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Behind the Scenes: Ballet Austin Guild Afternoon Tea

The Ballet Austin 2017-18 season concludes on Mother’s Day weekend with the final performance of Peter Pan. Just two weeks before, Ballet Austin Guild will celebrate with “An Afternoon in Neverland” Sunday Tea at the Driskill Hotel. This annual event sold out last year so don’t delay– gather your mothers, daughters and girlfriends to take part. We spoke with Ballet Austin Guild President, Suzanne Mackowiak to learn more about this year’s event and her passion for supporting Ballet Austin through the Guild.

Meet Suzanne Mackowiak, President of Ballet Austin Guild

Suzanne grew up in a small town in East Texas and given the size and location, there was not consistent access to formal training. Ballet, tap and jazz instructors would move in and out of town leaving gaps for the group of girls who practiced there. Her mother knew that having physical, regimented activity could have huge impact on physical development through experience with Suzanne’s older sister. After carrying her for 10 full months, she was born with a crooked foot. Her mother noticed quickly that regular ballet instruction and practice was working to straighten her foot. Fast forward to Suzanne’s childhood, when instructors were not available in their small East Texas town, the group of mothers would take turns piling all the girls into their cars and carpooling to the nearest large city to keep the ballerinas progressing in their skills.

Suzanne learned grace, discipline and teamwork through her ballet training and credits her mother’s commitment for the adventure they took together, leading to lifelong friendships. One of those friends and her mother attended last year’s Ballet Austin Guild Afternoon Tea and will be attending again this year.

In her day job, Suzanne works at the Capitol focusing on Veterans, military and border security policy. She is busy in and out of session but still maintains time for Ballet Austin Guild as well as participating as an active member of Junior League of Austin. Her husband, Matt, is a political pundit, Chairman of Travis County GOP and founder of Potomac Strategy Group.

Ballet Austin Guild

Ballet Austin Guild is an all-volunteer organization whose purpose is to support Ballet Austin in a variety of ways. They provide educational programming for elementary-aged children through school shows during the Holiday season performances of The Nutcracker, as well as docent services in which Guild members go out to area schools and teach about classical ballet. The Guild is also the largest annual non-governmental donor to Ballet Austin, providing funds for youth scholarships for those who would not otherwise be able to afford classical dance instruction. Read the fascinating story of Orlando Canova, a current Ballet Austin Company Dancer who received a similar scholarship at the School of American Ballet. Without these funds, Ballet Austin would miss out on the opportunity to work with some very talented dancers.

Ballet Austin Guild has an open membership, so you can join and get started anytime by attending a general meeting. They will happily introduce you to the group and find how you want to serve with them. Meetings happen all over town as the membership is spread out. Suzanne has been part of the Guild for about five years, serving as President this year and VP of Fundraising Events in 2016-17. This year’s event, has about 15 members actively involved with a mix of fundraising and planning depending on each member’s interest and talents. Suzanne explained that often people surprise themselves when they get involved, as in the case of one member who said she didn’t want to be responsible for soliciting donations. One day, spur of the moment she asked a business owner if they would donate a pearl necklace and after that one success, knocked down businesses left and right ultimately bringing in thousands of dollars worth of donations for the event. 

Suzanne emphasized that we don’t realize how special it is to have ballet, symphony and opera (the big three) in a city like Austin. It takes funds to keep Ballet Austin among the top companies in the country, so the Guild seeks to raise about $60,000 through the annual event and raises additional funds through managing the Gift Barre at Nutcracker Holiday shows. But the volunteer hours are just as important. Last season, Ballet Austin Guild totaled 5,427 volunteer hours which is the equivalent of 2 full time employees and 1 part time employee. 

