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Real Bride Reveals: Wedding Décor Process & Things To Know Beforehand

November 20, 2021

As a recent bride, I (Manali) can attest to the fact that the wedding planning process wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, a tool like Pyaari Weddings wasn’t available for someone planning a South Asian wedding in Chicago. When it came to the wedding décor process, there are a lot of things I would’ve done differently before booking. 

Décor Design Process:

Décor is the essence of your event. It sets the vibe and tone of your venue, so hence, it is very important. Before picking out any vendors, I first created a PowerPoint that had inspiration pictures, as well as, any things that were “Must Haves”. For example, I wanted a Moroccan theme for the henna party. I created a slide that had some inspiration pictures of color themes and floral arrangements. I also included a few things that I really wanted such as Moroccan umbrellas and a rickshaw as a prop for pictures.

Having a baseline for the décor really helped out in having structured conversations. Décor vendors have a lot of great ideas so it’s very easy to get distracted from your original plan. 

Budgeting:

I had a set wedding budget, hence I knew that luxury wedding décor was way out of my means. For my wedding, I allocated around $5000 and for my other two events, I allocated another $5000. Keep in mind that this cost fluctuates based on what I wanted vs needed. Mandaps and centerpieces, however expensive, are needed. Some cost savings that I found were using artificial flowers instead of real flowers for my mandap and centerpieces. I didn’t like the idea of buying beautiful, expensive flowers, and then seeing them go to waste after the wedding. I also knew that no one was going to be touching our mandap to see if we used fake or real flowers. Another cost-saving I found was creating a mix of small, medium, and large centerpieces. High centerpieces are pricey, so the mix helps you save a few hundred dollars. Yes, you read that right- it’s hundreds. Lastly, another cost savings I found was creating my own centerpieces.

For my wedding, instead of splurging $2000 on centerpieces provided by my décor company, I used homemade centerpieces that cost me about $200. If you do choose to do this though, please ensure that you have family members who are around to help you set up these centerpieces. You do not want to spend your wedding setting up tables. You can also ask your décor company if they would be able to provide labor for setting up your centerpieces. It might cost extra, but it’s still cheaper than getting centerpieces through them. 

What I Would’ve Done Differently:

1. Pick a color scheme 

I would’ve picked a color scheme early on. I didn’t pick my wedding mandap colors until a month before the wedding. It’s ok to hold off on this, but get this to your décor company at least 2-3 months before your wedding. You don’t want the additional stress of picking a color scheme, along with a bunch of other things a month before your wedding.   

2. Follow up with your decor vendor for photos

I would’ve asked for pictures of some of the décor items. For example, I wanted large centerpieces with florals. Instead, what I got was a large centerpiece, but with only a tiny bit of florals. I would’ve constantly followed up with my décor vendor to provide pictures of how a centerpiece would look to ensure that we were both on the same page.

3. Make sure you have a backup plan

I would’ve gone over backup plans. While this is out of my control, it doesn’t hurt to have the conversation. What if it rains or snows during my event? Does it cost additional for tents? Ask these questions and ensure there is a Plan B, C, etc. For my event, I had fairy lights on an arch. However, Chicago being the windy city that it is, it was extra windy that day. The event was also on a boat. I forgot to take into account that scenario so some of the fairy lights were flying with every gust of wind.

So there you have it! What décor tips and tricks do you have for new brides? Comment down below!

Author: Manali Shah

Photographer: Fi Photography 

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