Party feature: Weddings of a lifetime
Party feature: Weddings of a lifetime
05/03/2012

For rental owner, father/daughter dance is more than music

Photo courtesy of Greer Photography

Photo courtesy of Greer Photography

Photo courtesy of Boekell Photography

Photo courtesy of Boekell Photography

Some fathers of brides worry about the wedding. They want to know that the guests will have a good time, that photos won’t take too long and that their daughters are happy with the event. For Carl Linkous, owner of A to Z Rentals and Sales in Huntington, W.Va., being father of the bride meant a lot more.

Linkous, a second-generation owner of A to Z, expanded the original construction/homeowner business to become a special event rental company. As a result, when each of his two daughters was engaged to be married over the past few years, he was involved with every details down to the plates and napkins. Each daughter was engaged for a year and a half before her wedding, Linkous says, “So, we had plenty of time to put each of the receptions together.”

The planning of each of his daughter’s weddings took place from 2008 to 2011 and the events were located at the same venue — the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington — using Navitrac tents with two totally different styles.

“Both of my daughters had their wedding receptions in the same location, two years apart. My older daughter, Carly, 30, had her reception on April 18, 2009, and my younger daughter, Haley, 26, had her reception on June 4, 2011,” Linkous says.

“Carly went for a more elegant and formal atmosphere with a 40-ft.-by-100-ft. tent, tent liner, ivory pintuck linens and gold beachwood Chiavari chairs. She had a smaller and more intimate wedding with a private ceremony being held at a chapel with only family. More guests attended the reception at the museum having around 150 guests,” he says.

“Haley went with a more relaxed and fun style with a 40-ft.-by-120-ft. tent with a clear span top, black-and-white dance floor, floral and bright blue linen, and black Chiavari chairs. She had a larger wedding with her ceremony being held at the museum in a 30-ft.-by-75-ft. tent with tent liner and gold Chiavari chairs. Everyone attended both the ceremony and reception with a total of 275 guests,” he says.

“Dad was definitely under a lot of stress to please his two most important clients, his daughters. All of the hard work was well worth it and the events turned out to be a success. Everyone had an amazing time and they still talk about it. The guests were very impressed with how beautiful Carly’s event was and how unique and fun Haley’s event was,” he says.

A to Z Rentals and Sales had most of the materials on hand and the star rental items for the weddings were the Navitrac Tent Systems, Linkous says. “We purchased gold beachwood Chiavari chairs and stools
for Carly’s reception. We also subleased a
tent liner for Carly’s reception tent and a black-and-white dance floor, black Chiavari chairs and a clearspan top for Haley’s. We purchased 42-in.-high, 8-ft. and 6-ft. tables for Haley’s wedding to make a full-service bar for attendees to sit around. It was a hit,” he says.

“For Carly’s reception, we worked with Media Promotions in Huntington for live music and we had a DJ from Joe Eddins, floral from PJ’s Flowers and a tent liner from Skyline Tents in Charlottesville, Va.,” he says.

“For Haley’s wedding, we worked with Media Promotions again and had the band Savannah Jack from Nashville, Tenn. Our wedding planner was from Special Occasions in Gallipolis, Ohio. We sub-rented a black-and-white dance floor and a clearspan tent top from Skyline Tents in Charlottesville, Va., black Chiavari chairs from All Occasions in Pittsburgh and we had floral from Archer’s Flowers in Huntington,” he says.

Linkous said he tried to set a budget for each wedding, but it just didn’t work. “They were both so creative with the things they wanted at their wedding receptions and it was worth it,” he says.

The challenges for each of the receptions were varied, but nothing got in the way of either daughter’s event.

“Carly was going for a very elegant and romantic feel for her reception. She wanted everything to have a soft ivory color and this became a challenge since the tent and tent liner were white. After a lot of trial and error we succeeded in making everything look ivory. We attached par can lights to the side of the tent with brown gels. It ended up looking better then we could have imagined,” he says.

“The weekend of Haley’s wedding was the busiest weekend A to Z has had in a long time. We had at least five other tent weddings and a lot of smaller orders as well. With Haley being an employee at A to Z Rentals and off for the week for the planning of her wedding, we were a bit short staffed. This caused me to have to be in several different places at once. We survived and I had more fun than anyone at the reception,” he says.

Everything went well for the receptions, Linkous says, thanks to the longer engagements that allowed time for prior planning and a bit of luck where the weather was concerned.

“We had perfect weather for Carly’s wedding and it made the day run so smooth. It’s a very stressful thing to have to worry about the weather when you are doing an outdoor wedding. It also helps to be the owner of the company making sure everything happens and happens right. I have a close relationship with our workers and I know I can depend on them in a time of need,” he says.

“Haley’s wedding weather was a little different. It was beautiful with no rain, but very hot. Because of the much larger guest list, there was a lot more to set up for her wedding and the busier time of year that made it more challenging. It helped having Jeri Allie with Special Occasions as her wedding planner. We have worked with her before and she and Haley created a relationship that made it easy for Haley to trust her and be able to sit back and enjoy the day. If you ask both daughters they will say there isn’t one thing they would change about their day,” he says.

Linkous says it was a very special moment to experience the father/daughter dance with each of his daughters. “It was an amazing feeling to look around, breathe a sigh of relief that we pulled it off and really soak it all in. I am still so proud of the beautiful and unique events we created together with each of my daughters and our employees,” he says.

“Most parents try to offer money or a wedding when it’s time for their kids to get married. That wasn’t really an option for me, being the owner of
a special event company,” Linkous says. “Everyone had high expectations of us and was looking forward to an especially good time at each of the wedding receptions. Huntington is a very small town and the two types of events A to Z pulled off were equally amazing. They were
both events that you wouldn’t expect to attend in this area and people are still talking about how they were two of the best weddings they
have ever attended.”