An Afternoon in Neverland

The annual tea follows the theme of the final performance of Ballet Austin’s 2017-18 season, an is appropriately named An Afternoon in Neverland. The event will have an open format, providing time to visit with girlfriends or family, to enjoy a traditional tea menu while sipping on tea, juice and champagne. There will also be live music, a photo booth and costumes to entertain guests. This event is appropriate for all ages and families are encouraged to bring multiple generations to enjoy the afternoon together. Goody bags will be available to entertain younger guests and word on the street is there may be some stiff competition to beat out Ann Downing’s family hats from last year! So don’t be shy, go all out and make special memories with those you love. You never know, you just might find this to be your perfect Mother’s Day tradition!

Behind the Scenes: Austin Diaper Bank Bash

Meet Nicole LeFave

The last thing Nicole LeFave needed to do upon her return from maternity leave was to add more responsibility to her plate. She already had a full time job as a civil litigation attorney and now had a newborn baby boy to add to the mix. But she heard through the Austin Bar Association that Austin Diaper Bank was specifically looking for attorneys to join the board of directors, and Nicole was drawn to the opportunity to use her legal skills to give back to the Austin community. As a new mom, she was surprised to learn that diapers are often seen as a luxury for many in the Austin area. How could it be that something so basic and necessary for an infant and young child could also be such a struggle to access? As she learned more, she knew she wanted to get involved to help further the mission of Austin Diaper Bank. When we asked her how she does it all she explained that her type A personality means that she is actually more productive when she has more to do. If there is only a limited time, you just have put your head down and get to work!

One of the needs that became apparent after she joined the board was spearheading the planning of Austin Diaper Bank’s first annual Bash. This event will raise critical funds for continuing the mission of ADB and provide a benchmark for the event’s fundraising goals in future years. Ironically, Nicole had helped planned a special fundraising event at her firm before the courthouse bond election and found it to be both fun and rewarding. So when ADB endeavored to create a first annual fundraising event, Nicole was up for the challenge!

Austin Diaper Bank Bash

This year’s event will take place at the iconic South Congress Hotel on Friday, April 13th. Guests will celebrate with drinks and bites (from the same kitchen that services the hotel’s popular Café No Sé.) The hip and chic vibe of South Congress will be the perfect setting for board members to mingle with guests so they can learn more about the needs in Austin. There will be a great silent auction including unique experiences like a week-long vacation at a home in Idaho and 4 tickets to see Diana Krall at ACL Live. A photobooth and DJ will keep the evening fun and exciting. Grab your tickets here!

Other Ways to Participate

There are many donor & volunteer opportunities with Austin Diaper Bank. Nicole shared that donating diapers is one of the easiest and most needed contributions. Even opened packages are accepted so if your little one has just graduated to the next size, or you didn’t use all of the swim diapers last summer, please send those along. Drop-off locations are all over the city including central places like the Whole Foods parking lot downtown on 6th & Lamar. To maximize your contribution, consider hosting a diaper drive. Nicole asked for diapers in lieu of gifts for her son’s 1st birthday. What a great way to give in an easy way and not acquire extra, unnecessary things for a child who isn’t old enough to appreciate them!

If you want a hands on experience, volunteer to wrap, package and distribute diapers at the warehouse. Nicole’s son, Nathan, had his first volunteer experience in the family-friendly space after Hurricane Harvey hit the gulf coast. With age-appropriate tasks, ADB makes it easy for even the youngest volunteer to make an impact in Austin. Think about the groups you know that look for different opportunities like this. It would be perfect for girl scout troops, a church small group, or a family service project.

And finally, Austin Diaper Bank maintains an Amazon wishlist of specific items of the highest need. Fill up your cart and have them delivered directly to ADB. It doesn’t get any more hassle-free than that.

Grab your tickets for Austin Diaper Bank Bash by clicking the button above! And let us know about the event you are planning so we can feature your organization next.

Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

72 round inch table with 12 chairs

72 inch table with 12 chairs. Note: these are not formal place settings with chargers

If you are like me, it is almost impossible to figure out how many people can actually sit at a table comfortably without bringing in the guests and trying it out. Below is a chart to help you with your planning.

Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

Table Size Number of People Layout Average Price
6 Foot Rectangle Table (72″x30″) 6-8 $7.50
8 Foot Rectangle Table (96″x30″) 8-10 $8.00
36 Inch (3 foot) Round Table 4 36in Table with 4 chairs $8.00
48 Inch (4 foot) Round Table 6-8 48 inch table with 6 chairs $8.00
60 Inch (5 foot) Round Table 8-10 60in Table with 8 Chairs $8.00
72″ (6 foot) Round Table 10-12 72 inch table with 10 chairs $12.00

When you are looking at this and other charts online, you will see a range for the number of people that will fit. It irritates me when I’m looking for an answer and find a range; I just want someone to give me the exact answer. Even though I know it’s annoying, I had to do it because it really depends on your preference. There is no right answer.

Here are some rules of thumb:

  • If your guests will be seating for long periods of time (like for a formal dinner), go with the smaller number of people (for example, only put 8 at a 60 inch round). You will need the extra space for the formal table settings. You also want your guests to have some elbow room and servers to have room to deliver plated meals.
  • If you choose bulky chairs or chairs with arms, you have to go with the the smaller number or the chairs won’t fit.
  • If kids will be sitting at the table, you can definitely go with the bigger number of chairs (you may even be able to add more).
  • If your guests will need to turn their chairs to view a stage or something else, go with less chairs or it will be nearly impossible for everyone to move their chair as needed.
  • If you use the higher number on the rectangle tables, you cannot push all of the chairs completely under the table.

 

Other things to consider when you are choosing a table:

  • You want to have 24″ of aisle between tables. To compensate for chairs, round tables should be set 54 inches apart, and rectangle tables should be set 60 inches apart.
  • The 72 inch table has a huge space in the middle so you need a wider centerpiece. (Note on centerpieces: keep centerpieces below eye level or less than 12 inches tall.  If you want to use a tall centerpiece, keep it slim so it doesn’t interfere with the guests’ view of each other.)
  • The 72 inch table is so large that it is hard for people to talk across. (This is fine for louder events where people are really only going to talk to the people on either side of them.)
60 inch round table with 10 chairs

60 inch round table with 10 chairs

  • The 60 inch round is the most commonly used table. You can fit the most people in a space with this table (unless you want to go banquet style with rectangle tables lined up together).

Banquet style with rectangle tables

Non-standard Tables

There are all sorts of tables available for your event (farm tables, picnic tables, vineyard tables etc.). Get the dimensions of the table you are considering and compare it to the chart to figure out how many people will fit. Or, if you want to make it really easy, just email us at info@loanables.com and we will talk it through with you.

I hope this helps you with your party planning. Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Types of Rental Chairs and Average Prices

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

Meet Fancy Fluff

Fancy Fluff has reinvented that timeless treat we all remember from days at the county fair, school carnival or friend’s birthday party: cotton candy. While classic sugar spinning techniques may not have changed much, the ingredients that comprise the perfect swirl of cotton certainly have. No longer must we accept the refined sugars and artificial flavors from the past, because Jessica Halich has created the same nostalgic feeling with modern ingredients like organic sugar and natural flavors.

And the flavors have certainly received an upgrade. Options like bourbon maple and jalapeno provide a unique tasting opportunity for adults, while classic flavors like strawberry, butterscotch and creamsicle please party-goers of all ages!

Jessica began honing her sugar spinning skills back in high school. It didn’t take long for her become lead spinner, running the cotton candy machine at every school event. But she didn’t take note of the business potential until years later, when she attended a birthday party with her own children. She saw that cotton candy had remained virtually unchanged all those years later, and knew she had an opportunity to modernize the classic treat. Using her business skills and creativity previously directed toward event production, Jessica created Fancy Fluff and now pleases Austin palettes at Mitzavahs, galas and corporate events all year long.

Fancy Fluff has always offered live sugar spinners for your event, creating not just classic cones, but also themed-inspired shapes like Troll hair for birthday parties and bunny shapes for Easter! And now, they’ve added a new way for adults to enjoy this fancy treat. Fancy Fluff now delivers the perfect Friday treat, dropping off 50 tubs of their delectable flavors to enjoy at your office! The total package is $175 and includes delivery in the Austin area. Celebrate the end of the week with some sweet fluffiness!

