View Poll Results: Do I pay the extra 5 grand to decorate the hall?
Yes - if it's something you really want, do it! 10 45.45%
No - could be beautiful, but use the money elsewhere 10 45.45%
Maybe - tough question! 2 9.09%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

Wedding Reception Decor - now with link to pictures!

Okay question -

I am getting married in March and we have found the perfect hall for our reception, it's at the city's art museum. The only thing is this - while talking a tour of the hall, I met with the wedding coordinator and she had pictures, beautiful pictures, of the hall decorated to the nines! And I mean really gorgeous pictures. Yes the hall is great bare, but these pictures just complete the whole setup!

Anyways, I met with the decorator and in anticipation, I budgeted the amount I *assumed* would be enough. Well after meeting with the guy, his price for a beautiful hall, for a hall that would make it seem like a fantasy wedding, was about 5 grand MORE than I bugeted. And he is throwing in a lot of freebies!

Yes I know, I could save the money and put it towards our home, our honeymoon, our bills, etc. But this is a 'once in a lifetime' event, and I really want the hall to look gorgeous. Not for the guests, but for me and my husband.

Do I hire the decorator?

Anyone else have a wedding that was a complete blast and worth every penny you went over budget?

ETA - Pictures of without and with decorations...only my colours are burgandy, light blue and cream. Swags will have Dark Reds, tables with light blues. Mind you, I will still have to get someone to set up the tables, chairs, center pieces and general decor even if I don't dress up the walls and ceiling.

Since I can't get the images to imbed properly, check out this link: http://picasaweb.google.com/gemidevi...eat=directlink
*disclaimer* spelling, grammatical and psychological errors are for your enjoyment.

Last edited by gemidevi; 09-26-2009 at 08:48 PM.
If you can swing it, go for it. Yes, it's only one day, but a few years down the road you won't miss the money you spent. You may, however, look at your wedding pictures and always wish that you went all out for the decor you really wanted.

ETA: Did you shop around at all for wedding designers? Maybe you can work with a different decorator to achieve the same look for a slightly lower price.


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I wouldn't do it. Seems like the money could be better spent in so many other ways.

The only way I would spend the money is if the decor were dreary without it. But you said yourself it looks great as-is. $5K is a lot of money to spend on something that doesn't need fixing.
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I don't think I would do it, unless you just have an extra 5K lying around...I'd rather take a nice/amazing/awesome/unforgettable trip!

btw...congrats! I was wondering where you've been & when the day would happen
How is the house?
Thanks for the advice ladies.

I forgot to also add that the 5K extra includes all linens for the tables, glassware, plates (salad and main dish), cutlery...which drastically drops my catering costs.

In fact, after doing the numbers, it would be like 3 grand more than I budgeted because of the extra services.

Wile - I've been around, reading more than posting! I am such a 'lurker'! hehehe. But things are great and the house is lovely! I love it and I love living with him. How are you doing?!
*disclaimer* spelling, grammatical and psychological errors are for your enjoyment.
I wouldn't do it myself because I LOVE that space without all the frou frou...but. I think you WANT the frou frou. If you have the cash and if handing over the extra $$ isn't going to be detrimental to your budget in any way, then go for it.
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If you can swing it, go for it. Yes, it's only one day, but a few years down the road you won't miss the money you spent.
Originally Posted by bushyhead
Um, yeah, you might. It will depend on your $$$ situation at that time. If you weren't concerned about possibly spending too much for your budget you wouldn't have posted the question. Hubs and I were doing fine when we got married then we moved across state and had sticker shock (of sorts)! We were suddenly poor.

You may, however, look at your wedding pictures and always wish that you went all out for the decor you really wanted.
But that's also true.

ETA: Did you shop around at all for wedding designers? Maybe you can work with a different decorator to achieve the same look for a slightly lower price.
I was going to rec this too. Show prospective planners your pics and ask how much it'd cost to do something similar. Then add $1000 to their estimate (since things usually go over budget). Ask for pics of their previous work as well.

From the one pic you showed it doesn't seem like that would be hard to do. You might be able to find an EP to do the "hard" stuff like the ceiling swags and paper lanterns (?). But I'm hoping you could rent the table cloths and so forth rather inexpensively. Congrats!!! Hope you get your dream wedding!
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Last edited by Phoenix; 09-27-2009 at 06:02 AM.
I don't know. I wish there was one showing the hall set up, but without the extra decor- it's hard to compare the two pictures. How do you think you'll feel a few years down the road? Would you regret not having the place decorated, or would you be kicking yourself for spending the extra money?

FWIW, there are a few things I wish I had spent more on for my wedding (namely, the photographer and dj, b/c the ones I had were kind of a pain in the butt!). But we did everything fairly inexpensively, and still had a great time.
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Thanks for the advice ladies.

