limit). For everyone’s protection, observing social distancing protocols is essential – even when you haven’t seen Aunt Gracie since you were 10 or hugged Cousin Charlie since high school or seen your college roommate since graduation. Unless a table is occupied by members of the same “family unit”, remember too that the 6’ spread apart rule is recommended and no more than 6 seats per table are allowed. Have basic PPE (disposable masks and gloves, hand sanitizing stations) available and encourage your guests to use them.

ARA launches 'Clean. Safe. Essential.' training certificate ...Perhaps you engaged your wedding vendor dream team prior to the pandemic. If that’s so, check with your venue, your rental provider, your catering professional and others to ensure that cleaning and sanitizing protocols are in place and being followed. At Premiere, we’ve posted our COVID-19 policy statement on our website. Premiere team members have completed the American Rental Associations’ Clean. Safe. Essential training program. Today, and tomorrow, we want you to know Premiere Event is serious about your safety, and about protecting our team.

If you have questions about the precautions we’re taking, or about the safety features (hand-sanitizing stations, PPE, custom masks, etc.) we can help provide for your special day,  please visit our website for details or contact a member of the Premiere Event Consulting team. Stay safe and stay healthy!

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Take Nothing For Granted

“It’s not a bad idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted. Plain everyday things.” ~ Evan Davis

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I’m guilty! Guilty of the failure to appreciate, sometimes even to notice just how good I’ve had it – how good we’ve all had it.  By comparison to life in the COVID-19 era, most of us, unless we’re Holocaust Survivors or lived through the Great Depression or endured some personal tragedy that left us with broken bodies or broke spirits – have probably been pretty lucky. Lucky to live in the greatest country in the world, to enjoy personal freedom – freedom of movement, freedom to congregate, freedom to go about our business without interference and unfettered by fear. Where I live, I’ve had the luxuries that liberty affords – the blessings of starting a business from nothing, of marrying the partner of my choosing, of having and raising outstanding children and being a part of the lives of our amazing grandchildren. My family I have been blessed with good fortune in abundance – and from time to time . . . maybe even most of the time . . .  I’ve taken it all for granted.

Unless some set of circumstances, like physical trauma or the death of a loved one or a temporary “reversal of fortune” gave me pause, I’ve gone blithely, maybe even a bit smugly, on my merry way, Reveling in my accomplishments – celebrating what I’ve achieved, little as it may be, but impressive to me from whence I came. Life has been good. And it’s still “good”, but oh so very different.

As an Event Professional, my business has been shuttered, its income stream gone dry. Absent events, we have no earnings capacity. None at all. When people can’t congregate, we can’t operate. Except for those who can “work” from home or perform “Minimum Essential Operations” in our facilities, our team has been furloughed.  We’ve no idea when this will end or how it may profoundly affect us, not just in the short term, but for the long haul. What will life and weddings and celebrations and funerals and festivals and fund raising look like – how different will the events world be? Everything we thought we knew is now called into question. Everything we’d come to count on is in limbo.

But here’s what I do know, I’ll never take my good fortune, experienced in any context, for granted again. And I’ll never fail to sit close to my husband and take his hand or hug my children or hold my grandchildren. I’ll treasure every team member and show them proper appreciation for their efforts and their contributions. I’ll value every client and customer and be thankful for every opportunity to meet their needs. I’ll be more gracious and more helpful. I’ll be kinder and gentler. I’ll be ever so much more aware of what’s really important in this journey we call life.

I’ll remember these dark days, but focus on the lessons learned, not the price paid. I’ll believe, fully and completely, that there won’t be a next time, and that if there is, we’ll be better equipped to find another, better way. I’ll consciously and continually count my blessings. I’ll face the future with hope and courage. I’ll embrace optimism and eschew fear. I hope you’ll do the same.

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