10 Ways to Splurge on Small Party Rentals: It’s All in the Details

March 2, 2017 by Grand Central Party
Small Party Rentals

Spice up your Party

Smaller, intimate parties can truly be some of the most extravagant celebrations, from a springtime baby shower to an afternoon garden party. Find out which party rentals can make your event a blowout.

You have an opportunity to really elevate a small party by splurging on “extras” like chandeliers and silver tea service. There’s something quite special about taking time to consider even the smallest of details; your guests will appreciate every bit of it.

Plus, your photographer can capture the energy of an event by showcasing all those thoughtful details, like your table settings accented with rose petals and glittering vintage string lights overhead.

We have compiled 10 Ways to Splurge on Small Party Rentals for those of you planning an intimate celebration, dinner party, baby shower, and everything in between:

  1. Set the tone with an invitation. Perhaps your party calls for an invitation with a gold foil stamped border or martini glasses sketched over a watercolor background. Whatever the case may be, Paper Source has a design to suit every party style, so spend some time and select one that best represents your vision for the celebration.
  1. China adds a touch of elegance to any event, especially intimate gatherings. Top a handcrafted farm table with mismatched vintage china and Arezzo Brushed Gold flatware for an ethereal feel. We absolutely adore this Whimsical Birthday Brunch. Pair with beaded chargers and reversible majestic linens for added style.
  1. Surprise your guests with a dance floor at your backyard barbecue. They won’t be able to resist a boogie (or two) to their favorite songs. Position some Elio benches and tables nearby, so friends and family relax while they watch others do the Cha Cha Slide. Besides, if they’re seated nearby, they’ll be more likely to be pulled onto the dance floor.
  1. Brighten your party décor with live floral arrangements. Mix brightly-colored peonies in a silver punch bowl and display as a centerpiece for your table, or set single-bud vases at each place setting with a single flower. Bonus points if you personalize the flower to each guest.
  1. Add a crystal chandelier to your event for an instant glam-factor. Choose from soft and sweet crystal to traditional wrought iron, depending on your party’s feel. This Royal Princess High Tea Garden Party featured floral accents to the chandeliers that, coupled with linens and draping, really transformed the outdoor venue.
  1. Regardless if the party is being catered or you’ve decided to cook everything yourself, opt for tiered or plateaued serving stands. Not only will it add height to the food table, but the overall presentation is so much nicer than disposable party trays. Remember, nobody likes lukewarm food, so be sure to keep food hot in style with presentation or copper chafers.
  1. If you want to highlight the event’s signature cocktail, consider providing a real bar suited to your party’s style. At the very least, incorporate bourbon barrels into your Derby-themed party for an authentic Mint Julep-fueled celebration. Or, if you’d prefer to pre-mix party punch, be sure to serve it in a glass beverage dispenser. And if you plan to offer after-dinner coffee, dress it up in a silver coffee urn with a matching cream and sugar set.
  1. From multi-colored streamers to floral garland, no party is complete without the perfect backdrop. It may be positioned behind the food table or at the entrance to your party so guests can pose in front of it for pictures. Some of you may be natural DIY party planners and can’t wait to create a memorable backdrop. But if you’re not one of those people, professional draping and uplighting will create a sophisticated look that will wow your guests.
  1. Create a fun hashtag for the party and encourage guests to use it. Print the hashtag on small pieces of colored cardstock and scatter them throughout the event. If you’re throwing a baby shower, the mom-to-be may already have one pre-selected. The same goes for milestone birthdays. And while guests may all be somewhat acquainted, they may not be following each other on Instagram. Hashtags offer an easier way for everyone to find photos on social media after the event.
  1. Send each party-goer home with a unique party favor that ties into the overall theme of your celebration. This is your final chance to make a lasting impression on everyone, so be creative and thoughtful. It doesn’t have to be a $100,000 swag bag like those provided to this year’s Oscar nominees. It could be as simple as a box of Cracker Jacks, David’s Sunflower Seeds, and Big League Chew bundled together with a bright red ribbon and keepsake “Admit One Ticket” from a sports-themed birthday party.