I forgot to also add that the 5K extra includes all linens for the tables, glassware, plates (salad and main dish), cutlery...which drastically drops my catering costs.

In fact, after doing the numbers, it would be like 3 grand more than I budgeted because of the extra services.

Wile - I've been around, reading more than posting! I am such a 'lurker'! hehehe. But things are great and the house is lovely! I love it and I love living with him. How are you doing?!
Originally Posted by gemidevi
Not too bad! Hubby & I celebrated our 15th & had an amazing trip to Jamaica mon...lol Planning for next year
The little one is gettin' big & quite the hand full...lol
Good to hear you are so happy! I am very happy for you & can't believe you're getting married
Are you still riding much?
Any updated pics on the digs?
Did you see pics of my 65 Stang? She's got a new paint job, as well...

Last edited by WileECoyote - Dissolving Bikini Wearer; 09-27-2009 at 02:56 PM.
If you have it to spend, do it. The decorations are lovely, especially the swags of fabric and those round things, and the high flower arrangements -- beautiful!
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From the tone of your post, it sounds like you REALLY want to do it, so I think you should go for it.

But... I agree that shopping around for quotes is a good idea. You might find a better deal, or you will find that the original quote is on target.

My friend had paper lanterns like that and they looked amazing. She decorated the hall on her own (with help from family + bridesmaids) and bought the lanterns online quite cheaply. It was kind of a pain to hang them, but with about 5 people doing it, it went quickly.
I'd go for it!! That is really breathtaking.

But, I would try to talk the decorator down a tad. Don't lowball it substantially, but give a reasonable counter offer. He wants to business just as much as you want the decorations!
I thought of something here …

How I was advised to approach wedding planning was to focus on the stuff that would be part of the memories 20 years down the road. For me, that meant getting a really good photographer [to preserve said memories], having a dress and flowers I really loved, and having an overall event that would be fun and cover the bases of what I and my fiancÚ thought a wedding and reception "should be." Everything else is just details.

Now for you, your list of must-haves could be different. And you might look at the pics in 20 years and think, "Oh, if only …" Only you can really answer that question.

I do have to reiterate Phoenix's comment about missing that money in a few years. You definitely could miss that money. What happens when you're looking at houses and an extra 5 grand is what you need for the down payment on the one you really want, versus the one that's so-so? See, to me, that's something that I will remember 20 years down the road, getting that house I really wanted. Heck, I might actually still be living in the house in 20 years, you know?

But that's just me. You just need to figure out what your priorities are, and then spend accordingly.
Since I know the venue and know the local market, I voted no. I think $5,000 is excessive for here. It's a beautiful location without all of the frills.

PS. We need to do lunch sometime soon. Maybe after my baby comes.


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I wouldn't do it. I love the hall as-is. I like clean lines though, without much frou-frou.
Is there a way you could do some of those things yourself? Even doing your own flower arrangements or centerpieces would save you some dough. You could try checking out craft stores like Michael's, and I bet there's a ton of DIY wedding ideas online.
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Last edited by utopiastars; 09-27-2009 at 02:53 PM.
I dont actually like the decorations but....

Id say decorate the hall but find some other way to do it. I mean seriously- thats a lot of money for someone too put up fabric and lantens for you. Find someone cheaper or do it with some friends.
Since I know the venue and know the local market, I voted no. I think $5,000 is excessive for here. It's a beautiful location without all of the frills.

PS. We need to do lunch sometime soon. Maybe after my baby comes.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
We definitely need to do lunch again! Just let me know when.

___________________________

Thanks to everyone else for their thoughts. I think we are going to decorate, but scale down. Probably get the tables done, but no swag.

The reason I can't get others to do the decorating is because we just don't have the time between the ceremony and the reception. And I don't want to be stressed out that day wondering if things are going well. I would rather have a professional who has been doing this for years to set it up as they can do it quickly. Then I don't have to worry and the day can go as planned.
*disclaimer* spelling, grammatical and psychological errors are for your enjoyment.
For 3k extra, if it's gonna look a lot nicer to you, I would do it.
I wouldn't do it myself because I LOVE that space without all the frou frou...but. I think you WANT the frou frou. If you have the cash and if handing over the extra $$ isn't going to be detrimental to your budget in any way, then go for it.
Originally Posted by PartyHair
I wouldn't do it. I love the hall as-is. I like clean lines though, without much frou-frou.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
It's a bit much for my tastes too, and the price does seem way too high for ABQ. We decorated the hall ourselves, saved the money, and it was more meaningful because we all worked on it together. Same with sister's wedding. Sometimes less is more.

Congratulations! I've been wondering when you were going to set that date!

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