How Do I Design My Wedding??

A Pile of Pinterest

Do you feel the pressure of putting together a "Pinterest Perfect" wedding?

Maybe you've bought lots of wedding decor, but don't have a clue how to tie it all together yet.

As one bride recently described, "I feel I've bought too much but yet not all I need!"

One thing I often see with DIY-weddings is an abundance of decor & crafts that do not have a specific place. You'll be able to save money AND energy if you sit down and specifically plan out what decor you need and where you need it. Otherwise, you'll wind up with a pile of Pinterest and not enough surfaces to use it all. Plan It Out

Before grabbing your hot glue gun or hitting up the Hob Lob, think through each element of your day, sketch out a plan, and determine a checklist for exactly what you need at the store.

Your decor should serve a purpose: Is it instructional? Directional? Design?

Below, I've listed each element you should think through for decor and logistics. 1. Guest Arrival Think through the "experience" of your guests as they arrive to the venue for the first time.

  • Do you need a welcome sign or parking signs?

  • Will guests know where to go for the ceremony, or will you need directional signage in place?

  • Is there anything about the ceremony you'd like communicated to your guests via signage?

  • Ex. "Unplugged" Ceremony or "Pick a Seat, Not a Side"

  • Will there be a guest book & gift table as they arrive for ceremony, or not until they enter reception?

2. Ceremony Decor

Do you need...

  • Anything for a unity ceremony?

  • Anything to decorate the aisle?

  • Anything for the arch or backdrop?

  • Anything for the chairs?

  • Are you creating your own bouquets?

  • I highly recommend hiring a florist. Doing so will save you time & stress, and they'll also set up your centerpieces and any other decor you're renting/buying from them.

3. Guest Book/Gift Table

This should be placed at the entrance your guests will use.

  • Guest book

  • Signage for cards or gifts

  • Bucket or box for gifts, if desired

  • Photos & Frames

  • Seating Arrangements, if assigned

4. Reception

Remember that once your reception room is filled with your guests, many of your details will get lost. Don't overly stress about elaborate decor if that isn't in your budget or style.

  • Centerpieces for (X/#) of tables

  • Determine exactly what centerpieces you'll be doing so that you don't buy extra stuff you don't use

  • Sweetheart/Head Table Decor

  • Backdrops, if any

  • Cake table or sweetheart table

  • DIY Photobooth Setup, if desired

  • Memorial Table, if desired

  • Extra Sparkle

  • Bistro Lights

  • Draping

  • Banners

5. Bar/Food

  • Menu

  • Other signage or decor

  • (But really, they just want booze & grub!)

6. Cake Table

  • Cake Topper

  • Knife & Server

  • Toasting flutes

  • Photos

  • Plates, Forks, & Napkins that are easy access after you've taken photos

7. Exit These items are often placed on a table near the exit or on the same table as the guest book & gifts

  • Favors

  • I usually recommend against favors if you are on a budget: the majority of them will be left behind.

  • Exit items (like sparklers, bubbles, glow sticks, etc.)

Get Organized Follow this advice & you'll be able to relax in the bridal suite sipping mimosas, NOT answering "where does this go??" twenty times.

Buy the big plastic storage bins from Walmart & label them externally by area (Cake Table, Entry Table, Centerpieces, etc.). The plastic bins are important because cardboard tends to disappear (people "clean up" or vendors use the boxes), leaving you with nothing to load up at the end of the night. With the exception of gifts, you also know that everything will fit back into the tub it came from.

Each area gets it's own tub, even if it isn't full. As you're collecting items throughout your planning, store them by area. Once you've collected everything you need for each area, create a decor setup checklist/instruction sheet for every box. Bonus if you can set up your table ahead of time, snap a photo, and include it in the box.

Doing this will help your friends & family (and coordinator, if they're assisting with decor setup) know exactly what to do with your decor & where it goes. Clients of mine who follow this advice have a much smoother & quicker setup process than those that don't.

Stop shopping

Once you've checked everything off of your list and have organized your decor tubs, stop shopping! Do not continue browsing Pinterest. Do not visit Hobby Lobby. Do not pass go & do not collect $200. DO drink a glass of wine and daydream about your honeymoon.

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