5 Tips for Hiring a Wedding DJ

February 23, 2017 by Grand Central Party

Guests will remember three things from a wedding: how the bride looked, the food and the wedding DJ.

“It’s my job to make sure they have a good time,” says John Ward, owner of MidSouth Moblie DJs.

With more than three decades of experience as a wedding and event DJ, Ward offers 5 Tips for Hiring a Wedding DJ.

Selecting a Wedding DJ

Dance the Night Away with the Perfect Wedding DJ

Skip Google

Ward says 90 percent of his business comes directly from referrals. Most people have an opportunity to attend at least one wedding or large-scale event before planning their own. If you come across a great DJ, go ask them for a card.

“Our biggest advertisement is doing a good job at a wedding,” he said. “There’s nothing better than seeing someone doing a good job first-hand.”

Referrals are typically a safe bet since most folks won’t recommend someone unless they really like them. If you’ve found a stellar caterer or florist, ask if they have a list of preferred vendors.

“Everyone wants to shop local, and grow local, so why not get a local DJ,” he urged.

The same is true for all your vendors, really. Check out 3 Ways Your Wedding Benefits from Using Local Vendors.

Focus on what’s important

Song are usually about 4 minutes long, which means 15 songs per hour, and depending on the length of your reception, potentially 100 songs over the span of three hours or so.

Rather than wear yourself out trying to select hours of music, focus on the important moments. Spend your energy deciding which songs mean the most to you for those special dances. You’ll always remember your first dance as husband and wife and the father-daughter and mother-son dances. Need some ideas? We love this compilation of First Dance Songs that Will Give you the Feels.

Then let your DJ do what he does best.
“Be as hands-on as you want, but remember that we do this every weekend,” Ward said. “We won’t just play the same thing at every wedding. We look at the crowd and try to cater to everybody. You may have some couples who will only come out and dance to slow songs, and others who want to get down and boogie.”

It’s worth noting that all songs are family-friendly radio edits; the last thing you want to do is offend some of your guests.

Don’t make your friends, family work

While playing music from an iPod might sound like a cost-saving option, it really puts the burden of deejaying on your friends or family. Someone will still have to emcee the reception and announce key moments throughout the event.

“Inherently, that’s what DJ does – we play specific music at specific times, and you just can’t do that with an iPod,” Ward explained. “It just doesn’t create the same energy.”

He also pointed out that while you may choose songs that appeal to you – or your groom – they may not appeal to your wide range of guests.

“A good DJ will know how to mix it up and cater to the people who are there dancing – or not dancing,” he said. “You may have in your head that you want all these certain songs played. Give that list to a good DJ, and he’ll play as many as possible when it’s appropriate. I’ll watch the crowd and see which songs get people out of their seats.”

DJ vs. Live Band

Being in Music City, USA certainly has its advantages when it comes to finding a great band. And there is certainly a time and place for live music, but it may not be at your wedding.

Bands tend to have a set list, albeit a strong one, that they stick to for the night. And while they may sound fantastic, they generally have a limited range and can’t (or won’t) accept requests. Then there’s awkward downtime in between sets, while the band is on break. Still undecided? Read Bands v. DJs: Which is Right for Your Wedding?

If you or someone in your bridal party is a musician who wants to pay a special tribute during the wedding reception, then by all means, let them perform a song or two. It really adds such a special touch to the celebration.

Communication is key

Great DJs are much like day-of wedding coordinators.

“We’ll meet in advance to determine the order of events – for both the ceremony and reception – and communicate to everyone throughout the day,” Ward explains.

By having the events planned out ahead of time, your DJ can let guests know what’s going on (The buffet just opened, so everyone grab a plate.) or what’s coming up next (Where are all the single ladies? The bride is ready to toss her bouquet!).

“A good DJ will do much more than just deejay,” he continued. “The easy part is playing music and getting people to dance. But I take pride in is helping out with other stuff.”

Book in February and Save

February 14, 2017 by Grand Central Party
10% for Feb 2017

Save on your Rentals

You can never begin planning a celebration too soon. In fact, the earlier you begin, the less stressed you’ll be once your big day arrives. Most venues are booked far in advance, not to mention DJs, caterers, and florists. The same is true for party rental companies like ours. That’s why we have decided to offer a 10 percent discount on all rental contracts  when you book in February (with a 50 percent deposit).