Want to win a cotton candy office party for yourself? Enter to win here. Your coworkers will thank you!

 

 

 

Types of Rental Chairs

When I planned a party for my parents, I needed to rent tables and chairs. Until then, I never knew how many different types were available to rent. Today, I respond, every day to requests for chair rentals; and most people don’t have an exact type of chair in mind when they first start the party planning process.  If you’re planning an event, I hope this helps you narrow down your options.

Most Common Types of Chairs Rented for Events

Type Avg. Price
Stackable, light weight, folding chair $1.75
Resin or Wood Chair with Pad $3.00
Chiavari Chair $7.00

 

In the first category, the stackable, light weight folding chairs, you will generally find either poly or alloy chairs at every rental company. These are the least least expensive chairs you can rent:

  1. A poly chair is made from polypropylene, a type of plastic.  
  2. An alloy chair is made by mixing two elements, one of which is a metal. The alloy is a little more sturdy than the poly.

You will also hear these chairs called Samsonite chairs, but that is just a brand name (same company that makes the luggage). It’s confusing because Samsonite makes plastic and metal chairs.

These stackable, light weight folding chairs range from $1 each to $2 each and generally come in black, charcoal or white. When you find some for $1, make sure to ask about the condition of the chair. If you are looking for a white chair, it is also important to ask about any discoloration.

The second category is the Resin or Wood chair. These are more sturdy than the poly or alloy chairs, and they usually come with a cushion so they are more comfortable as well. You will also hear these referred to as garden or wedding chairs. Most rental companies offer these in white, black, and a wood color and they run about $3/chair.

The Chiavari chair is also known as a Chiavarina; it was created by an Italian cabinet maker in 1807. Most rental companies carry these in several different colors including white, black, gold, silver and wood. These are the most expensive, about $7/chair but they make an elegant addition to your event décor.

Other options

Some people will use chair covers with the options above or with a conference chair.These chairs have thick padding because they are made for people sitting long periods of time. The average price to rent these is $4.

Chair covers range from about $3 – $6. I usually recommend going with the elegant chiavari chair over spending so much on chair covers, but it does depend upon the theme and style of the event.

I’ve gone over the most common chairs that are rented, but there are many other chairs available as well including barstools, ghost chairs, king and queen chairs, antique chairs, kids chairs, high chairs, etc. If it’s available to rent in Austin, Loanables has access to it. We work with over 200 rental companies in the Austin area so we can find the best options and pricing for your event. The best part is you pay the same price that you would if you went directly to the rental company, because rental companies pay us a commission for bringing them so much business.

Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Table Sizes – How Many People will Fit?

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

 

Email info@loanables.com if you need help finding chairs for your event or just want general advice on event rentals.  We are always happy to help.

 

 

Behind The Scenes – Explore Austin’s 2018 Quest for the Summit

Anna and Jason Herd are passionate about helping kids and about the outdoors. So, it’s no wonder that in 2009 when they learned about Explore Austin from one of Jason’s business school professors who was also one of the organization’s founders, they had to get involved. Originally a host family, Anna and Jason have been involved in Explore Austin for the last 9 years. Jason joined their Board of Directors in 2016, and this year, the couple is chairing the organization’s big spring fundraiser, Quest for the Summit.

I sat down with the Herds to learn more about Explore Austin, their involvement, and the upcoming Quest for the Summit.

Mentorship and the Great Outdoors

Coming from outdoorsy families, both Anna and Jason felt that spending time outside and having strong mentorship in their lives was really important to them as children and played a critical role in who they are today. Growing up, Anna remembers: spending weekends and summers driving 4 wheelers;  joining her dad on timber cruises on a lush family property in Mississippi full of wildlife; living in the mountains of Costa Rica (where she had to walk down the road to buy groceries from a local farmer); and doing Sail Caribbean a couple of summers in a row.

