10 Expert Tips For Choosing Event Decorations

tunnel lit up with lit cube seating - choosing event decorations

10 Expert Tips For Choosing Event Decorations

The right decorations have the power to transform an event. They can make a theme come alive and turn a venue into a different world.

To really transport your guests and have an atmosphere that smoothly flows through every corner of your venue – you’ll need to consider the types of decorations available to you, the logistics of setting it all up, and what you’re trying to achieve with the styling of your venue.

To help you get started we’ve compiled 10 expert tips for choosing the perfect event decorations.

1. Choose Your Tone And Atmosphere

If you understand the tone and atmosphere you are trying to create, then your decorations will choose themselves. There is nothing more essential than deciding on this and it can save you time and money later on.

Choosing a theme is the simplest way of defining what the tone and atmosphere of your event will be. Check out this list of timeless themes to give you some inspiration.  

Ask how you want guests to feel when they step foot into the venue. Should it be casual or formal? Do you want a cosy and warm feeling or a fresh and lively atmosphere? Should your guests feel surprised and intrigued or should the night feel inviting and familiar?

Take some time to brainstorm ideas; consider creating a list of words and emotions that you want to bring to your event and allow them to guide your decision making.

acrylic flames table centrepiece - choosing event decorations

2. Figure Out Your Event Goals

A common mistake when decorating or styling an event is to not have an aim in mind for the event. People are sometimes led by a vague sense of wanting to create a fun or glamorous event. ‘Fun’ and ‘glamorous’ are good aims to have but they don’t pinpoint the direction you need to take.

It’s time to get specific with the goals of your event. What are you trying to achieve with your event?

For example, if it is based around a keynote presentation, then do you want to emphasise the speaker? What message is the event trying to convey?

If it’s a business event, then do you want to encourage networking at the dinner table? If it’s a product launch, then what takeaway message do you want guests to have about the product?

Make a list of what your event needs to achieve and then work backwards to see how decorations can help get you there.

a space rocket decoration - choosing event decorations

3. Work With Your Venue

Before you even think about choosing decorations you need to make sure you know what facilities your venue has.

What is the decor already like? What is the shape and feel of the venue? What lighting is already in place? What type of atmosphere does it have?

Forming a good understanding of your practical options will let you know the best theme and style options to choose.

If it has a lot of clear floor space, then you might opt for a regal ballroom feel. If it’s a spacious venue, then you can draw guest’s attention to large statement pieces; however, if it’s a more intimate venue, then you might not want to crowd them big decorations.

Take into account the architecture and style of the venue, what seating and staging options are available, and how guests will naturally move around the space.

starry night sky table centrepieces - choosing event decorations

4. Makes The Most Of Your Table Centrepieces

Table centrepieces can be overlooked as a decoration but they are one of your most versatile styling tools. A table centrepiece allows you to really put your signature on the event and it’s the easiest way to add a wow piece to the venue.

Since your centrepiece is supported by a table and it doesn’t need to be attached to a wall – there is a huge amount of potential in what you can accomplish with it.

Think beyond a standard floral arrangement and consider how you can bring your theme alive, as well as the different figures, statutes, tableware, or lighting sources that can be the focal point of your decorations.

lit poseur tables - choosing event decorations

5. Don’t Overlook Furniture

Even though tables, bars, stools, staging, and seating fill up your venue and they are the elements of the event that guests will spend most of their time interacting with – it’s common to overlook furniture.  

It’s not always feasible to bring all of your own furniture to an event but adding a small lounge area, some easily transported chairs or some custom side tables can dramatically transform a venue.

Think about the different impact this furniture can have, the colours and moods they will bring, and how you can shape the ways guests use the space with it.

event styling with a best of british theme - choosing event decorations

6. Pay Attention To Height And Texture

Every item in your venue has an impact on your guests and you should think about how that impact is formed beyond the immediate look of a decoration, centrepiece, or furnishing.

The height and placement of objects will direct where your guests look and how they respond to a space. A design that keeps everything at the same level can end up feeling flat and it’s missing out on opportunities to reach your audience.

The texture of the objects at your venue is also important: it can control where things feel earthy, fresh, smooth, modern etc. Think about how the weight and feel of your decorations work with your overall design.

palm tree table centrepieces for a beach themed event - choosing event decorations

7. Stick To A Colour Scheme

Having a colour scheme for your event is a basic principle of design but you need to make sure that you stick to it.

It’s unlikely that every item at your event can perfectly match your colour scheme so it’s important that you know which colours can be used to complement and highlight each other. You can learn more about Colour Theory here.

If you do need to break your colour scheme, then try incorporating that break into the design. If your colour scheme is blue and white but you can only get purple napkins, then weave a purple motif into your design.

A key element of sticking to a colour scheme is being able to evolve it during the planning phase.

colour theory - choosing event decorations

8. Make Installation And Arrangement A Priority

Styling an event is as much about logistics as it is about artistic vision. If you can’t get everything set-up on the day, then you will need to make compromises that might not look as good as you envisioned.

Ask how quickly you can transport something, how quickly you can install it, and how simple it will be to arrange everything before the event begins.

When choosing decorations it’s a good idea to see if they come flat-packed and to make sure you do a dry run before you get to the venue.

rugby ball table centrepiece for sports themed event - choosing event decorations

9. Use Lighting As A Decoration

It’s common to use different lamps, bulbs, and strings of lights as aesthetic decorations at an event but it’s also important to think of the light itself as a decoration.

Differently coloured lights can instantly change the atmosphere of your event and decorations can look very different under new lighting. Paying attention to the lighting you use can give you much more control over your decorations

At Table Art, we make custom centrepieces that can be remotely controlled and provide a cost-effective source of dynamic lighting. Check out our gallery to see what they can do.

10. Double-Down On The Essentials

Every event comes with some essential items and making sure these look perfect will give your decorations the most impact.

The tableware, centrepieces and furniture should be at the core of your style choices and everything else should feed into them. Your guest’s natural focus should align with your focus in designing an event.

Conclusion: 10 Expert Tips For Choosing Event Decorations

Finding the right decorations for your event and making them fit with your theme and atmosphere will take careful planning and a thoughtful approach to your entire event. Don’t rush into buying or renting any decorations or furnishing without being sure they will work for you.

If you would like help creating your next event, then get in touch with the styling experts at Table Art for a free consultation.

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