Not sure what you’ll need? Grand Central Party Rental offers everything from tables and chairs to tents and dance floors – and everything in between. Whether you’re planning a rustic Fall wedding or an elegant 60th anniversary party, we’re sure to have something for every celebration (view the full catalog).

I’ll have what she’s having..

While a bar isn’t required for a party to be fun, it’s always a fantastic addition. And your guests will likely appreciate a cocktail while they wait for your bridal party to finish photos.

Splurge a little and wow your guests an ultra-cool bar like one of these. We can bring your ideas to life with Jack Daniels barrels or a rich-Mahogany bar topped with floral arrangements and a drink menu to match your theme.

But what if there’s rain?

Outdoor weddings are honestly some of our favorite. There’s nothing quite like the ethereal feel of a ceremony beneath two oversized oak trees against a Tennessee sunset.

But Mother Nature isn’t always on our side when it comes to planning a big soiree, especially one as important as your wedding day. That’s why tents were invented. If you’re not keen on having a tent at your celebration, we suggest a quick Pinterest search for Wedding Tent Ideas. Tents have come quite a way since your memories of summer camp.

Think of them as a blank canvas for your imagination to run wild. Lighting works wonders; add chandeliers for a soft, amber glow or dozens of tiny lights for a Starry Night ceiling. Let your florist work her magic on the space with lush greenery to continue the natural feel of the outdoor setting.

Linens and china and flatware, oh my!

Enhance your celebration with the dining experience complete with linens, china, and *gasp* real utensils. You’ve already spent a pretty penny on your caterer, so why would you dine with paper plates and plasticware?

Pair cream-colored linens with vintage china and classic baroque flatware for a very romantic setting. Or, if your wedding is a black tie affair, select crisp, white linens with white gold-rim china and Arezzo brushed gold flatware.

Have a seat and relax.

Another fabulous addition to any celebration is an ultra-cool seating areas like this one. Recreate your favorite look with our selection of furniture rentals, including circular banquette sofas and high-back loveseats.

Complete the lounge area with drapery and colored lighting (see above). The two can absolutely transform any space, including a tented celebration.

If ideas have already begun swirling around, give us a call at 615-868-3747, and we’ll guide you through the process to ensure your celebration is unforgettable!

5 Bridal Beauty Tips

January 28, 2017 by Grand Central Party


Bridal Beauty Tips

5 Beauty Tips to Look your Best

Selecting the perfect hair and makeup for your wedding day is one of the most exciting decisions for brides-to-be.

It can also be just a tad overwhelming; there are SO many bridal beauty options, how do you choose the right one??

Take a deep breath. Whether you’re a beauty pro or a nervous novice, we you covered with 5 Bridal Beauty Tips that are sure to make your wedding makeup and hair prep as stress-free as possible.

Enhance your own beauty.

You’ve always been beautiful, now you get to look – and feel – extra special on your wedding day. Day-of hair and makeup should enhance the real you, not make you look like someone else.

Wedding photos are forever, so you should look like you – not a sorta-kinda-similar version of you.

Play up those beautiful cheekbones or big, bright eyes. Your groom loves you (and he already know what you look like), so have fun enhancing your look.

Start your skincare regimen early.

About six months before your big day, begin a healthy skincare routine so your makeup application is a breeze, says Rachel Cothron, owner of Nashville-based R&Co Bridal Beauty Team.

“Don’t do any peels, facials, or start a new beauty routine in the month leading up to the wedding” she says.

As a longtime hair and makeup artist, Rachel has seen it all. That’s why she highly recommends hydrating yourself. Not only will you feel better, but your skin will look healthy and glowing. Plus, a well-hydrated bride makes for a nice, smooth palate.

Leave it to the professionals.

Rachel urges brides to hire a professional makeup artist for their big day. Not only have they had tons of practice, they know what foundations will match your skin tone and how to contour a la Kim Kardashian.

