At the beginning of this year when Donna Saladin noticed that the Yacolt wedding venue she managed needed tables, she decided, along with her husband Rick, to build instead of buy. So, on a cold January evening they blasted the space heater in their garage, layered up their clothes, and started building tables.
The goal was to simply have tables available for wedding parties — a common practice at most venues — but Donna soon began to realize their garage project could be something more.
Visitors to the venue continually took notice of the tables, commenting on how they’d like to rent — or wish they had — similar tables at an event of their own.
“We saw a need,” Donna said.
Understanding there could be a market for their elegant-style tables, Donna and her husband brainstormed the idea for a rental business with the help of a wedding photographer friend of theirs. They began to bounce the idea off others she knew in the wedding industry and feedback was positive.
“People just loved the idea,” Donna said.
The pair started kicking up sawdust on more tables. Donna started a Facebook page and met with wedding vendors she’d worked with during her time as a vendor manager and coordinator to help get the word out and build a foundation for the business.
In June of this year, less than six months after their first table stood up, the 20-year natives of Clark County officially opened Country Garden Tables, offering rentals and custom jobs.
The tables continue to be built in the Saladin’s garage and are made with fir and tops with white board. For easy transportation, the tops pop off and the legs fold into the frame.
The fleet of tables, which are transported to events in a 98-square-foot trailer, is made up of 21 eight-foot long standard tables, two bars (both on wheels) and a smaller “sweetheart” table often used to sit the bride and groom at a wedding.
Donna said she’s seeing weddings shift from a “shabby chic” look to more elegant, a trend that Country Garden Tables fits. Each one is stained with a Varathane wood stain and clear coated with indoor/outdoor satin.
Although they’ve already filled their trailer and a storage unit with their tables, the couple hopes to continue expanding and to have 40 available by March of next year.
But they aren’t in a great rush. Donna said the main goal is to provide tables that are sturdy and quality while still being elegant.
“We take pride in our work,” she said, adding that she takes great pleasure from seeing the tables being used in a functional manner by wedding staff while also making the bride’s face light up from how it looks.