Wedding decorations is a huge planning topic, to say the least!
There are literally endless directions we can take a conversation on decor … but here on the Wedding Planning Podcast, we like to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
So here are three very basic points to keep in mind as you’re planning how to decorate your ceremony and reception space.
Most importantly, where do wedding decorations fall on your list of priorities?
- IF additional decorations / flowers are not important to you,
- IF you’ve selected a gorgeous venue that needs nothing additional,
- THEN full permission to skip this section entirely!
WEDDING DECORATIONS BUDGET
What’s your overall DECOR BUDGET? This number should include any flowers, draping, custom lighting, table decor, etc.
You may have set aside a specific “flower” budget at the beginning of your engagement, which is fine. Just make sure to include everything together in one lump “decor” sum, to avoid budget headaches down the road.
INVENTORY THE DECORATION-WORTHY SPACES
Before you get too carried away on Pinterest or shop for ANYTHING, take a detailed inventory of any spaces you want to decorate.
If you were able to find a naturally gorgeous venue, your work here may be very minimal.
If your venue is more of a blank space, and you want to bring in some extra WOW-factor, here’s a detailed list of things to consider:
WEDDING DECORATIONS CHECKLIST
- Next it’s helpful to do our “WEDDING VISION WALKTHROUGH” from Section Two of The VAULT, specifically with the decor in mind. Take note of everything you see. Write it down in a brainstorm.
- That’s the easy part. More challenging is deciding if your vision is realistic given your budget?
- How large is the reception and / or ceremony space?
- Exactly how many tables will you need centerpiece decorations for? This includes not just the guest tables, but side tables for gifts, desserts, place cards, your guest book, etc.
- Can you repurpose decorations, transporting them from the ceremony to the reception? Be aware that often times your florist will offer this as an option, but there will likely be an additional “transportation” fee.
- And the perfect place to drop one of my all time favorite wedding planning mantras – KEEP IT SIMPLE. At the end of the day, your guests won’t know the difference if you skip a few things here & there.
Above all else, a meaningful wedding is what we’re going for. And a meaningful wedding does not have to cost a ton of money!
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE your wedding decorations
The good old recycling mantra applies perfectly to your wedding decorations – here’s how:
REDUCE EXTRA DECORATIONS
Reducing the amount of extra decorations will keep things simple & affordable. Will you guests miss a few extra floral arrangements, a personalized dance floor, or expensive custom lighting dangling from the ceilings? Probably not. And I doubt that you’ll regret saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars by skipping it altogether.
REUSE WEDDING DECORATIONS
Purchasing decor items from another couple is an amazing way to keep things affordable, not to mention earth-friendly. No need to go out and buy new decor when there’s a huge market of pre-used wedding items that you can take advantage of! Search for wedding items on Craigslist, Facebook, eBay, or do an internet search for “wedding resale”. You’ll come up with hundreds of marketplaces that sell second-hand items – in brand new condition. Keep in mind that for large items, you’ll want to keep it local to combat high shipping prices. Stick to craigslist and Facebook marketplace for local pick up’s.
RECYCLE YOUR DECORATIONS
Recycle your own wedding decorations by selling them back to another couple. Same tips apply from the note above for listing your items for sale. The bonus is twofold – you saved a ton of money buying it used, and you’re getting some (or maybe ALL) of that investment back by reselling to another couple. Craigslist and Facebook marketplace are perfect places to list your gently used items for sale. And this is not flea market flip, where we’re trying to MAKE MONEY on stuff. Price your items fairly with a clear comparison showing what they would cost brand new. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you can offload your stock.
Quick personal story: I resold all of our wedding tablecloths, fondue pots, silverware & centerpiece vases. Remember my “DIY” catering story from the previous meeting? We had 35 fondue pots, along with about 20 tablecloths and a bunch of simple glass vases that we originally purchased from a local wholesale flower warehouse.
We didn’t recoup ALL of the money, but probably in the ballpark of 80% of what we originally spent! To see numbers, that’s:
- 35 fondue pots x $40 = $1400
- 20 tablecloths x $20 = $400
- 40 vases x $5 = $200
- 80 sets of silverware = $230
- TOTAL $2,230 >>> and we recovered about $1700 reselling all this stuff.
Assuming you don’t personally need 35 fondue pots or 80 sets of silverware, that’s a meaningful amount of money for very minimal effort.
QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DECOR PLAN?
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A final word on wedding decorations …
To wrap it up, I don’t personally think you need a ton of extra decoration for your ceremony space. The focus during the ceremony is entirely on YOU and your partner.
If you’re torn between decorating one space over another, I would always allocate your budget to your reception space. Your guests will spend much more time there.
To illustrate this another way, let’s say your decoration budget is $1,000. Rather than putting $500 towards the ceremony, and $500 towards the reception, I would put all $1000 towards the reception. It will make much more of an impact than spreading the budget out over two places.