DIY Wedding Forum

How do you decide on this stuff?!

Seriously. How in the world am I ever supposed to decide on things like center pieces and decorations?

A few things to note:
-I'm on a budget, I'm trying to spend $600 or less on all decorations and flowers. (I'm doing my own flowers and using artificial so I *think* this number is doable)
-I don't have a wedding planner, I'm coming up with all this mostly on my own (with the help of my mom and FMIL)
-I don't need a ton of decorations. My ceremony is outside a plantation house that naturally has flowers and pretty stuff outside so I don't need a whole lot. I mainly need centerpieces and maybe some sprucing up on the reception area/tent

I just feel so overwhelmed! My mom and FMIL are great about helping out, and they're asking tons of questions to determine what I want (flowers? tea lights? bling? vases?) but I have no idea. So how did you guys decide? Are you just pinteresting and looking at magazines and making notes on what you like? I feel like there's SO many options, I'm never going to nail down what I want. I need a personal assistant so I can just be like, "Handle this. Go pick something." lol
Anniversary



Re: How do you decide on this stuff?!

  • Go with a cheap look. Not bad looking but doesnt put a hole in your purse. 
    -Go to the second hand store and get eclectic items that fit your theme or look. I've seen people use old books and candles for a centerpiece. 
    -Do country theme. Mason jars with candles and/or flowers are cheap. So is burlap. 
    -The bohemian look seems like it wouldn't cost a lot. 
    -See what speaks to you at the dollar store that you can spruce up. 
    -Do you or your fiance have a cool collection of something that would make an interesting center piece? And there has to be enough of them for all the tables. 
  • @lulu411 have you been to fiftyflowers.com?  I had the same plan as you, but then I read about that site here on TK and found that I will probably end up spending less on real flowers.  They have pre-made centerpiece arrangements plus DIY boxes (you get a box of a bunch of different flowers and put them together yourself) and tons of bulk flowers.  Seriously, it's amazing. 

    Afloral is another site I read about here that has tons of fake flowers and little decorative details.  Save on crafts is yet another with fake flowers and decor.  I'm probably ordering my vases from save on crafts.  Supplement with votive candles, add some ribbon and you're good to go!




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    mrstrevor3
  • @lurkergirl I haven't heard of that but I'll definitely check it out! I'd love to be able to use real flowers, I just assumed I'd save money and time using artificial ones. I've looked at afloral but was kind of overwhelmed. I'll have to get a glass of one and give it another go lol
    Anniversary



  • lulu411 said:
    @lurkergirl I haven't heard of that but I'll definitely check it out! I'd love to be able to use real flowers, I just assumed I'd save money and time using artificial ones. I've looked at afloral but was kind of overwhelmed. I'll have to get a glass of one and give it another go lol
    **STUCK** Yes, definitely grab a glass of wine first. I just started looking yesterday, and it's basically all I've done today. And you can get plain glass cylinder vases from fiftyflowers. For me, there prices are so good that I'm not even DIYing centerpieces anymore. I'm just getting pre-made ones. I may get some jumbo hydrangeas to put in smaller vases for the cake table and bar and stuff. Then, I'm going to have the bridesmaids carry lavender bunches, and I'm going to carry some pretty lavender roses.




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  • lurkergirllurkergirl ATL member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited September 2014
    lulu411 said:
    @lurkergirl I haven't heard of that but I'll definitely check it out! I'd love to be able to use real flowers, I just assumed I'd save money and time using artificial ones. I've looked at afloral but was kind of overwhelmed. I'll have to get a glass of one and give it another go lol
    Yes, definitely grab a glass of wine first. I just started looking yesterday, and it's basically all I've done today. And you can get plain glass cylinder vases from fiftyflowers.

    For me, there prices are so good that I'm not even DIYing centerpieces anymore. I'm just getting pre-made ones. I may get some jumbo hydrangeas to put in smaller vases for the cake table and bar and stuff. Then, I'm going to have the bridesmaids carry lavender bunches, and I'm going to carry some pretty lavender roses.

    At least that's the plan for now.  We'll see how many times I change my mind over the next few months :)


    edited b/c tk formatting hates me




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  • Work with what you have already going on. If what your venue has is beautiful gardens and flowers, go with that. I wouldn't bring fakes in to someplace that has real garden flowers. They'll look sad.

