With some good news coming from BC (and many other parts of Canada) we’ve seen an increase in interest regarding events and all the questions that come along with the first stages of planning. 

No matter what the event, décor is often the first thing that people think about when it comes to event planning. A lot of people are wondering if they really need to hire a designer and how to budget for décor.  

Themes, design, florals, and decorations can become very confusing (and overwhelming) quite quickly. How do you know when to do your own design and when to hire a designer? Is it always cheaper to do it on your own? What décor is non-negotiable and what can you skip?

Well if we’re going to be honest, it all depends on the event!

We wish it were more clear cut but the truth is it depends on your budget, your type of event, and the time you have.

Here are some considerations when deciding whether to go with a pro or hit-up the local craft store and DIY.

  1. Type of event: if you’re hosting a backyard party for close friends and family, chances are you can hit Pinterest and DIY a cute little theme sans flowers. However, if you’re planning a retirement party for the big CEO (and all the other big key people are going to be there), your daughter’s dream wedding (or your own) or a fundraising gala for 250 people, you’re going to want a designer and a décor budget (and most definitely a professional florist). 
  2. Budget! DIY is not always cheaper. Craft supplies can get pretty pricey, especially if you are buying your own flowers, balloons, décor, vases, etc., Sometimes getting a bulk quote that includes all the tidbits (as many designers and décor experts have their own décor items in stock), is cheaper – especially for big events. But, if your event is small and private, it might be quite easy to do on your own – if the design is not too complicated. 
  3. Time: the biggest thing to consider is YOUR time. Do you have the time to glue millions of tiny flowers onto guest favours? Organize vases? Do you have extra hours for blowing up balloons? While, at first glance, it may seem cheaper to do-it-yourself, you should also factor in research, design, going to pick everything up all over town, gas, time spent putting everything together, setting up the event, and taking it down! Often this is a full-time job in and of itself so if you’ve got your own life to worry about, it’s sometimes best to leave it to the pros that do this professionally.
  4. Florals and balloon arrangements : if you want either one of these items, we definitely suggest going to the pros. Florists have education and a knack for design plus access to wholesale flowers, as well as local floral farms and unique products. Most florists deliver and are a relatively stress-free way of making your event space pop (we love FleuRich Creations and Lavender and Lace Floral Farm). And speaking of pop, balloon arrangements are quite delicate and difficult decorative items to recreate! Again, people that specialize in balloon arrangements often have special balloons and decorative products in store that can make your dreams a reality (and with a lot less dizziness from trying to blow them all up yourself). Try The Tickle Trunk, if you’re in the Okanagan. 
  5. Theme: If all you want is white linens, white flowers, and some white napkins – pretty easy to do. But if you’re looking for a top-to-bottom Midsummer Night’s Dream Shakespearean feel, complete with floating fairies hanging from trees, a designer can help you with that vision. Designers know where to source rentals, have access to hard-to-find pieces, their own private collections, and have the expertise to put it all together in a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing way. 

There is no straight answer for how, when, or why to book a designer or florist. However, a good rule of thumb is to check your time, your budget, and your time (again) as well as the size of your event. Chances are the bigger the event, the more complex the theme, or the less free time you have, the better off you are hiring a pro to make your vision a reality with a whole lot less stress.   Take it from the event planners – less stress is a great payoff even if there’s a bit of a higher price tag.

Need help deciding on a theme, finding some quality vendors, or sourcing some rentals? Maybe an event planner is what you need! Contact us!