Where To Start With Wedding Decorations (complete list)

Today’s weddings are decorated with style and personality. Weddings are about love and the union of 2 people, but to make them beautiful and Instagram worthy, a lot of planning and decorations are required.

Where should you start with wedding décor?

  • Make a dream board for your wedding
  • Make a list of the decorations desired
  • Calculate the number of decorations needed
  • Multiply your centerpieces by the number of tables
  • Divide your list by location of the décor:
    • Ceremony, Tables, Reception, Gift table, Other
  • Shop around for new and used sales
  • Label storage boxes by location
  • Inventory your decorations
  • Designate a vehicle to transport your décor
  • Designate help for decoration set up
  • Designate help for decoration tear down
  • Have a plan for getting rid of your decorations

Make a dream board for your wedding

Wedding are dreamy, and rightfully so! Let your imagination go wild on your dream board! This is the rough draft of your wedding style.

A wedding dream board can be computerized or scrap book style. Utilize different sources like magazines, Pinterest, Instagram, friend’s weddings and anywhere else you see something inspirational.

I made a powerpoint slide show for my dream board. I invited the important players of my wedding team and went through the slide show on the big screen, which was a 40” TV screen back then! Now you can just pin photos from anywhere on a Pinterest board! I still see brides with a 3” binder and ripped magazine pages sticking out. The bottom line is just do what works for you!

Make a list of the decorations desired

Even if lists aren’t your thing, try to follow this step. It’s important to pinpoint which exact items off your dream board are what you actually want at your wedding.

Calculate the number of decorations needed

The larger your venue the more decorations are generally required. If you see a beautiful geo shape, decide now how many you need. This will not only help you get enough decorative elements, but it will also keep you in budget.

A common miscalculation is the aisle decoration. Talk with your venue about how many rows you will have, then multiply that number by 2, so you have enough décor for both sides of the aisle.

Multiply your centerpieces by the number of tables

The most common size of table for wedding are a 60” round table. This size table seats an average of 6-8 people. A 200 guest wedding will require 25 60” round tables.

Be sure to multiply the desired centerpieces by the amount of tables in your reception. Talk with your venue or rental company. Be sure to include the cake table or gift table décor if you are matching the centerpieces.

You will want to compare your notes with your table seating chart if you have one. Since families don’t always sit in even numbers, you might end up with more tables then 1 calculation can determine.

Divide your list by location of your décor

Divide and conquer! If you have all of your decorations intermixed, some might be forgotten on your wedding day. Divide your list by where the items are going to be set up on your big day.

Your locations might include:

  • Ceremony
  • Reception
  • Tables
  • Gift/Cake tables
  • Other

Dividing your list now will help complete the next step of where to start with your decorations.

Shop around for new and used sales

Always shop around! Even if you are short on time! There are many sales and brides selling their décor throughout the year.

Label storage boxes by location

Just like the divided list above, collect some plastic or cardboard boxes and label them according to location. When you have the décor delivered, anyone helping will know exactly where the boxes are to be placed. Being organized is always the best practice for any project!

I love the label system called Pack & Track by Duck Tape! You can photograph and organize each box with a handy app! So when you’re out at Hobby Lobby and see a sale, you can quickly view your inventory and see if it’s actually needed or if you already have it!

The best way to organize all of your décor is by categories and sub categories! Keep your items labeled and inventories for yourself and your decorating team! This will be beneficial both before and after your wedding!

Inventory your decorations

Keep a running list of what you have purchased or rented so you don’t over buy. Keep that list next to your shopping list!

You can inventory your decorations on paper or just a simple list app on your phone. There is no need to be extra fancy, but it is super important to keep a concise list to stay in your budget and to fulfill your entire decoration needs.

Designate a vehicle to transport your décor

Have you ever picked up 10 helium filled balloons for a birthday party? Wedding decorations are kinda like that! A sedan won’t suffice, one full size truck might not even be large enough. Once you get your decorations, decide how large of a vehicle will be needed to transport your decorations.

A Uhaul or rental truck is often used to transport wedding decorations to and from the wedding. This can be very helpful to keep the decorations safe and dry. Multiple trucks or vans can also be used. Ask friends and family if they have an enclosed trailer to pack your wedding decorations in for transportation to and from your venue.

I have seen more than 1 uhaul arrive at a wedding. It’s an affordable option if most of your friends and family don’t own anything larger than a sedan. If you do have friends with trucks, decide who is going to haul your décor well before your wedding date.

Designate help for decoration set up

There is always a question of who is going to set up wedding decorations. DIY brides often consider decorating their venue themselves, but find they can’t do that while getting ready for their big day.

You can hire a wedding decorator by the job, typically for $100/hour with a minimum amount of hours. Friends and family can also be designated to decorate your venue for you. Have a written plan and at least 1 meeting before your event to discuss exactly what you want to be done.

Whoever you have help set up might be the same group that cleans up your wedding

Designate help for decoration tear down

I have seen too many weddings without a designated clean up team. Designate a team early ono and remind them what their duties include on the days leading up to the event. Preferably, the clean up team is the same group as the set up team so they know which items are yours and which are the venue’s items.

Have a list of your decorations available. Copy the list and put one in every box. Giving a copy to the venue manager is also a great idea for the lost and found items!

Have a plan for getting rid of your decorations

Enjoy your newlywed bliss with an empty garage! Don’t hold onto your wedding decorations forever! I wrote an entire post on great tips for getting rid of your decorations and you can view that post by clicking here! One thing I didn’t cover in that post is what to do with your floral wedding centerpieces!

Wedding centerpieces can be given to guests, given to the venue & vendors or donated to retirement homes! Guests are often pleasantly surprised to bring home a beautiful floral arrangement with a nice vase. You can ask your vendors if they would like to take home a table arrangement for their personal use. Lastly, retirement homes adore gifts from wedding!

Try to arrange what to do with your centerpieces in advance, but it’s typical to figure out a last minute plan for where they go, especially if the florist brought them in and you don’t have the vehicle space to take them with you!

Happy decorating!

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