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(Pictured from left to right: Ben (husband), Lauren, Shreya (bff), Pauline (Mom), Shannon (sister of my heart/-in law), Neil (Brother)

Let me reintroduce myself (in a three part post, that I'll share over a few days this week).

My name is Lauren Green and my husband Ben and I are the proud owners of A Vision of Elegance Event Rentals. (Yes, we picked the longest name possible that doesn't fit on any paperwork, but it is what it is).

I decided to start a blog with this rebrand of our website because I wanted to present a slightly different perspective on our experience in the events industry. This blog will serve as a behind the scenes look at what we do when prepping for events/new and upcoming pieces being added to the inventory. And while I will totally still share photos of current events and style shoots, I'll also show what goes into the day to day workings of a small rental company. I know that prior to getting into the business, I had a rather narrow view of the industry. While researching for my own wedding, I often had sticker shock and couldn't understand why rentals cost so much. I didn't realize the amount of work that went into making sure items were ready for events. So I really hope to give you a glimpse of what that entails and how we strive to earn your business. Also, I kind of wanted to prove that my creative writing major wasn't just for fun (Go Pitt!). In a past life, before getting into corporate America and starting this business, I was an education editor with a publishing group...and a proud member of the now defunct Xanga live journaling community. Be glad it's gone...I wrote some truly emo poetry in my late teens/early 20s.

For this first post, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into where we've been and how we have evolved since we started in 2012.

Like many who get into the industry, the idea of starting a wedding related business came as I was planning my own in 2009 and 2010. This period was the start of the crystal trend, seating charts were a fun, different concept, and candy buffets were reigning supreme. Note: Pro-tip...tissue paper in takeout boxes for the candy buffet should be nowhere near little votive candles. While there were no outright fires, some of that paper definitely went up in smoke. And yes...that LOVE sign on the candy buffet is made completely of chocolate. Thanks, Precise Ice.

I was a DIY Queen for as much as I could be for our wedding...we bought our linens, found deals on flowers, and even made our own pocket fold invitations. Let's be real, though...if you actually saw how much I spent between reprints and mistakes, I could have just paid someone to do our invitations with far fewer headaches.

Moving forward, planning my wedding made me a bit of a wedding junkie. This was a time before Pinterest (I know, it existed). I lived on The Knot and Project Wedding's message boards----all while Bridezillas and Four Weddings fueled my wedding décor obsession.

It took about another year before we finally decided to take the plunge and start our wedding business.

Note: I could probably make this into a six part series of how far we've come in 10 years, but I'm going to break it down into three instead.

Starting our Business: There is a certain amount of ego that often goes into starting a business, especially when you feel that you are an "expert" from all of your research. Though maybe ego is the wrong word...confidence perhaps? Either way, I honestly can't tell you how much money we wasted on items that were ultimately not for us. Let's make a small list, shall we?

1. Linens: In my personal opinion, it takes a saint to deal with linens. Have you ever shown up to an event and seen a guest table that looks like a plate of pasta was turned upside down and smeared into it like a piece of modern art? I have...and sometimes, no amount of Oxy Clean is getting that out. This in addition to ironing five to eight foot linens (yeah, no steaming for us---we were old school). Not to mention the number of colors and fabrics that exist. Who knew there were so many shades of "mint" out there? In the end, we were in and out of the tablecloth business in less than a year. God Bless Linen Rental companies.

2. Uplighting. Ok, I'm going to preface this by saying, wired uplights. The wireless ones that were new back then were out of our budget, so we bought those wired, chauvet uplights instead. Despite taping the wires down with gaffer tape, we were called on more than one occasion to "fix" the lights that someone had accidentally yanked out and were no longer on their preset. While I did like their effect, these too moved into the category of "items that were not for us."

3. Crystal Centerpieces: This is a rough one, because our first purchase as a business were our Crystal Candelabras. Now, I could tell you what a bear these were to put together on the little gems dropped in transit ALL the time, or how candle wax became my nemesis. But honestly, these were like my kids. They were the first item we bought and we kept them long after we stopped renting them. These, along with the crystal globes and votives were at the peak of popularity back then and I embraced all of it.

However, like all things, trends started to change (I'm not even talking about mason jars or burlap here...just know that they existed) and although many of these items are still used today at events, we decided to shift our focus to other décor. In part II of this introductory series, we will chat about what we became known for...chuppah draping.

Thanks for tuning into our first blog! I appreciate all of the clients that have been along with us for this crazy ride for the past 10 years and look forward to meeting more in the future. Have a great week!


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