Jason grew up in a ranching family and spent his weekends hunting, fishing, working cattle, and fixing fences. He also was the first of his peer group to achieve Eagle Scout. Both of them say that they had excellent mentorship and a support system of family and friends that helped shape them and allowed them to excel. Jason said “You don’t get to Eagle Scout without strong mentorship. My dad was very influential and he wouldn’t let me get my driver’s license until I did it.”

These days, the couple and their two young sons love the outdoors and take advantage of any opportunity to be hiking, camping, skiing, doing sports, or anything out in nature. They try to include an outside component to any family vacation. During our conversation, Jason commented that his father was a successful entrepreneur but was always there for the important events and both he and Anna want to do the same for their boys. They would also like to provide this mentorship and these outdoor opportunities to as many kids as possible.

Explore Austin

Explore Austin is providing both these outdoor experiences and long term mentorship to children who might otherwise not have these things.

Founded in 2006, the organization was put together to test a model of mentoring and outdoor adventure for underserved youth. They approached one of the local Kipp charter schools and essentially took a group of boys (Explorers) on a camping trip. Since then, the program has grown to around 270 Explorers and 90 Mentors with a mission to change the lives of underserved youth through leadership, mentoring, and adventure.

Each spring, Explore Austin recruits 2 new teams (one 6th grade boys team and one 6th grade girls team) primarily from schools where most kids qualify for free or reduced lunch and pairs each team of 15 youth with 5 adult mentors. They then provide these youth with leadership training, long term mentors and outdoor experiences. Both the explorers and their mentors spend one Saturday per month outside in Austin hiking, mountain biking, bouldering, canoeing, etc. In addition, they spend a week in the summer somewhere in the backcountry in Texas or states like Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, or New Mexico on a much more challenging outdoor wilderness adventure. This is the first time many of these kids have been on an airplane, lived out of backpacks, and faced physically and mentally challenging activities.

The program is 6 years in duration and the Explorers and Mentors are asked to make a long term commitment. Currently, they have over a 90% Mentor retention rate and close to that for the Explorers. An unintended outcome has been that most, if not all, of these kids end up applying for and being accepted to college, something many of their parents have not accomplished.

2018 Quest for the Summit

The organization would love to expand it’s reach and add more teams in the next few years as the outcome for these students are tremendous. In order to do this and to support the existing program, they are holding the 9th Annual Quest for the Summit on April 5th at Fair Market. The fundraising goal for this event is $230k  and close to 300 guests are expected for a night filled with music, food, drinks and outdoor games like corn hole and washers. The night will be more relaxed than a typical fundraising event and attendees will have the opportunity to mingle with other guests, Explorers, Mentors, and Explore Staff to learn more about the organization and how they can get involved. Explorers will share their stories and there will be opportunities to support the program and even participate in a mystery raffle for a Yeti filled with all sorts of fun supplies. Prior to the Quest, there will be a graduation ceremony honoring all graduating senior Explorers and their Mentors for six years of dedication.

It will definitely be a night not to miss and a wonderful opportunity to learn even more about an organization that is clearly making such a big difference in the lives of underserved youth in the Austin community.

If you would like to sponsor the event or purchase tickets for this year’s Quest for the Summit, you can do so Here.

Spotlight on Austin Events: Meals not to Miss

If there are two meals you don’t want to miss, it’s these two: Swift’s Attic Wild Hog Dinner benefitting Operation Turkey and Lost Pines Nursery Benefit Dinner. Here are the details you need to know!

Wild Hog Dinner at Swift’s Attic

Let’s start with a sustainably-sourced Wild Hog Dinner featuring skilled chefs from WuChow, Eberly and Swift’s Attic. This no rules dinner allows the chefs to make whatever they fancy utilizing wild hog from a sustainable hunt with Michael Moore of River Bottom Trackers. Produce is also sourced from local farms for a true farm-to-table experience.

