Here Come the Rentals: An Expert Guide to Rentals for the Best Wedding Ever

At Home Memphis and Mid-South  - August 2017.  Text by Jordana White

Pegram/Boughton Wedding at the Jefferson

Pegram/Boughton Wedding at the Jefferson

Planning a wedding can be stressful—especially when you consider the growing number of couples who choose to marry in non-traditional venues. Beautiful and unique? Sure, but also lacking in some of the most basic necessities, like tables, chairs…even roofs! Enter: rentals, the solution to pretty much every wedding décor crisis. Couples who choose to rent wedding items often find the options can be overwhelming, so At Home Memphis & Mid South sat down with Ann Marie Shivers of Details Specialty Rentals in Oxford, MS, to nail down the dos (and don’ts!) of wedding rentals.

AHMMS: What types  of brides/venues are best suited to wedding rentals?
AMS: Any type of bride or venue can benefit from a rental company. At Details we carry everything from wood plates and McCarty china to copper, silver, glass, gold and Annieglass.

AHMMS: What advice would you offer engaged couples about choosing a rental company?
AMS: When picking a rental company it’s crucial to make sure that they have a variety of options for all budgets, and that they are willing to work within your budget. Everyone has a budget; it doesn’t matter how small or large, and everyone’s wedding is just as important, regardless of that budget size.

AHMMS: What is the biggest mistake a couple can make when choosing rentals and how can they avoid this problem?
AMS: The biggest mistake we see is when couples spend above their means. We want the experience to be a pleasant one for everyone involved. The rentals are not the only thing that will be important in the wedding. A bride and groom still have to remember the cake, food, alcohol and dress, just for starters. It is awful to see rentals get out of hand—sometimes it’s best to step back and reduce wherever possible to stay within budget and make everyone happy, especially the couple and the father of the bride!

AHMMS: What are the must-have wedding rentals at the moment?
AMSMore than anything else, people are renting furniture and lighting installations right now.

Top:  Pegram/boughton wedding at the jefferson.  bottom: garraway/Owen Wedding at The Jefferson.

Top:  Pegram/boughton wedding at the jefferson.  bottom: garraway/Owen Wedding at The Jefferson.

AHMMS: What’s the hottest new tent design today?
AMS: I would say the newest is the sailcloth tent.  It is beautiful and makes a lasting impression.

AHMMS: How can a couple take their event to the next level with rentals? What kind of extra items are you seeing people use?
AMS: To take an event or wedding to the next level, I highly recommend renting furniture, rugs and lighting. These items give the wedding reception a more intimate and fun atmosphere.  

AHMMS: How can a couple take their event to the next level with rentals? What kind of extra items are you seeing people use?
AMS: To take an event or wedding to the next level, I highly recommend renting furniture, rugs and lighting. These items give the wedding reception a more intimate and fun atmosphere.  

garraway/Owen Wedding at The Jefferson.                                                                                                                         

garraway/Owen Wedding at The Jefferson.     

 

                                                                                                               

AHMMS: In addition to delivery and pick-up, what kind of services does your rental company offer?                                                 AMSWe tell our clients that we really do not want or need to talk to them the week of their wedding. We should be finished with all of the planning and paying the week before so that they can enjoy the time leading up to their special day. We then will be prepared to go and set everything up according to the CAD (floorplan) of the chairs, tables, lighting, draping, etc… exactly the way we discussed in our previous planning meetings. We want the bride to walk into exactly what she envisioned in all of our meetings—that is our goal. After the event is done we come and remove everything.

AHMMS:  What are some of the most unique wedding items you’ve rented?
AMS: Some of the most special rentals we’ve seen are our hanging table (used for cakes, bar, appetizers), lucite cupcake tower (we can add different colored lights to each of the levels), chandeliers (we have many different styles to pick from), and pinspot lights (we have different styles to choose to highlight cakes, flowers, furniture…whatever we really want to pop).

AHMMS: What types of trends are you seeing in wedding design?
AMS: Gone is the oh-so-trendy use of burlap—thank goodness! We’re seeing everything more natural, simple and elegant: more greenery than flowers and candles, and, of course, brides love the furniture!

 

Oxford Magazine: The Jefferson, Oxford’s newest wedding/event venue, is turning heads in its first year. There’s a reason for that.

Grand Entrance

The Jefferson, Oxford’s newest wedding/event venue, is turning heads in its first year. There’s a reason for that.

BY ALEX MCDANIEL
PHOTOS BY ANN-MARIE WYATT, KARLA POUND & BETH HONTZAS

THE BACK PORCH
The Jefferson was designed with plenty of space and adaptable design to provide areas for guests to retreat, including the porch at the back of the building.
THE GRAND HALL
The largest event space in the venue, the Grand Hall was built to accommodate a crowd with built-in benches lining the walls and eight air conditioning units that can blow 40 tons of cool air in the room at once.

When Tom Green first conceptualized The Jefferson, Oxford’s newest wedding/event venue, he took just about everything imaginable into consideration. Green’s three daughters,  all Chi Omegas at Ole Miss, would tell him about events they attended and how there just didn’t seem to be a spot that could fit everyone without dealing with logistical problems or crowded spaces.

“We started playing with the idea that there might be a need (in Oxford) for something bigger,” Green says.

What began in concept as a 9,000 square-foot space evolved over time, opening in 2016 as an 18,000 square-foot lakefront venue sitting on 90 acres a few miles outside of Oxford proper.