    Google image search the name of the venue and "wedding."

    See what designers and previous parties have done, what worked, and what doesn't.

    For the love of God, please don't put burlap in a pretty plantation house. It might work in a barn, but not a historic home. The same with "bling." Rhinestones and stately old home don't work together. 

    Sure, look at Pinterest, and pin pin pin but not for very long. Narrow it down to your favorite four or five pictures. Just like at the optometrists...A, or B? Throw one out, and move on. B, or C? You'll see a pattern- you choose things that are a particular style or color, or every picture you like has chandelier crystals, or lace, or antique china, or whatever. Or nothing. You may like elegant simplicity, nothing but clear glass and white candles. Or one kind of flower, or whatever.

    Narrow it down to one or two decorative elements. Too much, and trying to do everything, and too many little fussy things, and it looks like stir fried shit. Pick two elements. China and lace, old books and silver, roses and crystal. Whatever. And colors. Take note of the colors that work for you, head over to theperfectpalettle.com, and pick a color palette. 

    You've got this. Don't even stress. 

    If you need opinions, post photos here at that Knot. People here love helping with this stuff.
    lurkergirlMegalega14theartistformerlyknownas
  • falsarafalsara Northside of Chicago member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer

    We're doing lanterns and the only reason we're doing real flowers is because I just decided to do baby's breath and Baker's leaf (its a fern looking thing) and have it surrounding the lanterns.  Baby's breath is sooooo cheap. 

    Look at Amazon for ideas on vases and such, and also Dollar stores have websites!!!

    If you're going to change things by painting or glitterfying, or anything like that make sure you get those items early so you can knock some of those projects out a few at a time. This is the only way I'm folding all my paper cranes, a few a day for months on end.  


    If you pick a DIY idea that you really like, try to see if you can work the elements/ objects into multiple parts.  Not just centerpieces, but also try the same idea for the aisle or that altar décor and such.

    I know its a lot, and I'm sorry if I'm adding to the overwhelming, but I totally felt overwhelmed until I cut down everything to just a few things that I can just use in multiple ways.


                                               

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  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I started out on Pinterest. I knew I wanted to skip flowers, so I started looking for alternatives. We're big wine drinkers and love visiting wineries, so once I saw pictures of centerpieces using wine bottles, my mind was set. I then also decided to incorporate corks into it as well. 

    I don't have a ton of decor. Our venue overlooks mountains and beautiful gardens, so I'm letting the view speak for itself. 


  • beetherybeethery So sayeth the fuckin' Pope. member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I'm a graphic designer, so I knew I'd be creating all my print materials on my own. That was a given.

    I looked at lots of floral arrangements, and after deciding that floral foam and dramatic arrangements intimidated me, I found an arrangement that I liked that didn't require the use of foam, that I knew I could handle. I got all my vases from Amazon Prime on the cheap, and I'm sourcing flowers from Costco.

    My venue is going to require a little creative decorating in the way of draping to hide a little wear-and-tear, and I'm pretty handy, so I figured out a good workaround to cover that stuff up.
    --

    I'm the fuck out.

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  • I got my flowers for me, FI, 6 bridesmaid, 6 groomsmen, 2 moms, 2 dads, a boyfriend and a domestic partner, 2 grandmas, and a grandpa for $465.00, and then $5 per centrepiece per table.  If you're anywhere near Manitoba I'll give you her name cause she's amazing.
  • aby's breath is pretty cheap and filling. A girl I work with got married a few weeks ago and did mostly baby's breath with a couple white roses in each arrangement. It was simple and lovely. I think that'd look great at your plantation venue.

    As far as containers, if you're OK with them being different, collect from salvation army, goodwill, st Vincent de Paul's, etc. Sometimes I think a variety of containers adds a lot of interest to a space.
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    ohannabelle
  • I did fake flowers and they are coming out to about $250-$300 for my bouquet, 3 bridesmaids bouquets (doing kissing balls), 2-pin on corsages and 6 boutonnieres.  

    My centerpieces are about $10 each. I picked up some cheap candle holders online, vases and candles from the dollar store and I'm grabbing random charger plates whenever they are on sale so that I can just paint the plates and candle holders. 

    We also got a ton (like 16,000) silk flower petals from ebay, it's been a great place to grab the small bulk items, we have lots of tiny crystal gems from there too for the cake table.

