How big should the centerpieces be? What accent colors do we use for the banners and signs? Are my vintage decorations worth the additional cost? These questions and a million more like it run through the head of couples trying to plan their perfect wedding. Most brides begin visiting venues with no idea what decor they plan on using or where to start. Take a few minutes to stop and think about decor before you start touring potential locations! Having a few basic concepts already decided can help narrow down your choices. So, where do you start?
1. Make a Budget
What do numbers and math have to do with your southern vintage-inspired dream wedding? More than you think! Setting clear boundaries on what you can afford (for the whole wedding) is the best place to start. Once you have a figure set, decide what percentage you want to set aside for decor. You're not determining how much to spend, you're just setting a limit based on your total estimated budget. If decorations are your thing and you want to go big, that's OK! Just consider spending less elsewhere (floral, catering, favors) to help balance things out.
2. Use More Than the Internet
Sourcing decor ideas online is just fine! On the other hand, spending every waking minute comparing different wedding theme options is not a productive use of your time. Try stopping by boutiques, check out rental companies, flea markets, and chain stores to see what draws you in!
Are you focusing on vintage or country chic decor? Modern glass accents more your thing? You'll quickly see that a trend emerges as you gravitate towards certain pieces or colors more than others. Try to refrain from buying or renting anything just yet! So many couples and/or family members end up buying decorations that never get used on the wedding day. They end up in the garage just taking up space.
3. Look in Your Closet
Your style is your style for a reason! Find your inspiration in that favorite dress, sweater, or top. Focus on what colors you see the most. Usually, you'll find you have more items in the colors you love or look best on you! This is another excellent place to hone in on a few choices. Take notes of the colors you don't see! Any styles and patterns you eliminate bring you one step closer to finding what you want. You can also focus on your house or apt! What have you added to personalize the space? What's the first thing that catches your eye when you enter a room?
4. Your Venue
Once you've found your inspiration, you can start considering event locations! Your venue will have a considerable impact on your decor plans. If you choose a more intimate space, you'll need fewer items to fill it up. Larger venues will require more money, time, and help to set up for the big day. Keep this in mind during your tours! Large open indoor spaces can call for a substantial amount of decor, which has a direct effect on your budget.
If you've got a tight budget already, your chosen venue plays an even more significant role. Many sites offer the use of their decor free of charge with booking. Be sure to ask this question as you visit each location. Free use of furniture, linens, table settings, and centerpieces at the venue allows you to spend that money elsewhere or use as a reserve in case of wedding emergencies. A lot of times, your venue can determine what style you choose! Picking a farm or barn style location will help set the general theme! Once you've decided on a site, estimating what you need and how much to fill the space becomes much more manageable.
Lastly, ask the venue what they allow and don't allow as far as decorating. Some sites have restrictions and rules you must follow. These rules can sway you one way of the other.
5. Ask Your Wedding Professionals
These incredible people can be an excellent source for great advice! Trust us; they've seen it all! They'll know what works best together, what fits the season, what's feasible, and what to avoid altogether. Keep in mind, the more decorating that happens means more tear down and clean up time needed after your wedding ends. Most professional wedding coordinators or planners don't come with unlimited setup time. If icicle inspired fairy lights that hang from every individual rafter at your ceremony location are at the top of your decorating list, you might have to do it yourself or with the help from your bridesmaids.
6. Stay Focused On What's Important
Too often, a bride will get so consumed with ensuring every detail is perfect; they lose focus on what's important. Your wedding day is a joyous occasion shared by you and the people closest to you. Don't let small and insignificant details cause you additional stress or tension. Don't feel obligated to complete elaborate projects that will cost a fortune or keep you working until 3 AM the night before your wedding.
Every wedding is unique, and every couple should celebrate what makes them different! The decor isn't limited to physical items either. If you love cheesecake, serve that instead of a traditional wedding cake. You are not a family that dances? Hire a different form of entertainment. Did your fist date involve fresh-squeezed lemonade at the state fair? Serve it during your reception in mason jars with fresh-cut fruit and colorful straws included. Small charming accents like these help bring together your overall theme!