Ask the Experts: The Decor Diva

Rose Rabin, division manager of Party Rental, Ltd; 301-931-4580.

By: Jill Hudson

What kinds of things can be rented? Just about everything: tables, chairs, linens, china, flatware, and glassware. We even have things like screens, portable bars, popcorn, cotton candy, and snow- cone machines. We offer more than 21 colors of reception chairs!

What’s an easy way to transform a plain event space into an exciting, lively room? Think of it like entertaining in your home, but on a grander scale. Create a living room/lounge area with sofas, coffee tables and ottomans where your guests can relax. You can turn a plain room into a fabulous nightclub setting where the vignettes are strategically placed so you feel close to the action.

Can you recommend any surprising combinations? Depending on the venue, a combination of round, square and rectangular seating tables always makes for an interesting look.

What kind of decor options do you recommend to couples on a small budget? Always remember that a concentration of color gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Also, use lots of votive candles to create the ambience you want. Your guests will notice fewer details that you might be missing, and more of the intimate loveliness of the room.

Any new trends in wedding decor? I’m seeing a lot of illuminated cocktail bars serving a ton of specialty drinks. We’re renting a lot of square leather dinner tables combined with clothed tables. And having plush furniture in the lounge during the cocktail reception or after dinner gives a more personal, comfortable feel to the event.

What items do people forget to order? I try to ask them a lot of questions so that they don’t forget anything. Do you need a cake-table linen or an escort-card table? Is the hotel providing napkins? Is your caterer bringing what they need to produce and stage the food? The bride and groom should be able to enjoy their day without having to worry about the details that their vendors should take care of.

This article first appeared in the 2010 Winter/Spring issue of Washingtonian Bride & Groom.