    Just look for sales, keep an eye out for brides selling their extra/used items and if you hit Michael's never go without a coupon.
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  • I started with what FI and I like... and ended up with wine and music.  For centerpieces we used wine bottles and wine glasses that I already had in the house.  I tried a lot of different wines up to the wedding so I could get some "character" and a ton of people offered to "help" by trying some wine themselves. LOL.   I found some lighting at a discount store that worked for height and ambiance and went with it.  If you look in Wedding Recap at the caterer's pictures you can see how it turned out.  Total per centerpiece was about $5-7 (have to go back and check), including floating candles in the wine glasses. We only had 9 tables so it wasn't difficult for us.  

    Other thoughts I had had- I was a photographer and we like to travel so we were going to look for interesting frames and frame different pictures of us (2 or 3 per table in different sizes so nobody had to look at the back). I thought about sheet music (it's tall) and putting clear contact paper on it to give it some sturdiness and then putting it in some of those escort card holders.  Then using guitar picks and other musical items as fillers... but didn't finish developing this idea (old CDs? I dunno... it was a brainstorm).  I've also seen people use books.  Or as PP have said... go to goodwill and use a bunch of beautiful vases and put your favorite seasonal flower in them. You only need a couple per table and something for height... look for different levels and odd numbers and have fun and play with what you have first.   

    For flowers, I went with Real Touch and added Eucalyptus for smell and interest.  They turned out beautifully and people thought they were real... and I got married at a Plantation House that had gorgeous landscaping already.  The only flowers I got were for bouquets, corsages, and the guys... but there wasn't as much of savings there because I got high quality fake... I just wanted to be able to save them and to arrange them myself way ahead of time.  I'm glad I did it... I have my bouquet in a vase in my house now for decoration.  If that's not your goal though, no big savings on the way I did it. 
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  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I know a lot of ladies on here are against themes, but I was seriously all over the place with the things I wanted so I narrowed down a color scheme and a theme. After that anything that I saw that didn't fit those things was ruled out immediately. Not gonna lie though it was exhausting. Towards the end I ended up telling the person doing our flowers to just do whatever she wanted because I couldn't make anymore decisions.
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  • rooz103rooz103 member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited September 2014
    I'm doing my own flowers and it's been harder than I anticipated, trying to nail down what I really want. Since the burden of making everything will fall on me, I started with the practical stuff and asked myself:

    1) What's going to be easy to transport (tall vases are harder than low centerpieces)?
    2) What's easy to assemble on site? (I didn't want to spend an hour having to figure out what component goes where)
    3) How much time am I willing to put into making stuff? How much time will this require the day before or the day of? Is it going to be worth the investment?
    4) Does the venue have restrictions? (Mine won't allow glitter)
    5) Any other common sense restrictions? (My venue has a clear view of the water, so I don't want to block that will huge centerpieces)

    After that, I googled images for "low simple centerpiece" to get ideas and applied my personal taste to what I found. I have a folder on my phone for ideas I like, even if I only like a single aspect of it, and then I keep a photo. Later, I'll go about melding all the ideas, but it took a lot of stress off to even narrow it down to "this is the direction I'm headed in".
    edit: paragraphs are still apparently too hard
    theycallmelinz
  • i am doing wine bottle/artificial flowers for centerpieces as well as making my own flower arrangements...bouquets and boutonnieres.  DIY is great but can also get a lil expensive! so i would suggest....1-decide on a general theme to help you pin down exactly what you want the decor to look like 2-hobby lobby, michaels and joanns fabric always have great sales on silk flowers....plus they usually have the 40% off coupons!! once you come up w/ the theme i think it'll all come together for ya! =)
    theycallmelinzCarrie0601
  • I did my own flowers from Fifty Flowers but beware of shipping charges on the vases. I got my vases from Salvation Army for under a dollar. Just took a few trips to a couple different locations, easy peasy.

    For the decisions themselves, you just have to rip the bandaid. Don't torture yourself over whether this little detail or that is really THE PERFECT BEST CHOICE EVER because a) perfection doesn't exist and b) at the end of the day it really doesn't matter whether you have 7" or 9" taper candles, or salmon versus coral roses. Not even a tiny bit.

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    ashley8918
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