Your guide to event decorating

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Planning checklist

Prepare for success by getting started now.
3–4 months ahead: Start planning
  • Pick a theme for the party, or center the party around a specific holiday or event and create a guest list.
  • Select a venue that allows custom decor, or have the party at home. Get a count of tables for centerpieces and table settings.
  • Choose a budget for your party decorations. Keep in mind that food and beverages are generally the largest expense for an event.
  • Decide whether you are going to make decorations or hire a party planning service. Shop around with several services.
  • A more formal event may require planning at least 4 months prior to the date, so set up the party planner well in advance.
3 months ahead: Plan decor
  • Select a party decorating style. Balloons or flowers work well for some events, while a more sedate decor is best for formal events.
  • Select a color scheme for weddings and anniversaries.
  • Visit several florists when flowers are required. Ensure that the florist understands your theme and vision for the event.
  • Pick out artificial or live floral arrangements for do-it-yourself decor. Find finished arrangements in your colors, or choose to design your own.
2 months before: Confirm with the venue
  • Ensure that the venue allows open flames if candle arrangements are desired. Choose candles that burn throughout the event.
1 month before: Finalize design details
  • Draping fabrics over walls or adding lighting as decor take time. Work with your party planner and venue to determine when to arrive.
The day of: Arrive early
  • Visit the venue early on the day of the event to oversee decorators or to finish the decorations yourself.

Cost calculator

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