How Much Does a Wedding Decorator Cost?

Learn the average cost of an event decorator for your dream wedding.
Photo by Elemento Tres

We all have a vision of what our wedding day will look like. After all, many brides have been dreaming of their special day since they were little girls.

Executing on that vision, though, is easier said than done. Whether you lack creative skills or simply don’t have the time to piece together centerpieces, plan floral arrangements and coordinate lighting to ensure everything looks perfect, there are plenty of reasons to hire a wedding decorator.

But not everyone is making that hire. Why? The cost of any wedding-related service is always a concern. Additionally, wedding decorators tend to be located in major metropolitan cities. If you live in a small town, there simply may not be a wedding decorator in the area to hire.

What Do Wedding Decorators Do?

No surprise here! A wedding decorator, also known as an event decorator, oversees the planning and execution of the design of your wedding, including all decorations and, usually, floral arrangements.

Their duties typically include:

  • Helping you design the look and feel of your wedding.
  • Picking out wedding decorations that match your theme.
  • Coordinating with your wedding planner and vendors, including those in charge of the flowers and ceremony.

Of course, this isn’t a definitive list of duties. Some wedding decorators may go outside the norm and help with things like designing wedding invitations or even making the car you drive away in for the night look extra special.

If you have a unique request, you should always ask.

How Popular Are Wedding Decorators?

Wedding decorators tend to be hired for weddings with larger budgets.

If you think about it, both your ceremony and reception venue should have people on hand to help make the rooms look extra special. Add in the florist you’re using, and that’s enough wedding decor for most brides.

But if you have an extravagant wedding planned, there’s a good chance you’ll want a dedicated event decorator to help take things to the next level. 

Wedding Decorator Cost: Breaking Down Expenses

So, you decided to go with a professional and pursue hiring a wedding decorator! But, how much is it going to cost?

The average cost of a wedding decorator is between $700 and $1,000 on average. While some sources put it that high, others say it could cost you as little as $500.

The location of your wedding can make the price of services fluctuate. A professional decorator in New York City, for instance, will obviously cost more than a decorator in Orlando.

Flat Rate vs. Hourly Rate

As you go through your wedding planning, make sure you have a clear understanding on how your professional wedding decorator charges for their services. Do they charge a flat, package rate? Or are you being billed at an hourly rate? Prices vary by decorator.

If you’re being billed hourly, use your time wisely. Ask your event decorator for an estimated breakdown of their services, their prices (hourly rate), and an estimated total cost.

Most of the time, you shouldn’t have to worry about actual prices exceeding estimates, but either you or your wedding planner have to be proactive at staying on top of your wedding decorator to ensure costs stays on track and you don’t spend too much money.

Volume of Wedding Decor

The consulting and design fees of your wedding decorator is one cost of this service. The other is the number of items that need to be purchased. That cost can add up quickly, especially if you let an excited decorator go to town on giving your wedding venue a major glow up.

A professional wedding decorator will be good at keeping you informed about costs along the way. If he or she finds that certain wedding decor, for example, turned out to be more expensive, or if you needed more to fill the room, they would let you know before purchasing it.

If you want to bring the overall price down of your decorator, keep the amount of decor to a minimum.

Other Tips for Keeping Cost Low

If you want to reign in costs, keep your decorations simple for the big day.

Flowers can go a long way

Your wedding decorator likely has a good florist he or she works with. While the cost of flowers can be expensive, they’re not as much as purchasing custom centerpieces, elaborate entrances and over-the-top displays.

Focus on the wedding table

You want your guests focused on you anyway, so keep their table decorations simple, and choose to make the wedding table more elaborate.

Offer to set up the decor

You may want to use your wedding decorator simply as a consultant and then have your personal wedding team (your wedding party, family, friends, etc.) help you set it up on the big day.

Use the cake to impress

Your wedding cake can be a big statement piece for your wedding. Placing it in a strategic location in your venue can make a big difference in your overall wedding decor.

Prioritize and stick to your budget

The average wedding can cost tens of thousands of dollars! You need to make a budget and stick to it. If an event decorator is high on your priority list, then you may have to cut back on other areas of your wedding.

Should I Hire a Wedding Decorator?

Hiring a wedding decorator is a relatively big decision because it’s likely going to add an extra $1,000 to your wedding budget. Answer these questions to determine if you need a decorator for your big event:

  • How nice is my venue? Some venues are already decorated for a beautiful ceremony and reception with the perfect amount of decor.
  • What are the prices of event decorators in my area? It doesn’t hurt to get quotes. If you’re getting married in the off-season, you may be able to snag someone to decorate your event at a price that makes sense for your budget.
  • How many guests will you have? Larger weddings with 100-150 guests might be a reason to have a decorator fill out the reception venue with nice decor. You may not need to do that, though, if you have a smaller guest list and reception venue.
  • Do you know anyone good at decorating? While these people aren’t professionals, you may have a friend or family member who can help make your party look extra great.

Hiring someone to professionally decorate your wedding can be a great idea, but remember that this person doesn’t come free and you have to pay them (and potentially tip them!) once the wedding is over. If you have a budget that can handle that and know what to expect from this vendor, then hiring someone who’s great at decorating is a solid idea.

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