RED FLAGS Beware of vendors that are late, rude, unprofessional, don’t work with you, don’t have contract or set rules, taking no or small deposits, don’t have a paper trail(invoices, quotes or receipts). Every vendor should have clear cut contracts or expectations that are on paper.
Wedding Colors and Style
Choosing your wedding colors and style/theme set the stage for all of your decor. Your theme/style/vibe is very personal. Your lifestyle, hobbies and personality will help lead you to a style. If you are unsure scroll through Pinterest and see what catches your eye. Popular themes/styles/vibes that you have probably seen and heard of are rustic, boho, diamonds, winter wonderland, roaring 20's, romantic, gothic, fiesta, vintage, Disney, nautical, tropical and enchanted forest, When choosing colors consider the season of your wedding, your venue and your and your partners favorite and least favorite colors. You should choose at least 3 colors and 1-2 accent textures. Textures are things like pearl, gold, silver, copper, glitter, sequin, diamonds, lace, wood, feathers, burlap or velvet.
Here are the current Davids Bridal colors to start you off with some ideas
Planning Your Decor
Decorating your wedding is one of the biggest parts of wedding planning. If you need help choosing a theme/vibe and colors go here.
Lets go over the areas you may want to decorate and what they include:
Ceremony entrance-signs, barrels or vases with florals, lanterns or other accents
Aisle-aisle runner, flowers or candles, petals
Alter-arch/arbor, back drop, florals on/in front of arbor, draping on arbor, table for unity ceremony, decorated chairs for ceremony, kneeling pillows
Portrait area-draping, florals,
Cocktail area-tables and linens, lights, candles, lanterns
Head table- Back drop, table linens, runners, napkins, chargers centerpieces, votives, chairs/thrones.,,l, chair covers, sashes
Cake table- Table linen, back drop, cake stand, flowers, knife set, favors, trays for other deserts, signs
Gift table- Table linens, card box, signs
Room décor-Pipe and drape around the room, up lighting, lounge area
Memorial table- Table linen, back drop, photo frames, signs, votives, flowers, risers to create height for photos
Outdoor reception space- Lighting, lanterns, tables, table linens, games
Now homework: If you haven’t done it yet create a Pinterest board for your wedding ideas now! Then search on Pinterest the areas + your style or colors listed above and Pin the ones you like (example wedding aisle décor modern rustic)
DIY or Hire a Professional
Now how are you going to accomplish all of this? You have three options: Hire a professional, DIY or a mix of both. No matter what you choose I recommend you look into both before making your choice. Below you will find a comparison excel spread sheet to help you look at the numbers and decide:
Hiring a Professional: Hiring a professional decorator is the easiest and most expensive way to decorate your wedding. There are professional decorators who may do it all but there are also professional draping companies, lighting companies, linen companies and table and chair companies. Depending on the size of your wedding it may be your best option. Most decorators have lots of inventory on hand and can turn you towards their most budget friendly options. Hiring a decorator will save you TONS of time and stress and get you a professional look. They will come in decorate and typically remove all items. Sit down and have a consultation with at least 2 or 3 decorators. Show them pictures of your venue and Pinterest board. Be sure to ask if the details of what is included in the quote like set up and tear down, their damage/cleaning fees policy, deposit policy, cancelations/date change policy.
DIY: Now if you are like me you see something and think “Hey I can do that!” If you have the patience and craftiness(or just a small budget) you can totally diy your wedding. I still recommend you get at least one quote from a decorator to compare. Take in consideration that you will need time and space to prepare and store your décor, time in the venue to set up, helping hands to set up and tear down. Be sure to check out the DIY or Buy Worksheet to compare costs.
Both: You mix both options and hire some parts our and diy others! Most brides do this and it is a great solution. You can have a decorator decorate some areas and do others yourself. You can also rent items and set them up yourself.
If you decide you want to DIY part of you wedding that means you will need to find you décor. Here are the places to look and what I recommend from each sources:
Facebook- Almost every area has a wedding resale group on FB. Search the groups in your area and you should find one. If not search for wedding items in your local buy, trade, sale fb group.
Friends and family-Lots of people have been secretly storing their old wedding décor and are probably happy to get rid of it! Let people know you are looking for wedding décor and you will surely be gifted some dusty boxes of old décor. Yes you will have the not fun job of sorting through said dusty boxes but things like vases and table clothes can be cleaned and look good as new.
Resale shops/sales-In some areas there are second hand shops dedicated to only wedding décor. There are also second hand/consignment sales where brides can resale their wedding décor.
www.tableclothfactory.com-This site as cheap table linens, décor and accessories. The quality is NOT super high but most items look nice for a one time use.
www.cvlinens.com- Better quality but similar to tableclothfacory. Tableclothes, décor, backdrop.
Preparing your decorations: Once you have everything purchased you may need to do some extra work for your décor to be wedding ready. Preparing your décor well ahead of time will save you stress the week of the wedding.
Linens- All tablecloths and napkins should be washed (yes even if they are new to remove the chemicals and smell from the factory). Napkins should be washed twice in hot water to remove the industrial strength starch otherwise they will not be absorbent at all. Then iron or steamed and hung on a hanger. Runners and sashes can just be steamed and hung.
Vases and Votives- All glass should be cleaned with glass cleaner. You can also add all of the little details live adding ribbon, bows, tags or accents to your vases and other décor. You put in the vase fillers and votive candles So they are ready for the big day.
Tables and Chairs
Ok so here is the not fun but necessary part of wedding planning. Lets talk tables and chairs(insert tongue out emoji) I know this technical stuff isn’t fun but you know what is worse? Finding out you don’t have enough tables the day before your wedding(big eye emoji) Ok enough pep talk lets get this done. First what tables do I need? Most weddings have guest tables, heat table, cake table, gift table, guest book table. You may also want or need food tables, cocktail tables, a bar or alcohol table, a table for your dj, a dessert table, a champagne table or a table for displaying pictures and memories. I have made a worksheet for you to keep track of what you need. You can download it HERE
First check with your venue does your contract include tables? If so how many and what size are they. Now this is more technical but make sure to ask what size and what are the measurements. Tables are typically long or round. Longs come in 10, 8 and 6 ft. Rounds come in 60in, 72 in, 84in(8ft) . If they don’t know the size ask them to find out or get someone who does. The size is important to know so you can figure out how many people you will sit at each table and what size tablecloth you will need.
If you have to provide your own tables it is time to research table rental companies. Google table rental and you will find companies that rent just basic folding chairs and white plastic tables and companies that will rent you beautiful wood or Chiavari chairs and wood tables. The rental company may offer a consultation or they may just take your order and deposit. Before you do any of that lets figure out how many tables and chairs you need. When picking out tables you should consider the Lay out of your venue. What will go where <check out our guide to reception layout here> Depending on the size of your table you can determine how many tables you need. 48" (4ft) Round: 5-6 60" (5ft) Round: 6-8 72"(6ft) Round: 8-10 84” (8ft) Round: 10-12 6' Long (30x72) Banquet: 6 8' Long (30x96) Banquet: 8