For Green, who co-owns The Jefferson with his sister, Margie Schloesser, the design concept came to him in pieces, a collection of ideas and moments of inspiration that helped him conceptualize how to build something that could accommodate just about any event while maintaining a rustic feel rooted in elegance and authenticity.

“A lot of it was thinking about my daughters and my wife,” Green says. “If they had a ceremony out here, how could we make it a perfect day?”

The size alone makes for a lot to take in when touring the facilities. But at the core of The Jefferson’s construction, and likely a big draw for event planners, are in the details.

At first glance, the Grand Hall, the Jefferson’s largest room, looks relatively straightforward in its construction with clean lines, large windows and column-less open space. Look closer, and you’ll see how Green’s attention to detail comes through. Built-in wooden benches line the walls to offer additional seating space without clutter. The large stage at the end of the hall sits beneath an archway, an idea inspired by a Hallmark movie Green watched with his wife.

To avoid a common party problem in which rooms filled with people tend to warm up quickly, Green installed eight individual air conditioning units in the hall, blowing 40 tons of air into the room and serving as multiple layers of back-up in case one of the units were to go out during an event.

Even behind the scenes lies impressive intentional design. There are a private room and bathroom located near the stage for musicians and bands to retreat without having to cut through the crowd. Green installed a large ladies restroom with eight toilets to minimize long lines. The bridal parlor is equipped with wall-to-wall mirrors, a tall chair for the bride so hair and makeup stylists can work comfortably, and outlets connected to separate breakers to accommodate a larger number of tools like blow dryers and curling irons.

Of course, there are a handful of things Green’s team didn’t foresee during construction. One example: An event held in January that overwhelmed the venue’s 200-coat closet.

“We had over 400 mink coats,” Green says, laughing.

That prompted Green to install a back door in the closet that connects to a conference room. This allows for overflow coats to be hung on racks and rolled into the adjoining space.

There’s an authenticity to The Jefferson’s vintage aesthetic due to Green’s longtime interest in salvage and restoration. The large, sturdy front doors came from the classroom of an old school building in Henderson, Tennessee. The restored chandeliers suspended in the Grand Hall were originally broken-down light fixtures a church in Memphis no longer wanted. The pine floors are from a textile mill in Virginia. The railing around the lake was crafted from an old guardrail that once lived on Highway 309.

A subtle touch can be found in the brick walls and walkways within the venue and outside: thousands of reclaimed bricks made by the short- lived Oxford Brick and Tile Co.—all engraved with the town’s name.

“We put them everywhere because this is Oxford and we should show everyone what we have here,” Green says. “This is our town.”

There are two other main rooms in The Jefferson, all freely flowing into the others to make for a larger event space or to provide options for people who want to hold smaller events at the venue. There’s also a back porch and plenty of seating by the lake for guests who want to break away from the main event to be alone or have a conversation with others away from the festivities.

Looking toward the future, Green hopes to add a garden for planting herbs and spices—a helpful addition for caterers like Elizabeth Heiskell, who’s working out of the Jefferson and has catered events in the space. Eventually, he’d even like to build cabins on the property, ideally as a lodging option for guests traveling to attend one of The Jefferson’s events, should the hosts want a more all-inclusive experience.

“You can have a destination wedding—maybe overseas or on a secluded island somewhere, and that’s great,” he says. “But Oxford is a place where people always want to come back after they’ve graduated.”  

EXTRA

  • Storybook Wedding: Alston & Katie Love Owen
  • A snapshot of how The Jefferson transformed its 18,000 square feet of space into one couple’s dream wedding day.

VENDORS

  • Oxford Floral
  • Elizabeth Heiskell Catering
  • Details Specialty Rentals
  • My Michelle’s, Bar Consultant
  • Cobra Security, Security and Valet Parking
  • Ferriday McClatchey, event planner

Voted Oxford's Best Wedding Venue 2017

The Jefferson Oxford - The Grand Hall

The Jefferson Oxford - The Grand Hall

Best Wedding Venue: The Jefferson

In the daytime, you might miss this 18,000 square foot venue tucked away along Highway 6, but at night, you’re drawn to its beautiful, bright lights. The Jefferson, with its rustic feel and high ceilings, sits along an 8-acre lake, making it a perfect location for a romantic wedding – be it a small, intimate ceremony or an event for 1,500 guests.

Southern Living: This Mississippi Bride Brought the Outdoors In With Rustic Touches

A rustic, wonderfully wooden venue in Oxford, Mississippi played tribute to this couple’s love of the outdoors.

Caroline and Clinton’s nature-inspired wedding day was nothing short of perfect. From enchanting wooden details to graceful greenery mixed with all-white blooms, the space these two created could easily make you forget you were actually inside.

“Clinton is a huge outdoorsman, and having grown up on a ranch, we knew we wanted our big day to reflect our love for the outdoors,” said Caroline. “Due to the cool spring temperatures we decided to bring the outside inside and enhance our rustic venue with a ton of greenery, branches, pops of crisp white flowers and dim lighting. These elements created the perfect simple, yet elegant, backdrop for the most special night.”

Photographed by Mississippi wedding photographer b.flint photography, this classic, yet outdoorsy affair is sure to inspire.

A Whimsical Wooden Ceremony Space

Full of wooden details and evergreen flourishes, the couple’s ceremony at The Jefferson in Oxford, Mississippi accomplished exactly what they hoped – to bring the outdoors in.

by B.Flint Photography

by B.Flint Photography