Professional MUA also use higher-quality products that will photograph well and keep the shine away.

“If you have a look in mind, make sure it’s complementary of your own features and isn’t too drastic from your typical ‘going out’ makeup,” Rachel explains, adding that brides should refrain from anything too trendy or with lots of glitter.

Save new hairstyles for another day.

The last thing you need as a bride is a beauty emergency. Remember that one scene from Bride Wars when Kate Hudson realizes her hair is green?! Wedding planning is stressful enough without a beauty crisis to manage.

“Don’t try ANYTHING new before the wedding,” Rachel says. “And if possible, let it grow out a bit, but maintain with a trim.”

It’s also important to consider hairstyles that are reasonable for your hair length, thickness, and texture. You know your hair better than anyone, so this part should be easy. Bring in pictures to show your hairstylist. Pinterest, anyone?

“The morning of your wedding, make sure your hair is ‘day-old dirty,’” Rachel continues. “It’s even better if you have it styled for your rehearsal. Don’t worry about oiliness; dry shampoo will be your BFF.”

Wax on, wax off.

If you’re accustomed to a weekly (or monthly) wax, this part will be fairly routine for you, so plan to wax two or three days before the wedding.

Definitely don’t try a new wax or esthetician right before the wedding; stick with your normal schedule.

Ladies who are new to waxing will need to start at least a month beforehand. Since hair grows in a cycle (which can become uneven with shaving), it will need time to adjust to waxing cycles.

Check out this Glamour article for a quick waxing overview, then ask your stylist or salon for a personal recommendation.

Style your Wedding with Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year

January 21, 2017 by Grand Central Party


Pantone recently unveiled its 2017 Color of the Year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! What better way to liven up your big day than with a bright burst of Greenery: Pantone 15-0343.

(Wondering what exactly is Pantone Color of the Year? It’s a symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what Pantone sees taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.)

Pantone Green

2017 Color of the Year

Described as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore, and renew,” Greenery is a refreshing and vitalizing shade symbolic of new beginnings.

Plus, its versatility is unparalleled. Whether you’re planning a spring, summer, or fall wedding, Greenery can be incorporated in a variety of ways for both indoor and outdoor celebrations. In fact, Pantone calls Greenery “nature’s neutral.” That means it’ll fit in well as a subtle accent or as the star of the show (after the bride, of course). Pair it with a contrasting color for a wedding style that’s all your own.

Don’t stress if you’ve already selected your wedding colors. Consider incorporating Greenery – or any of Pantone’s Top 10 Colors for Spring – as the perfect pop of color to your bouquets and floral décor. You can also stretch your budget by adding more greenery to your arrangements; it’s possible to transform your wedding with the touch of a leaf. Or skip the flowers altogether and marry your best friend under a vine-covered trellis.

If you’re absolutely in love with this vibrant, energizing shade of green, showcase it with a little help from your besties. The Dessy Group offers an array of Greenery-colored dress to suite each bridesmaid’s shape and style. We’re particularly fond of this gorgeous look.

The color also works well for those handsome fellas in your wedding. Spruce up their boutonnieres with fragrant eucalyptus leaves or pick a patterned pocket square for a simple, sophisticated style.

Of course the bride will want something blue to accompany her old, new, and borrowed goodies, but consider donning a gorgeous pair of Gaspeite earrings or vintage hair pins for a bit of on-trend flair.

Let’s say your wedding is around the corner, and you’ve finalized every last detail, but you absolutely must have Greenery somewhere in your special day. Take a deep breath and make yourself a drink. Seriously. Why not add a Green Apple Ginger Martini to your springtime soiree? Or how about a Minty Pear Mojito for your summery celebration? Be sure to personalize your signature cocktail so your guests can request a “Tony and Tina Martini” all night!

Ultimately, we encourage you to incorporate this vibrant shade of green into your wedding in whatever way suits your style best. Don’t force it, but don’t let it scare you either. It can easily enhance a rustic, natural ambiance, or liven an indoor celebration with a bright burst of color. We encourage you to embrace the refreshing rejuvenation of Greenery and allow it to complement your already perfect plan.