When it comes to weddings and events, table setting is one of the most important factor in the decor. As soon as your guests enter your reception area, whether it be outdoors or indoors, the overall look of the area is what gives off the first impression. Aside from the centerpieces which gives life to the room, plate settings and silverware are next in line. You want to make sure tables look “full.” Which is why, if the venue my clients booked for their wedding do not include plates and utensils, Cherished Rentals, comes to mind immediately. Jennifer, owner and founder of the rental company, is amazing to work with. She makes sure every guests’ setting is perfectly spotless and set on the table. Her growing collection will definitely include the perfect style fit for your event.
We did a short interview with Jennifer about her business that she founded alongside with her husband. Since the day I met them, I am truly impressed with how far they have gone with their business. Be sure to check them out and see what they can offer you to help make your event a beautiful one!
How many events do you do in a year? Do you have a team to help out? Do you set up a table for each of your weddings?
How did you get started with your business? What gave you the idea to do plate setting/silverware rentals? When did you start your business?
When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we had a very restrictive budget. We were considering selling personal items to help pay for our wedding. He was prepared to sell one of his guitars, and I was prepared to sell this large set of antique dishes I bought when I was 16. That’s when the light bulb went off! I decided I could use the dishes as part of the decor and I started saving up my tips from my job to help pay for the rest of the settings needed for our guests. This entire business was started with just a year’s worth of tip money and it’s been going strong since 2013!
What is the best part of your job? What is the worst part?
The best part of my job is hearing a client say, “I’m so happy I did this”. Whether they are saying it directly to me, or simply thinking out loud to themselves, it is confirmation that I’ve exceeded their expectations. And that couldn’t make me happier.
What styles do you offer? What kinds of plates, silverware, and cups do you have in your inventory? Are you planning on expanding to new products?
Our inventory originally consisted of a single collection of mismatched vintage china, authentic silver plated flatware, glassware and dessert stands. We now offer multiple collections of vintage china, gold flatware as well as high end ceramic ware and chargers.
How do you grow your inventory? In other words, how do you choose what styles you plan on purchasing to build your inventory?
Our selection process was extremely strict from the beginning. Rather than collecting “anything with flowers on it” we focused on a specific era and select manufacturers. This helped streamline our aesthetic tremendously despite having so many different patterns. When it was time to expand into ceramic ware, we knew we had to have the best! After consulting with a number of friends and colleagues in the food service and hospitality industry, we set our sights on some of the most sought-after ceramic ware. It was definitely an investment, but the quality and earthy color tones speak for themselves!
You have recently opened up a studio room for you to meet your clients, do you show every product in person, or do you base it off the style of the clients’ wedding or event?
An example of every collection can be seen at our showroom. Clients and planners are welcome to bring a sample of their linens, stationery or flowers to see how they would match the dinnerware or glassware, although we have a pretty awesome florist on hand so don’t be shy… come say hi to both of us!
Below, we used the same table setting but this time Jennifer laid out a set good for 6 people. Conversation Pieces had so many different types of furniture, this white long table caught our eye. Don’t mind the centerpiece! We first had the lemon leaves in a porcelain vase until we realized it was just blocking our view of the other side. Transformed that centerpiece into a garland going across the center.
There are so many styles and history behind silverware and fine china and about table setting, how did you learn it all? Do you have to research more about products and their style and how to put it all together?
Google definitely helped us out with proper placement of tableware in the beginning! Although at most weddings, the proper placement of flatware or glassware etc. usually gets altered to accommodate guest favors, abundant florals, crazy menus, and other decorative elements so we often have to make some adjustments when setting up the tables…
Describe the process of how your clients choose their plate setting. Do you meet with them and show them a list of what you have to offer? How do they choose their settings?
Our clients typically come to us with a general theme or style and a color palette. From there I personally craft multiple settings for them to choose from and either meet in person, or send pictures via email. Depending on the size of the event, I can usually tailor the colors to match their floral arrangements and/or linens perfectly.
What is your favorite type of table set up?
My favorite type of table set up would have to be casual and comfortable. Grab a chair — any chair and enjoy your meal and good company! It might be a result of setting up so many formal settings, haha!
When a client returns your product, what do you and your team do next? What is the cleaning process, or how do you maintain the high quality of your inventory?
We never rely on our clients to wash their order prior to returning it — there’s no way to guarantee proper sanitation for the next client when you do it that way. We handle all of the cleaning and sanitizing so our clients never have to hassle with washing 500+ items following their event. After an order is returned we follow restaurant-grade sanitation procedures, even if a client returns an order “washed”. Save yourself the trouble, because I’m going to wash it again anyways!
If there is one thing you can change about your business what would it be?
If there was one thing I could change about my business it would be… the dishwashing!
Are you exclusively a rental company or can your clients purchase from you?
At this time, we are exclusively a rental company although I would love to expand into retail — but that isn’t happening any time soon! For now, you’ll just have to wait for one of our annual inventory sales!
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Do you have any goals for you and your team?
Hopefully in 5 years, we will have a brick and mortar large enough to accommodate workshops and smaller events, and a whole team of dishwashers!!
What advice or tips would you tell someone who is interested in having a table setting collection?
My advice to someone looking to offer tableware rentals would be to focus on maintaining consistent quality and cultivating your own identity. Over time, your clients will recognize and appreciate your unique style and be drawn to what you — and only you can offer.