BE SMART WITH YOUR SPACE
Choose an event space that is attractive on its own, then create the right flow—that’s the key to getting plenty of wow without plenty of money, says Norman -Chief Executive Director at Osome Moments.
Place your moola where attendees spend most of their time. For example, during cocktails, guests need a good bar and an attractive space, “but if you put heaps of flowers there or fewer, no one will remember,” he says.
Mix tables of varying shapes, then put linen on some of the tables and leave others bare except for candles.
Create drama in the room by placing three or four huge vases filled with flowers—real or silk—off center.
Use monochromatic masses of inexpensive blooms.
Rent plants to fill the space and warm it up.
Never skimp on quality. “Don’t compromise on the quality of products even if there are fewer flowers and such,” Clement says. “We will never skimp on the ‘wow’ factor when a guest enters the event, if it sets the mood and the tone of the event.”
SPOTLIGHT THE STUNNER
“When a supermodel walks into the room, no one notices her friends,” Jack Kelly says. Keep this in mind with your decor, says the entertainment technology designer with Charlotte, N.C.-based Eye Dialogue, and you can create drama without Rands.
Take the “centerpiece” concept and apply to the room, Kelly suggests. Instead of using 20 floral arrangements at R300 per table, sink all the money into one dramatic floral arrangement in the center of the room. “No one will think that the handful of candles on their table looks poor,” he says. “Instead, they will comment to all their friends how magnificent the floral display was in the center.”
A custom steel gobo—the honoree’s initials or a slogan—creates a unique custom brand that makes the event special and valuable—all for about R400.
If you can put what would have been a two-room event into just one room, you essentially double your decor budget.
If you can’t afford to wash all the walls in one color, then throw the color onto one element in the center of the room. Clement did this at one pink-themed event: “The brightest thing was on the middle, so everyone looked inward. Psychologically the room was pink, because no one stares at the wall behind them.” And, “Instead of 30 to 40 lights, we only needed four.”
Spend big on one thing and let the rest go. “To get the ‘wow’ from a meager budget, some risk must be taken,” Clement says. “Anything can be left out. Style is all that matters.”
SIMPLE DECOR IDEAS
1. Paper Garland
Use your event’s theme to inspire the colors and materials for this easy garland. Set it up over a doorway, behind a table or around a window to add some color to your venue.
2. Paper Bunting
Also called pennant flag banners, these event decorations are really easy to make. The tutorial includes templates that you can print, but you could easily design your own to match your event’s theme.
3. Hanging Jar Lanterns
If you saw our recent collection of lighting ideas for events you’ll know that we’re huge fans of creative event design. These hanging lanterns made from glass jars are a great example of a creative lighting idea that you can make yourself.
4. Cupcake stand
If you’ve got a snacks table at your event or conference and need to jazz up the display, this is an easy way to do it. After all, event decorations that are useful and stylish are the best kid, right? If you have the time (or a few handy helpers), you could make a few!
5. Balloon backdrop
Are you planning on taking photos during your event or conference? Or filming interviews? Balloons could be the perfect backdrop. These behind-the-scenes shots show how a balloon backdrop was made for this photo shoot.
6. Repurposed circular bunting
No doubt you’ve got a bunch of old CDs lying around that you’re not sure what to do with, so why not repurpose them? This cool bunting is made from just old CDs and paper or fabric. You can use your event’s color theme or mix and match like they’ve done here.
7. Graffiti Wall
Let your attendees in on the DIY fun with this interactive addition. This is perfect for outdoor events where you have plenty of room to keep the paint fumes safely away from the crowds.
8. Chicken wire installation
If you’re asking for feedback or audience voting, this is a fun way to collect thoughts from your attendees. Putting this one together won’t take you long, either.
9. LED Balloons
Everyone loves balloons. And adding LED lights is easier than you might think. This tutorial will run you through it step-by-step, and you’ll have a bunch of unique event decorations done before you know it.
10. Neon Balloons
If you loved the floating water lanterns in our last event lighting post, this tutorial will show you how to make your own. You can even make them match your event’s color scheme, since they’re made with balloons!