Weathered signs welcome guests to chairs adorned with burlap bows in rows flanked by patinaed barrels. At the end of an aisle, sun shines through flowy material and snapshot-worthy floral arrangements wrap around splintered beams forming an archway. Inside, notes of well wishes for a happy couple are nestled in a shabby suitcase surrounded by simple lanterns and tattered books renewed with customized love notes.
Holly Mitchell of Rustic Event Rental uses repurposed items to create the perfect scenes for couples tying the knot, kids celebrating birthdays or mothers expecting babies.
“This started with my own wedding seven years ago,” she said. “I wanted a rustic, country, vintage items and it took us almost a year to try to source out items. We did a lot of flea markets, yard sales, barn sales, borrowed things from our families.”
Mitchell said due to a lack of storage space, she and husband Byron got rid of the items they had collected and repurposed. But, friends and family were in awe of the wedding’s décor and wanted to borrow pieces for their own events.
“And that’s how we started rentals,” she said. “I’ve been in business three years.”
Mitchell said with her creative eye that allows her to see the potential in torn, rusty or broken items and Byron’s woodworking skills, they’ve re-purposed hundreds of items that can dress up events. Rustic Event Rentals also offers linens, fresh or artificial flowers and balloon arrangements.
“We pretty much have everything you’d need for a ceremony or other event, indoors or out,” she said, adding that items are rented by the piece for three days at a time. “I’ve kind of slowed down on actually gathering and re-purposing large items because I’m running out of room, but if I see something unique that grabs my attention, I grab it.”
The Mitchells’ home base is in Gaines, where they operate Twin Valley Evergreens, but their second home and rental shop are in Muncy. The team delivers, sets up and picks back up event décor all over the state, from the local area to Scranton, Philadelphia, State College and beyond.
“The biggest compliment for me is when we get customers who have been to other weddings, baby showers, bridal showers we’ve done,” she said. “They might call and say they liked this piece or that piece or the colors or just overall theme and want to do it in their own style.”
Mitchell said prior to COVID-19, she was providing items for up to three events every weekend. Most of last year she was down to about one small event per month, but she’s already preparing for a busier year. An open house at Rustic Event Rental in early March, with other small local businesses invited as vendors, attracted lots of brides-to-be, couples and just people curious about the offerings.
“We just love to talk to people about their ideas and how we can strive to make their event what they want,” she said. “We’re all about keeping our prices low and can work with any budget. You don’t have to have $5,000 worth of stuff, but if you have a couple key items that speak to you, that’s what makes it memorable and special.”
Some standout pieces in Mitchell’s collection include sliding barn doors, windows in all shapes and sizes, sparkling chandeliers and barrels, from large whiskey barrels to small nail keg barrels. She also offers the smaller details – vintage or rustic lanterns, suitcases, cameras, books and bottles.
“When you say ‘rustic’ to somebody, everyone has a different idea,” said Mitchell. “You can use the same cupcake stand or the same altar and it never comes out the same for every wedding. It’s as unique as every couple.”
To contact Mitchell or make an appointment to see items she offers, message her on Rustic Event Rental’s Facebook page or call 570-560-3688.