Why Are Wedding Decorations So Expensive?

Updated August 22, 2023

The excitement of many brides scales down after they find out how expensive wedding decorations are. But such a price is justifiable.

One may argue that some brides manage wedding decoration on their own. But this doesn’t mean wedding decorators are useless.

DIY wedding decoration is a great way to save money, but the bare cost of materials still often exceeds the expected. Furthermore, it’s a time-consuming and stressful process.

The cost of wedding venue decorations is based on design intricacy, the hourly rate of the decorator, time spent on discussions, whether the décor is purchased or rented, and that’s only a fraction of all factors.

You may go for basic decorations to cut the expenses, but consider whether it is worth it.

Remember – your wedding’s atmosphere, to a large degree, depends on the venue’s interior.

Event Decorator Fees

Wedding decoration price includes not only the bare materials but also the work of an event decorator.

Sure, you can skip hiring one, but a wedding decorator can save you from the stress of deciding on the venue interior on your own.

The variety of wedding themes and styles can be overwhelming, and a wedding decorator can help you pick one that fits your personality and the chosen venue the best.

And since event decorators have years of experience, they can spot details that you might overlook.

For instance, many couples opting for DIY wedding decoration forget to match table linens to the overall color code or don’t leave enough free space in the venue.

In other words, hiring an event decorator is necessary for the consistency of your wedding’s design in every aspect, from the ceremony to reception.

But the work of a wedding decorator is time-consuming and demanding. The average cost of a wedding decorator is about $800, and that’s justifiable.


If you hire a wedding decorator, expect to pay at least a third of the final sum for design concept discussions and further communication.

After all, a wedding is a one-in-a-lifetime event, and you likely want to get the best service.

The wedding decorator will strive to first understand your preferences and offer as many options as possible. Choosing one is a challenging task, which often takes hours or days.

Once the core concept is chosen, the decorator will communicate with you to approve any major or minor interior elements, such as centerpieces, aisle runner, or the color of candles on the tables.

Sometimes, the couples wish to make amendments. For instance, you may find a cool photo booth idea on the web and want to include it in your wedding design.

Any additional requests, even if they end at the discussions step, come at an extra fee.

After your discussions with the decorator are over, they still must communicate with the venue and arrange meetings to ensure your ideas can be brought to life. The venue should be large enough and suit the wedding theme.

Intricate Design

The price of wedding décor to a large degree depends on how intricate it is, which isn’t surprising.

If you’re going for basic decorations such as white table linen, minimum flowers, and no centerpieces, the total cost will be relatively low.

But most couples prefer to add some personality to the space with unique decorations, often custom. These may include chair covers with the couple’s initials, a custom welcome sign, or a photo wall.

Custom wedding decorations are especially common at themed events. You can easily find suitable décor for a wedding in rustic style online, but finding décor to match the biker wedding theme is much harder.

Generic wedding decorations can often be rented. By generic, I don’t mean boring but rather conventional. But custom items need to be purchased, even though they will likely go to the trash after the event.

The truth is, some couples go overboard, overestimating the importance of some minor elements.

The price of decoration doesn’t always correspond with its significance, so you can likely skip napkin rings encrusted with diamonds unless your budget is unlimited.

Venue Size

The venue size directly affects the cost of wedding décor. The larger the venue, the more décor you need, and the higher the check.

However, this doesn’t mean that decorations for a large wedding will always cost more than decorations for a small event. The final price is based on a scope of factors, not the number and size of decorations alone.

Still, couples often underestimate the number or size of decorations needed. Let’s take a standard round 60-inch guest table as an example.

After you add all the tableware, there is still about 30 inches of bare space left in the center.

This space should be filled, and a single flower vase won’t do the job. You will need to find a large enough centerpiece to avoid it looking undersized, and this won’t be cheap.

You may argue that long tables are more cost-effective to decorate. But tables are just an example – the same situation can happen with any other aspect of interior decoration.

So, couples tend to neglect floor and ceiling décor, lightning, and the free-to-taken space ratio.

While the venue should have enough space for everyone to move around, it shouldn’t look bare and often needs to be filled with additional decorations.

Handmade D?cor

Rustic weddings are on a surge. Couples like them for the homey, cozy atmosphere and, oftentimes, the chance to save some money on decorations.

But handmade wedding decorations are only cheap if you make them yourself. Anything made to order, especially by custom design, will cost more than generic decorations sold in stores.

In fact, handmade wooden, glass, or paper decorations may cost significantly more than those made from crystal or metal at the manufacturing facility. That’s because the process of making decorations by hand is more time-consuming.

Furthermore, you can save a good sum by renting wedding décor. But this doesn’t apply to handmade items. They are typically purchased and thus cost more.

Real Flower D?cor

It’s hard to find a wedding venue design that doesn’t involve flowers. Genuine flowers look and smell better than faux ones, but they are also much pricier.

Wedding flower cost includes the florist’s work, flower delivery to the store and to the venue, price of flowers themselves, design, and numerous other factors. The type of flowers can also majorly affect the final check.

So, the average cost of wedding table centerpieces is about $400 each. For the head table, the price may reach $1,500. Even small arrangements placed next to a guest book can cost as much as $300.

And if you’re going for a flower ceremony arch or ceiling flower structures, expect to pay thousands of dollars.

The cost of a wedding flower arch depends on the arch size and type of flowers. But even the cheapest option will cost you about $300, and the most exquisite designs can reach $4,000.


Decorations need to be delivered to the venue. Sometimes, this service is offered by wedding decorators and included in the final invoice; in other cases, you may have to find a delivery service on your own.

Either way, delivery takes time and fuel, which must be compensated. The cost of delivery also often includes the work of personnel who carry the decorations from the van to the venue.

The delivery price may be immensely high if you host a wedding far from the city. In this case, strive to find decorations in the same area as your wedding venue.

Putting Up D?cor

Designing the venue decorations is one thing; bringing the ideas to life is a whole other story. It’s an extremely time-consuming and sometimes even dangerous process; decorators may have to work on high ladders.

The decorator should also manage the logistics to ensure all materials arrive in the correct order. If the centerpieces are already in the venue, but the table linen isn’t, they can’t start decorating the tables.

The decoration team may spend anywhere from a couple of hours to days on setting up the space, so the price of the process is hard to estimate. Event decorators usually charge an hourly fee that ranges from $25 to $150 nationwide.

Taking D?cor Down

The work of a wedding decorator isn’t over when the event is. They should take the décor down, which may take nearly as much time as putting it up. No, wedding decorations can’t be simply ripped off in a second’s time.

Any rented decorations should be taken down carefully, without damaging them, cleaned when needed, and returned to the renters.

And even if all the decorations were bought, the decorator’s team will need to clean up the mess.

Third-Party Vendors

A single person can’t manage all technical aspects of wedding venue decorating, so it isn’t uncommon for decorators to hire third-party vendors.

They may help to deliver the decorations, put them up, or take them down. This may add up an extra 10-25% to your bill.

Image credit: Pexels

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