Who  Brian Tolbert, Executive Director of Operation Turkey, began this dinner series about 5 years ago. His original dinner featured seafood, wild-caught by hand (his hands!) during a fishing trip to Alaska and has continued to feature sustainably sourced proteins.

What  5-course, family-style dinner along with donated wines, tequila and live music performed by Big Britches.

Where  Swift’s Attic, 3rd & Congress

When  Sunday, March 4, 5-9pm, dinner served at 6pm

Why  All proceeds benefit Operation Turkey through which every dollar is used for food or food preparation as the organization is 100% volunteer-operated. Last year, 5,000 volunteers worked from 8am until noon on Thanksgiving Day to provide 8,000 Thanksgiving meals in Austin alone. Countless more were fed through Operation Turkey’s volunteer groups in surrounding Austin areas as well as Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, and outside of Texas in Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico and North Carolina. To learn more about how you can volunteer, sign up for informational emails here.

Pro-tip (from the Hunter)  You get the best meat by sourcing animals from a place where they have the highest quality diet. For example, many hogs can be found feeding on acorns all day long, but the hogs used for this dinner live in wheat fields, producing a much higher quality protein.

Tickets still available for the Wild Hog Dinner here.

Lost Pines Nursery Benefit Dinner

Next, brought to you by a team of acclaimed culinary and botany masters, The Lost Pines Nursery Benefit Dinner at Barr Mansion is an unparalleled opportunity to experience farm-to-table fare with the Farmer-in-Residence, Christian Drake, walking guests through the courses from his unique botanical perspective.

Who  Botanists Christian Drake & Ben McMurray have taken on the task of revitalizing Bastrop’s historic nursery. Chefs Jessica Ximenes of Barr Mansion & Bethany DiBaggio of La Pera have curated and designed the evening’s meal.

What  The Lost Pines Nursery Dinner at Barr Mansion & Artisan Ballroom will feature a prix fixe menu focused on items grown in the nursery. Don’t miss out on the plant auction!

Where  Barr Mansion & Artisan Ballroom 10463 Sprinkle Rd. Austin, TX 78754

When  Wednesday, March 7, 6:30-9:30pm

Why  Be part of revitalizing Lost Pines Nursery while treating yourself to a special evening. The goal of the evening is to raise capital to begin operations and spread awareness of the nursery’s re-opening to serve the Austin area and beyond in Central Texas. Drake & McMurray have a culinary farming focus and are utilizing unique agricultural solutions like special watering techniques and soil-nutrient mixtures that work together to create the highest quality plant. While they are starting with tomatoes, they will broaden the scope to include both exotic and native plants.

Pro-tip (from the Farmer)  Have you ever noticed how some of those tomatoes from the grocery store don’t seem to have much tomato flavor at all? That’s because farms that supply grocery stores over water the plants in order to create the highest yield or poundage. Well, if you stop watering tomatoes as soon as they turn red, you may see a lower yield, but you will have the tastiest tomatoes ever!

Tickets still available for The Lost Table here.

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

I have 3 friends either building a home or completely remodeling a home right now. Listening to all of the decisions that have to be made on a daily basis is overwhelming. There are hundreds of options with every choice you have to make (Do you want tile or hardwood floors? Seems simple enough until you answer that question only to find there are hundreds of choice either way you go).  It can be overwhelming and make the whole process of building a house draining. The similarities to planning a large event are staggering.

People call me and they have a simple question like, “how much does it cost to rent dinnerware?” I want to give a straight, simple answer, but the answer is dependent upon so many different things. What you choose to rent is probably different than what the next person I talk to will choose. With that said, there are some general guidelines you can use for budgeting purposes. Please keep in mind this is an over-simplification just to get you started with budgeting. I chose a common range of prices – there are ALWAYS more expensive options when you start customizing.

