DIY Decor and Your Day-of Coordinator

July 31st, 2017
DIY allows you to express yourself.   Photo by Allison Williams Photography.

DIY allows you to express yourself. Photo by Allison Williams Photography.

If you’re on a budget (and there are a lot of budget weddings), you might try to save some money by having most of your decor be DIY.  Or maybe you are just crafty and want to have your own artistic vision featured at your wedding.  These are both good reasons to  have DIY decor.

But let’s talk about the practical side of the matter:  How do you get from concept to installed finished product–and how do you do it without sending your day-of coordinator into screaming fits?

There are some coordinators who hate dealing with DIY decor.  There are others who charge extra because they know that it requires extra work on their part.  When you hire a coordinator, be sure to ask them how they deal with DIY decor.  It is good to know before you hire.

I don’t hate DIY.  In fact, I think it is a lot of fun and makes for visually unique events.  I also don’t charge extra–unless the decor requires that I put in extra hours or hire extra hands.  But in my standard contract, you will find this one little sentence:  “Decor design and implementation are to be decided and communicated to me in advance.”

The reason that sentence is there is because one too many times, I have walked into a wedding venue and been confronted by unlabeled boxes of decor items.  In a limited amount of time, I have had to figure out where to put all the many objects and how to make it all look beautiful and intentional.  Naturally, I can do this and make it all look fabulous, but it’s much more work and much more stress than is necessary.

So, what does this mean for how you handle your decor if I’m coordinating your wedding?  It means you have to decide in advance what you want your tables (and walls, and bar, and….) to look like.  It means you have to draw diagrams or take pictures and send them to me.  It means you organize things in ways that make it easy to set things up.  It means you label everything.  And it also means that we have some detailed discussions in advance so I know what you want.

One exceptionally organized bride who had enormous amounts of DIY decor put all the objects for each table in their own boxes, so all I had to do was pull it out and set it up according to the pictures she had sent.  Another included a list in each box with the name of the object and its location.  Sometimes a bridesmaid or sibling has been designated to be the liaison and helper.

It doesn’t matter how you organize the objects and communicate your vision.  All I ask is that you make it as easy as possible to set up decor, so I can also do everything else that needs to be done to make your wedding as wonderful as possible.