The Big Day Rentals: Winds of change

The Big Day Rentals adapts wedding to weather


Event: Wedding ceremony and reception in Navarre, Fla.

When and where: Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, along the Intracoastal Waterway on Navarre Beach, Fla. The 3,000-mile waterway, also known as The Emerald Coast along the Gulf of Mexico, includes channels all along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. Near Fort Walton Beach, the waterway occurs between the coast of Florida and Santa Rosa Island, a narrow length of land that borders the Gulf of Mexico.

Timeline: “We had this event on our books very early on,” said Merri Ward, co-owner, The Big Day Rentals, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. “For us, October books up quickly. The weather here at that time is very mild, usually. The floral designer, Myrtie Blue, contracted the rentals through us.”

Other companies involved: Myrtie Blue, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., managed the event. The white resin chairs were by Midas Event Supply, the lounge furniture was by Modern Line Furniture and the dance floor was by SnapLock Industries.

Challenges and solutions: “For us, the weather is always the biggest factor because that is among things you can’t control. Two months before the event, one of the hurricanes came through and took out part of the roadway to the island. The couple then had to make an alternative beach plan for wedding to avoid that roadway. Sometimes, you can’t even plan the day before,” Ward said. “The rental house where the wedding took place is on the bay. We do a lot of weddings at that house. There’s a beach area next door and, a lot of times for events, there will be a tent set up in that sandy area. The tent was set up for the reception. It turned out to be a beautiful day, except for the 25-30 knot winds. All the tables and chairs that were under the tent had to be moved into a downstairs area of the house. All of the furniture from that downstairs area was moved into the garage.”

The company had to move fast. “The ceremony was moved to the lawn on the bay. It was supposed to be on the beach, but the winds would not permit it,” Ward said. “The chairs were moved to the area adjacent to the patio area. Then we put the lounge furniture on the patio area along with the dance floor. We had maybe two hours to flip the whole thing. After the ceremony was over, we removed the chairs off the sand, and left the lounge furniture and dance floor.”

What went well and why: “We have a really great working relationship with our setup people as well as Brian (Watson, co-founder) from Myrtie Blue,” Ward said. “There’s always a solution. This is actually is one of my favorite setups of the year. I don’t think it would have looked as well if it had been in the tent. Sometimes it ends up being better.”

Why is rental important for events like this: “You’re casting a vision for someone,” Ward says. “Especially with the eye candy that brides are given with Pinterest and other Internet sites, they have this vision of what they want their big day to look like. They can’t accomplish that just on their own. With rentals you are able to give them their dream.”