Per Person Cost for Formal Place Setting

Item Good Better Best
Charger $1.10 $4.50 $6.95
Dinner Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Salad Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Bread Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Dessert Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Beverage Glass $0.50 $0.95 $2.25
Red Wine Glass $0.55 $0.95 $2.25
White Wine Glass $0.55 $0.95 $2.25
Coffee Cup $0.50 $0.70 $0.95
Coffee Cup Saucer $0.50 $0.60 $0.95
Salad Fork $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Dinner Fork $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Dinner Knife $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Dessert Fork $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Teaspoon $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Butter Knife $0.40 $0.55 $0.75

Total Per Person

$8.30 $15.75 $28.10

Per Person Cost for Casual Place Setting

Item Good Better Best
Dinner Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Salad Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Bread Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Beverage Glass $0.50 $0.95 $2.25
Dinner Fork $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Dinner Knife $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Teaspoon $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Butter Knife $0.40 $0.55 $0.75

Total Per Person

$3.75 $6.00 $11.25

I’ve worked with several people who have chosen to just get the Dinner Plate, Beverage Glass, Wine Glass, Dinner Fork, Dinner Knife, Spoon. (I actually prefer this approach unless it is a very formal event). So…on the low end, you can expect to pay about $3 per person for plain white china or glass with stainless still flatware. On the very high-end, you are looking at about $28 per person for gold or silver-rimmed china with silver-plated flatware and crystal stemware.

I really think planning a party should be fun.

“The pleasure isn’t in doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.”
― John GreenPaper Towns

I’m on a mission to make this quote true 😉

Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Types of Rental Chairs and Average Prices

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

Table Sizes – How Many People will Fit?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

Top 5 Austin Events in March

SXSW dominates the scene in Austin during the month of March, but there are many other local events to get excited about as well! Let’s start it off with something fun for the whole family…

89th ABC Kite Fest March 4

This is one of Austin’s incredible FREE events. Did you know it is the nation’s oldest kite festival? Brought to you by ABC Home and Commercial Services, the day is filled with kite making, kite flying & kite contests! But wait, there’s more! MossFest, a children’s music concert, a fun run and, of course, great food are all staples at this long-standing event. Proceeds from the day are gifted to Communities in Schools of Central Texas and the Moss Pieratt Foundation. What a great reason to get out and enjoy the day at Zilker Park!

SXSW March 9-18

There is so much to do at this year’s SXSW event. From music to emerging tech talks to film and fashion, it is hard to decide what to attend. Here are just a couple of events we are excited about:

BBQ Crash Course: sampling some of Texas’ best barbecue with a chance to meet the pitmasters, at Southbites Trailer Park

AI: Transforming Luxury, Fashion and Beauty: a panel discussion about the future of fashion with AI, at the Four Seasons

Think VC: The Value of Women Investing in Women: a panel discussion about increasing the number of female early stage investors, at the Hilton

Cindy Y. Log (Red Velvet Events): mentor session by one of Austin’s best event planners, at the JW Marriott

Just Press Go: Waymo’s Self-Driving Cars Are Here: CEO John Krafcik shares about the 9 years and 4 million miles that brought the reality of self-driving cars to Arizona and soon to a city near you, at the Austin Convention Center

Rodeo Austin March 10-24

The Travis County Expo Center is home to Rodeo Austin. Two solid weeks are packed with live music, fair games & food and, of course, the rodeo and stock show. Our favorite rodeo pastime is watching Mutton Bustin’ in which aspiring cowboys and cowgirls (ages 6-8) get 6 seconds to hang on to a sheep for dear life! Signups for your son or daughter to participate are already full but you can still enjoy the show and get them mentally prepared for next year.

Cirque Eloize: Saloon March 29-30

This acrobatic comedy has all the components of the perfect western- a lover’s tale, folk music from the likes of Johnny Cash & Patsy Cline and a motley crew with great stories of fortune and folly. See this original western musical on stage at The Long Center. Tickets start at just $29 and the show is appropriate for all ages. Watch a clip of the show here.

Fashion X Austin March 29-April 7

Austin lifestyle expert and designer Katie Kime will be designing the runway for the 10th anniversary of Austin Fashion Week. Catch the main live show on March 29th along with soirees at local stores March 31-April 4. The week long event concludes April 5-7 with nightly runways from designers across the country.

