I'm Engaged, What Next?

Nearly every newly engaged couple I speak to, ask for the same help and advice. Just like you they need help with ideas for decorating and styling their wedding venue or want experienced support to help them create a beautiful and memorable wedding.

Photo credit: Natasha Marshall Photography at Braxted Park


There are 3 groups of newly engaged couples starting to think about venue decor, which are you?

1 - those who have many, many ideas and no idea where to start

2 - those who know how they’d like their wedding to look but need help to pull it all it together

3 - those who want a professional stylist to make decorating their venue simple and pain free


If you answered 1, you might be feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of decorating a wedding venue - this is the first wedding you’ve planned after all. You’ll have gathered inspirational images on Pinterest, saved Instagram posts from stylists and florists all over the world, read wedding blog pricing guides and sought help from friends who have been through planning their own wedding, but you don't know how much things really cost or where to start.


If you're couple no.2 you have probably budgeted and its just about choices and getting the most impact for your money. A stylist can help you to find the right props, decor and visual suppliers and help you create a wedding that is cohesive and stylish and focuses on impact and reusable decor elements that can be repurposed throughout the day.


Couple no.3 don't have the time or possibly the creative flair to style a wedding. It is very time consuming and the sensible choice is to get someone on board quickly to lighten the load and speed up the process. The key point is to find a stylist that works on the aesthetic you are looking to create and one that you get on well with.


The big question for all couples is what is a realistic amount to set aside for styling and decorating your wedding? Well, this depends on many factors but mostly it is about how much you are comfortable spending and how much support you need.


To give you a steer, most UK wedding stylists charge around £800 - £1500 for styling. This might sound like a lot to you, especially as there’s no decor included yet, but take time to understand what service is being offered; this is not as simple as a stylist just turning up on the day and making things look pretty.


The following are usually included in a styling service package:

  • consultations, emails and phone calls over a number of months

  • design work and mood boarding

  • work on colour palettes

  • a venue visit or two

  • liaison with other suppliers and your venue

  • sourcing items and suppliers

  • getting quotes

  • planning the installation

  • a full day of styling support

  • ceremony to reception change-over

Some stylists also include travel expenses and a post event breakdown the next day. What you’re booking is continued, professional support over a period of time, leading up to your big day.

You might need to think carefully about employing a stylist, especially if it wasn't in your original budget plan. Many couples don't realise they may need a stylist until after the venue is booked and they start the planning process and realise the restrictions in place to hinder their planning. There’s a confusing amount of cross overs when it comes to wedding design and styling, wedding planning and venue coordination so let me help clear things up for you.


Unless you’ve booked a dry hire venue, you’re likely to have a venue coordinator. Venue coordinators will help with some very small decor elements of your day. As part of the event set up, the team including the coordinator, catering team and waiting staff will lay tables and put out place names. The coordinator will be happy to put your table plan and welcome sign on their easels and maybe a few tea lights or table numbers that you have bought yourself, but that’s about it. The reason for this is they have other jobs to coordinate. They have to make sure all suppliers have turned up and know where to go / set up. They have to move from room to room checking everyone is running to timings, whilst ensuring the venue is clean and welcoming, checking in guests and tending to the bridal party. Time is the issue here.

A planner and/or on the day coordinator will coordinate larger weddings with many, many suppliers in a similar way. They will work alongside stylists but are more focused on the logistics and smooth running of the wedding set up and then leading the team in creating a superb guest experience rather than focusing on decor details and design decisions. Again they'll be willing to provide some help with decor and will have assistants booked for the day to help with laying tables etc, but again time is a factor. They simply won't be able to unpack several different deliveries from different companies and carrying our the set ups themselves.

As well as inspiring and making decor suggestions, a stylist is there to bring all of the decor elements together on the morning of the wedding. They will make design decisions and coordinate a consistent, high quality and beautiful set up from multiple decor companies, ensuring everything is clean and sparkling and placed in an aesthetically pleasing way for maximum impact. A stylist or styling team will typically spend at least four to eight hours working on the installation of your decor alongside your florist, cake maker, stationer linen provider, tabletop rental and decor companies. Their sole focus is how things look, so if you are someone with a keen eye for detail - a dedicated stylist is a must for you. The stylist is the person that will suggest alternative ways of setting out a room to give the top table a better backdrop, consider what guests will see on entering a room or suggest hiring in linens that fit the venues tables better. They'll move the ceremony table so the floral installation can be the sole backdrop for those just married photos or steam the folds out of the top table linen. All of this takes time and experience and you do get what you pay for. I hope the above has helped - please share this post with someone who needs to read it and feel free to ask questions by emailing me on victoria@partysquared.co.uk


I've been designing and styling weddings and providing high quality, boutique decor hire in Essex and the East of England since 2018 and I truly love what I do. I work with couples with realistic budgets for their expectations, who want to create unique, memorable and stylish weddings, with a strong focus on high quality decor and exquisite details. I work on weddings that are clean, modern and elegant, you can see more on my Instagram profile. You can see how happy clients are with the service I receive by reading the testimonials on my website and looking at the client reviews left on my Google business page.


Formally, a head of design technology in a secondary school, I now mainly work with clients in and around Essex but do travel to other destinations including my childhood home, the Isle of Wight. I also support couples with my online inspiration services.


If you'd like to have some help focusing your ideas or with creating inspiration boards to share with your suppliers, please get in touch by emailing victoria@partysquared.co.uk


To begin a wedding styling enquiry for a wedding, simply fill in the form on my contact page, I'll check your wedding date and get back to you on availability and then we can start the process by booking a free, no obligation discovery call where you can ask questions and get to know if we will work well together. I look forward to chatting with you.



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