 

Did we miss your favorite March event? Let us know so we can spotlight it!

 

Event Tents: Types, Sizes and Prices

Pole tent

Pole tent – has elegant peaks

I went to Target yesterday to get mascara and sat on the make-up aisle just staring at all of the choices. I didn’t want to choose between long, curly, luscious, or thick. I wanted all of those things. There were so many choices, I ended up leaving without mascara. I went home and ordered the last one I had purchased off Amazon. It’s not even one that I love, but it was easier than choosing a new one.

Did you know there is an actual psychological effect dubbed The Paradox of Choice? Barry Schwartz wrote a best-selling book about it. The gist is: we all want choices, but in today’s consumer-driven marketplace, there are too many choices, which is often paralyzing.

I see this paralyzation frequently when someone planning a party needs to rent a tent. There are different types, sizes, structures. It’s overwhelming. Trying to figure out the size tent you need is akin to sitting in high school algebra class – it’s definitely not the most fun part of planning your event.

I’ve put together a chart and some general guidelines to get you started with your planning. And if math isn’t your thing, email info@loanables.com. We are happy to do the drudgery for you.

Frame tent

Frame tent – can be set up on any surface

What size tent to I need and how much will it cost?

Tent
Size
Square
Feet
# of Guests
Ceremony/Theatre Style
# of Guests at
Round Tables
Approximate
Cost to Rent
10×10 100 15 10 people at 1 tables $50 – $150
20×20 400 68 40 people at 4 tables $280 – $350
20×30 600 90 60 people at 6 tables $400 – $550
20×40 800 100 80 people at 8 tables $520 – $650
30×30 900 125 90 people at 9 tables $600 – $700
30×60 1800 245 180 people at 18 tables $900 – $1400
40×60 2400 342 240 people at 24 tables $1600 – $1850
40×80 3200 450 320 people at 32 tables $2100 – $2500
Frame tent

Frame tent doesn’t have poles on the inside

Sq. Ft. Needed for Rented Items

Item Square
Feet Needed Each
48″ Round Table (seats 6-8) 80
60″ Round Table (seats 10) 100
72″ Round Table (seats 12) 120
6′ Rectangle Banquet Table (seats 8) 80
8′ Rectangle Banquet Table (seats 10) 90
Buffet Table 100
Bar 100
Dance Floor 2-4 per guest
DJ Area 100
Marquee Tent

Marquee Tent – has the peaks but no poles on the inside

And if figuring out the size wasn’t enough, you also need to figure out the style of tent you want…

Types of Tents for Parties and Events

Type Description
Pole Secured with stakes – can’t be used on concrete or asphalt. Poles create peaks and dips which makes it look very elegant
Frame Free standing so can be set up on any surface. There are no poles inside so you don’t have to worry about planning or decorating around those
Marquee Hybrid of the pole and frame tent. They give you the elegant peaks of the pole tent but are free standing like the frame tent
Frame Structure Has wider openings and taller ceilings than the standard frame tent. Can support more weight than other types of tents, and has tighter fitting sections and walls, making it the best option for heating and air-conditioning
Frame Structure Tent

Frame Structure Tent – this is the best option for heating and air conditioning.

Check out this blog for inspiration.  It shows pictures of several different types of tents – all gorgeous!

I recently helped plan a 150 person wedding.

We had to make room for guests tables, buffet table, bar and dance floor.  To stay within budget, we selected to go with the pole tent (usually the most economical). Here’s how the math worked out:

  • 1000 square feet for the guest tables
  • 100 square feet for the buffet table
  • 100 square feet for the bar
  • 300 square feet for the dance floor
  • 100 square feet for the DJ

We needed a total of 1600 square feet so we went with a 30 x 60 tent.  The cost for the tent was $750.  A frame tent would have cost about $1,100.

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point. If you have questions, email us at info@loanables.com.

Pole tent

A pole tent will have poles in the center that you will have to plan around.